Mitchell Marcus, a special needs student from Coronado High School in El Paso, Texas, loves basketball. As student manager for his varsity high school basketball team, he’d been a big supporter of his teammates all season. His coach Peter Morales decided to surprise him by having him suit up for the last game. His teammates valiantly tried to help Mitchell get a basket, but unfortunately he was unsuccessful in putting the ball in the hoop despite a few attempts.
With seconds left in the game, and Franklin High School throwing the ball in from the sidelines, it appeared as if Mitchell’s varsity game would result in a scoreless effort. But, then Jonathon Montanez, a member of the Franklin High School team, took matters into his own hands. Instead of passing to a teammate, Montanez decided to give Mitchell another shot at making two points by throwing him the ball. His assist was rewarded as Mitchell made a last second shot.
Coronada High fans stormed the court celebrating Mitchell’s only basket. While the score had no effect on the final outcome of the game (Coronado won easily), clearly Montanez’s selfless move was a major score for sportsmanship. Well played Mr. Montanez and congratulations Mr. Marcus.
Sportsmanship helps Mitchell Marcus score first varsity hoop
While running in a 5k cross-country race, Andover High School (MN) runner Josh Ripley heard Lakeville South runner Mark Paulauskas screams and knew something needed to be done. While other runners whisked by, Ripley stopped and asked Paulauskas if he could help.
Noticing that Paulauskas had been spiked by another runner and bleeding profusely, the 6’5″ Ripley picked up the wounded runner and ran back a half a mile to the race’s start to bring him to his coach and parents for aid.
“I didn’t think about my race — I knew I needed to stop and help him,” Josh said. “It was something I would expect my other teammates to do. I’m nothing special; I was just in the right place at the right time.”
“I was stunned and so proud of the sportsmanship and kindness he showed to our runner who was injured,” said Jessica Just, the Lakeville South team’s coach. “The family, our Lakeville South coaching staff and our whole team were so thankful and appreciative of Josh’s act of kindness and selflessness to a rival competitor.”
Paulauskas was immediately taken to a hospital where he received more than 20 stitches to close the wound and a walking cast.
As for Ripley, he opted to finish the race. Extending the 3.2 mile race another mile — 1/2 a mile to and fro — didn’t do much for his time, but most would agree that Ripley was undoubtedly a big winner for his heroic action. A great inspirational story!
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EDITOR’S NOTE: We’re excited to republish an article written by Fran Dicari originally published on his site: StatsDad.com.
Sometimes I wonder why I write this blog, but on Saturday I was reminded why by a beautiful event. A good ref made a terrible call for a good reason.
My daughter, CC, had a basketball game today. The championship game of a CYO tournament for 4th grade girls. We got to the gym early hoping to warm up, but the 5th grade girls semi-final game was in progress. I looked up at the scoreboard to see how much time was remaining. Ugh, I thought to myself. The game was only in the 2nd quarter. A bright orange team from a parish about 10 miles away was playing the 5th grade team from my daughter’s school. The orange team was winning decisively.
My daughter spotted some friends and took off. With nothing better to do, I watched the action on the court and I am glad I did.
You could tell that the orange team was well coached because the ball was moving around so effectively. Every girl knew where to go and knew almost instinctively where help was if needed. It was so fluid. It so was beautiful.
There was one girl on the court donned in orange and thick glasses who was following the beautiful flow of the game, but she was a few steps behind everyone else. She always knew where to go, but she was just a little slow to get there. Her teammates would always patiently wait for her to get into position. They would pass the ball to her on occasion even though they probably knew that there might be better options. The girl donned in orange with think glasses was behind, but not left behind.
As the game progressed, the black team from my daughter’s school chipped away at the lead and made a game of it. Still the coach of the orange team did not make any adjustments to the line-up late in the game. He trusted his talented guards to control the final few minutes and protect the lead. He trusted the girl in orange with think glasses to get into the right position.
With 7 seconds on the clock, the orange team held a 7 point lead. The speedy guard from the white team had the ball and was cutting across the court from left to right. The girl with the think glasses was cutting across the court right to left. She was concentrating so hard on getting into position that she did not know where the ball was. The two girls collided.
It was an obvious foul on the girl in orange. She was not trying to defend, she was just desperately trying to get to her position as coached which she eventually did and stood there as if nothing had happened.
The ref reached for his whistle. He hesitated. He looked up at the clock. 3 seconds left. He looked at the foul situation. Few fouls had been called so neither team was in the bonus. He then blew the whistle.
He turned toward the scoring table and yelled, “Foul on white #10″ It was a bad call for a good reason. Although it was not a shooting foul, he put the girl in orange on the line to shoot free throws.
No one complained. Six girls jogged to the basket and lined up white, orange, white on either side of the lane. Two girls in orange and one in white took their positions at the top of the key. The girl with the thick glasses wearing bright orange stood dutifully in her defensive position on the wing. The position she was so desperately trying to get to when the play started.
The tall skinny ref with grey hair walked over to her and bent down. He said something to her. He handed her the ball and walked her to the line. The girl knew what to do and did not hesitate at all. The ball flew through the air on a beautiful arc with the school’s Prayer for Athletes blue banner hanging in the background.
You could feel all nine girls on the court, the six or so girls on the both benches, the coaches from both teams, the two supposedly impartial refs and the one hundred plus fans praying for the ball to go in.
The ball bounced off the back of the rim.
A teammate rebounded the ball and gave it to the ref. The ref bounced it to the girl on the line. Again, without even a moment of hesitation, she launched the ball up toward the hoop. Again the ball had a beautiful arc, but again the ball bounced off the back of the rim. She was a little too close or a little too strong. A loud AHH came from the fans, the players, the coaches and the refs.
After the game, I wanted to shake the hand of this great ref. I approached him hand extended and told him that he made a great call. He smiled proudly. He told me how he hesitated in making the call. He told me that he was concerned that someone would get mad. Then he told me that his daughter has Down syndrome too.
Fran Dicari is the over-scheduled father of over-scheduled athletic kids and author of the youth sports blog StatsDad.com. He’s a coach, a scorekeeper and an amateur sports photographer. He’s also an executive and partner at Barefoot Proximity, the digital marketing agency that created ManoftheHouse.com and Coachhub.com.
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Sportsmanship in high school sports — Softball team forfeits game to teach opponents how to play. Rick Reilly
Gainesville State is a maximum-security correctional facility in Texas with some 290 males ages 12-19 years-old. For the Tornadoes, every game is a road game and the only Tornadoes fans are the ones that come with them. For their 2008 season finale against Faith Christian School in Grapevine, the Tornadoes brought 20 faculty and staff members.
Per David Thomas in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram,
“Faith coach and athletic director Kris Hogan wanted his school to show support for the Gainesville State players, who had earned their spots on the team by serving at least half of their sentence, passing their classes and committing no behavior incidents.
Hogan e-mailed Faith parents during the week requesting that they form a spirit line for their opponents, then asking for some to sit in the Gainesville State stands during the game and cheer the Tornadoes as though they were their team.
Hogan said he wanted to “make sure the kids knew that there were more people on their side than just their faculty at Gainesville State School.”
About 200 Faith fans — possibly more than were seated on the home side — stood and cheered the Tornadoes when their kickoff return team took the field to start the game.”
The support showed to the Gainesville State players had a big impact. Although the team lost the game, the players according to the coach were, “one step from heaven.” A great act of sportsmanship staarted by athletic director Kris Hogan made this sports feel good story one for everyone to remember.
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Fort Worth Star-Telgram article by David Thomas
He’s at the 30, the 20, the 10 and he…takes a knee! What? Read the story to find out why. Arkansas Varsity Rivals