As a former athlete, coach and now as a parent, I have participated in and watched some amazing sporting events. None of these made ESPN’s night top 10 list, but the drama in the game, on the bench and in the stands was intense. However, what I witnessed yesterday was simply extraordinary. The scene was at White Clay Creek State Park during a cross country race between 3 division one schools. This tri-meet included William Penn, Delcastle and St. Georges.
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it, 1 Corinthians 9:24.
For anyone not familiar with Delaware, one school is located in the city, another in the suburbs and the newest what use to be considered out in the country. As competitors crossed the finish line, collapsing and gasping for breath, something unusual began to occur. A sign of sportsmanship that you don’t see every day or hear about in the news. At first I had to do I double take as fellow competitors started high fiving and hugging non-teammates. This scene repeated itself for ten minutes as the slowest runners received the most applause from those already finished.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God, Hebrews 12:1-2.
These three teams will likely finish at the bottom of the Blue Hen Conference. None of these runners will contend for the conference, county or state title. Yet, there is something that these runners demonstrated that all sports should emulate. Sure, when you add up all the positions, there was one winning team with another starting the season 0-2. Nonetheless, like the motto for Little League, “its not whether you win or lose, its how you play the game.” As for the runners from Delcastle, William Penn and St. Georges, good job and thanks for reminding adults how athletic competitions should be contested.
by Jay Mankus