Monday, November 28, 2022

Honored to be a Wildcat

| October 19, 2022 7:15 AM

We all have been involved in some sort of sports competition, either playing our favorite sport or cheering for one of our kids from the sidelines. I have been there on both sides and can tell you how caught up in the game and focused on trying to win that it is easy to lose sight of the more important things, such as sportsmanship. Yes, the teams are nice to each other and shake hands at the beginning and even high five at the end of the game, but is that all there is to good sportsmanship? I believe there is and have personally seen it with the Columbia Falls Soccer team, especially with the Froshmore team. Of course some by think I’m a little bit bias since I have a son on the team, and maybe I am but I believe others should hear how wonderful this group of young men are.

Weeks ago while playing against another team, the “oh man” “that hurts” “what a fall” could be heard from the sidelines from the crowd watching the game. Unfortunately it was my son who was injured due to the force from the other team player pushing him down. We all know there is some pushing back and forth in soccer especially trying to get to the ball, but this was not that.

At the time of the accident my son had already passed the ball, but the other team still forcedly shoved him down causing him to break three bones in his wrist. It seemed as if everyone saw this happen, but we were all thinking he would get back up, since it happens all the time, but as everyone started to watch the action of the game no one paid attention that my son was still down.

But it was Columbia Falls players who noticed their teammate was down and informed the refs and all took a knee until my son got up and off the field. I understand it’s a game and they are playing against each other and they are not obligated to look out for the other team, but maybe I was looking for “are you OK” from the other team and both my son and I never heard it from the other team. But my son’s phone blew up from his teammates and from the varsity soccer players over the next couple of days checking up on him. My son is unable to finish his freshman year of soccer, but he is still part of the team as everyone on the team still includes him. That is just one example of how this team looks out for each other.

Another example and the true definition of sportsmanship is what happened during the game against Browning. As I took pictures of the game I saw it first hand or I would have a hard time believing that it happened. Before the game started after the coin flip Columbia Falls and Browning shook hands and told each other good luck.

But then they went over to the Browning coach and thanked him for bringing the team to Columbia Falls. During the first half you could tell Browning was new to the sport and may not understand all the rules, but more then twice I heard Columbia Falls informing Browning on the rules or what they may have been able to do better next time.

The boys knew that Browning was new and instead of showing them up they wanted to encourage them, to improve them, to help them out. These boys know that they have at least three more years to play against them and want them to get better and fall in love with the game like they do.

That was impressive to hear. During the second half, Columbia kicked the ball to the goal and Browning stopped it. The goalie kicked the ball to the other side of the field and everyone was running to get to it. But there was a Browning player down close to the goal. I believe he got a leg cramp. A Columbia Falls player noticed that he was down and instead of going after the ball he went to the player and helped stretch his leg. Then a couple of Browning defenders came over to see what was going on. At this time the ref, the other players and the crowd were all looking at the other side of the field where the action was. Another Columbia Falls player noticed and told the ref about a player down. This was so astonishing to see considering again it was Columbia Falls again informing refs of a down player. These boys rather help others become better and look out for each other then score. And to me that is the true definition of sportsmanship. But what is miraculous is this is what these boys do and don’t even think twice about it.

Winning is not everything, but sportsmanship is.

These young men are truly amazing and their parents should be proud of them. I know I am honored when I say my son and his team are Wildcats.

Alicia Donsbach

Columbia Falls

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