Can you imagine that many of our teams are looking at the last couple weeks of competition? It was just yesterday when it was August and we were just starting. How time flies!

But with that comes some sorrow. The overwhelming majority of teams playing in athletics this fall will play a regular season schedule and then they will put their stuff away to prepare for next year or move to another sport in the next season.  They are not elite teams; not the best of the best, not the teams that society wants to celebrate.

 But to us, these, not the victors, are the most important teams. These students, coaches and their school communities participate in interscholastic athletics for the most noble reason – to play. To have fun. To be with their classmates. To learn the lessons that competition in an athletic environment teaches participants. These are life lessons of teamwork; cooperation; goal setting; effort; discipline; dedication; adherence to rules; respect of others; and many more that each individual discovers in the athletic laboratory that become meaningful to themselves.

The love of the game, participation and their experiences carry the day. As you fondly recollect those times, it makes one smile and with a smile on your face it makes the athletic experience that much more enjoyable; win or lose. It reminds us of Nat King Cole singing..... 

Smile, though your heart is aching;
Smile even though it’s breaking;
When there are clouds, in the sky, you’ll get by.
If you smile, through your fear and sorrow;
Smile, and maybe tomorrow;
You’ll see the sun come shining through for you.
Light up your face with gladness,
Hide every trace of sadness;
Although a tear may be ever so near;
That’s the time you must keep on trying;
Smile, what’s the use of crying;
You’ll find that life is still worthwhile;
If you just Smile.