Sportsmanship is often something that goes by the wayside in a time when winning seems to overtake everything. Even in high school sports, middle school sports, and on down to little recreational sports.
A touching display of sportsmanship was however shown from the Trask High School Lady Titans softball team when they traveled to Midway a couple of weeks ago.
Star pitcher for Midway, Brittany Watson, was injured in practice after taking a line drive to the face, and has since had successful surgery, but has yet to be cleared to play. In order to show their respect for her courage, drive and determination to get back on the field, the Trask softball team presented Watson with a signed softball and a T-shirt, and each greeted her with either a hand-shake or hug.
“It was such a kind gesture,” said Midway head softball coach, Leigh Ann Smith. “It was something that did not have to be done by any means, and they went above and beyond to extend their best wishes to Brittany, and it was really something great to see.”
Watson was also humbled by the experience, and very appreciative.
“It’s been tough on me not being able to play most of my senior year because I’ve put so much time and effort into this sport since I was 7 years old,” she said. “Since my accident I have tried my hardest to be at every game possible to cheer my teammates on. It was so nice to see Trask present me with something that they took their time to do and it shows great sportsmanship and I just really appreciated it.”
Watson went on to talk about the progress she was making, and seemed up-beat about the way things were going.
“I’m progressing very well since the surgery, and I’ve had many people tell me they can’t even tell I’ve had anything done,” she continued. “Most importantly, I thank God, family and close friends for helping through these hard times.”
Brittany’s mother, Kristi, was also very touched by what the Trask team did for her daughter, and updated us on the status of Brittany as well.
“She will go back to Dr. Thorp at UNC on Friday (April) 29th. He will make the final decision on whether she can return to competitive play on that day,” she said. “If she is still continuing to do good and he gives the okay, she may be allowed to play on March 3, which is senior night at Midway. If she can go back on senior night, that would be awesome. I am sure I will cry buckets. What Trask did for her, that was such a nice thing, and it really meant a lot to us.”
She also expressed the support that the Midway community had shown through the difficult stretch.
“Several of the team members and coaches and parents have brought us supper and sent cards, flowers and gifts and balloons to us. We were overwhelmed with the love and support we have received from everyone near and far and not only from Midway,” said Watson.
When things get deeper than the surface, what the players and coaches of Trask did for Watson is one of the big reasons we love sports. It can definitely bring out the worst in teams and players, but a refreshing thing to be reminded of is – it can bring out the best too.
Daron Barefoot contributed to this story