Win tickets to see the smash hit musical Mamma Mia at the Roanoke Civic Center. Two winners will each receive four tickets!
Thursday, October 17, 2013
As a community, we spend a lot of time agonizing over graduation rates, standardized test scores, and college and workforce readiness.
The scrutiny of perhaps the most measured part of the public sector often leads us to believe our students are lost. I want to take a moment to highlight an outstanding story that was shared by your own Robert Anderson that demonstrates otherwise.
In The Roanoke Times Sports Section under High School Football Picks (“William Fleming players’ spirit transcends football,” Oct. 11), Anderson shows great courage in sharing his battle with prostate cancer with his loyal audience.
I suspect he was prompted to share this very personal issue because he had one of those all-too-rare glimpses into the character and class of some local high school student athletes that touched him. It touched me too.
The sincere emotional support shown to him by the William Fleming Colonels football team after a very difficult homecoming loss should reaffirm for all of us the amazing lessons learned from participation in competitive team sports and extracurricular activities. The fact that Coach Bobby Martin remembered to ask Anderson about his health at an emotionally raw moment and that he pulled together his team to share a prayer was commendable.
After “the Amen” as Anderson put it, “these kids could have turned and headed out into the Roanoke night.” However, the players, one by one, came over to him, looked him in the eye, shook his hand and personally wished him well. It was clear evidence of the character and class of these student athletes.
Sometimes we get caught up in the competitive drama of high school sports and can miss the simple but powerful messages that are contained therein. Kudos to Coach Martin, who clearly has the team buying into something special at William Fleming both on and off the field, and to his players for really getting it.
On the football field, William Fleming has started to improve. More important, in life, students are knocking it out of the park.
There is an old and often repeated phrase in football – “hit somebody.” Through Anderson’s article and the William Fleming team example, maybe it is just as important to “touch somebody.”
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