Like thousands of other teams across the country, the Little League team on which my son plays — and which I coach — was engaged in a season-ending tournament this weekend. We won our first game yesterday on a soupy field, and the boys were flying high. In our second game, against the best team in our division, we played as well as we have all season. It was a back-and-forth game, as we exchanged the lead with the other team. But, alas, as the time limit came up and other teams waited anxiously to take the field, we were behind.
And so our season ended, not really as a baseball game should, decided by a clock. But the boys held their heads high, and there was nary a tear. I think that’s because they knew that they had played their hearts out and that they were poised to defeat a superior team.
I’ve been a youth pastor, directed camps and retreats, coached teams, and led a Cub Scout den, but never have I experienced such a wonderful, unified, joyous group of kids. Plus, I coached with two other dads with whom I got along famously.
It was an honor to be their coach, and I will miss them.