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On January 6th, the 1983 12th regional championship team will be honored at McCreary Central High School. There are a lot of great life lessons you can learn from sports and from listening to coaches-lessons such as teamwork, preparation, goals, failure, success, and conflict resolution. One of the greatest lessons I learned while playing sports was friendship. The Bible says, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” In sports you can learn how to be an encourager, someone who helps others when they’re discouraged or having a hard day. We’ve heard all of our life, “There is no I in team.”
I can well remember Mr. Hubbs getting me out of study hall to be in choir. I can never forget the first time I sang harmony in boys ensemble. To me it was amazing to hear all the different voices blending together, and it taught me a great life lesson. That lesson was each individual voice adds to the whole and produces an amazing sound. It’s the same in any sport that you play. Each part is important to the whole. Learning your part and being involved in that part in order to enhance and increase the team is a great life lesson. As it has been said, “Hindsight is 20/20.” Some of these lessons are grasped even more as we get older. There are things the coaches did in practice that I did not understand at the time, but looking back now, I can see very clearly what their goals were.
Your position on defense or offense is extremely important to the team. Sports taught me that there are boundaries, things you can do and things you cannot do. Life is the same way. There are boundaries to what we can and cannot do. You can’t just grab a basketball and take off running down the court without dribbling it. Imagine going to a basketball game with absolutely no rules. Players could do whatever they wanted, however they wanted, whenever they wanted. It would be absolute chaos and confusion. Just as in sports, in life, there are things that are out of bounds. Learning those boundaries is important to friendship and life. The Bible says, “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.”
I am so grateful I got to play basketball with that group of friends on the 1983 team. I truly love my coaches and my teammates.It’s hard to believe that it’s been over 40 years ago since we played basketball together. The lessons learned those many decades ago still stick with me to this day. Hopefully, I have passed those lessons along to my children. I’m so excited to get to see them again.One of our teammates, Joe Lindsay, is no longer with us, but he is greatly missed and loved.
“A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”