This past week I had the privilege of attending the girls 1-A basketball tournament in Richfield. When I arrived I thought that I was there to see the winners emerge after fighting a hard battle. After the first day I realized that what I witnessed was much more important to me as a grandma than for my granddaughters team to be the ones with the highest score. Across the court I saw Green River Cheerleaders yelling their lungs out along with the students who had loaded into a bus and traveled 2 1/2 hours one way to cheer their team on. I watched as this small school rocked the rafters with their yelling and watch them put their hearts and souls into cheering their Lady Pirates on. I saw the girls on the team wrapping their arms around others on their team that had fouled out or had some other mishap. It was rewarding to see what moral support the coaches and players gave to each person on that team. It was heart warming to see the continued support even when the girls lost their first game. As I put my arm around my granddaughter she looked at me and stated that she had never enjoyed being on a team as much as she had this year. I could plainly see why she felt that way with such friendship and concern they showed for each other.
What was even more amazing was to see the Green River girls after losing a hard game come back immediately to cheer for one of the schools that they were in competition with. Whitehorse was there fighting for the right to advance and the Green River team yelled for their victory. To me these two teams have captured the true meaning of good sportsmanship.
As a proud grandma I asked for the following day off of work to again travel to see my granddaughter play her final game. As I entered the stadium the next day I looked across the court to witness that the Green River students had again made the trek and were there to once again rock the house as one of their cheers said they would do. There sitting close by the Green River students was the Whitehorse team all wearing green hats in support of the Pirates. Wow, it was great to see that these two small schools would be so supportive of someone they had to play against in region.
Green River played hard, but lost by a few points and with tears flowing I thought that they would just go to the bus and be done, but I was amazed once again by this special team. The team asked that they be allowed to come back and support the Whitehorse team, but first they wanted to go to Wal-Mart and purchase some yellow items to wear in support of Whitehorse.
When entering the stadium the Whitehorse girls went and each brought over their team shirts for the Green River girls to wear during the their game. Proud does not express how impressed I was to see the character that these two teams and students possessed. To me its how you play the game that really matters and I see these two teams as the biggest winners of all.