Published on -5/31/2012, 9:59 AM
I was a spectator at the recent softball game between Hays High and Seaman Lady Vikings during the 5A state tournament in Wichita. At the end of the evening, I was witness to an act of compassion through competition that deserves recognition.
After shaking hands, the Seaman team was led to the outfield and given the news that one of their recently graduated classmates had been killed earlier that day. The tragedy struck the Seaman community hard. Soon parents, the baseball team, baseball parents and Seaman administration joined the girls on the field to console each other. A large prayer circle formed, and the Hays softball team, coaches and fans joined this circle to offer their support.
In a weekend where competition is fierce and each team is out to win the title, Coach Maska and the Lady Indians put their disappointment aside and reached out in empathy and compassion. By doing so, Coach Maska showed her team a lesson in life of respect and reverence.
Many coaches could have walked away and left the Seaman family to themselves in their time of grief. The Hays community should be proud of this group of young ladies and the maturity they showed by offering support. The life lesson learned will take them farther than a winning score in a softball game.
Compassion can be expressed on several levels and the Lady Indians showed it in both attitude and action, and by doing so instilled hope that compassion and competition can abide together.
Sherri Monhollon, assistant principal, Shawnee Heights High School