The Brigade logged some frequent sportsmanship miles on Saturday as we traveled literally from one end of the metro to the other. Kids are always worth going the extra mile for, but today’s award winners made the trip extra special. First, we found ourselves in South St. Louis County for the 5th grade CYC Baseball Closed Division Championship. For those who are not aware, CYC’s Closed Division only allows kids to play on their CYC team. Open Division teams have players who play for select or club teams and their CYC team. St. Margaret Mary Alacoque took on Immaculate Conception -Dardenne (ICD). These two teams played an excellent game with St. Margaret Mary pulling away late to take the title. However, one player from St. Margaret Mary stood out in skill and character.
Devin is a soft spoken young boy, but has the build and attitude of man many years his senior. St. Margaret Mary put him on the mound in the 5th inning and the young man was not shaken by the ICD bats nor the pressure of the situation. He had two strikes on three different hitters in the last inning and a couple of close calls didn’t go his way. St. Margaret Mary fans let out collective “Ooohs!” while the coach voiced his displeasure from the bench. To borrow from a popular sportscaster, Devin was as cool as the other side of the pillow. He didn’t yell or talk to himself. He didn’t slam the ball into his glove or throw some type of fit on the mound. Devin did what his team needed him to do. He went back to work and got the third out. Devin’s display of maturity and class made him an easy choice for the Brigade.
|Big Sol with Devin|
After watching both teams receive their awards and congratulations on a great season, the Brigade headed northwest to St. Charles to see the 8th grade CYC Softball Closed Division Championship between St. Martin De Porres and St. Angela. St. Martin has a tremendous lineup and overwhelmed St. Angela. The game was called early via the Mercy Rule. Shortened games sometime make decisions difficult for the Brigade, but a young St. Angela fan proved that sportsmanship is not scoreboard-dependent. Several other St. Angela fans were complaining aloud about the balls and strikes and the umpires overall. Our new friend, Tony said, “The umpires have a tough job. We should be happy they’re here.” A collective hush fell over the crowd. Although the fans around Tony were old enough to be his parents, he was the one acting like a grown-up. Recognizing Tony was an act of satisfaction and validation for the Brigade.
|Tony and Big Sol|
The Sportsmanship Brigade is a group of Sports Commission volunteers who attend youth sporting events looking for acts of good sportsmanship. Athletes, coaches, parents, fans and officials who exhibit good sportsmanship are rewarded with a certificate of recognition and a gift card to a local business. For more on the Brigade, including scheduling and volunteering information, please visit sportsmanship.org or call 314-345-5130. Until next time…
Be a Good Sport!