WILMINGTON — The old adage, “It doesn’t matter whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game” has been shared with athletes of all ages for as long as most people can remember.
But really, what do those words mean?
While it seems likely coaches will continue to instill these words among athletes in one way or another, members of the Wilmington High School baseball team have chosen to redefine the heart of the athlete and what it means to win — really win — especially on their home field.
Some of Clinton County’s finest athletes wear the black and the orange of the Wilmington Hurricane. For some, their athletic talents are intrinsic and play out with a natural ease.
For others, it’s more of a challenge. Skills must be taught, nurtured, and cultivated in order to make the team and play among the best.
For others still, life’s circumstances and disabilities can sometimes impede an athlete’s desire to take to the field, to hit the home run, and to run the bases. Yet he remains an athlete at heart, high-fives in the crowd, and celebrates the Hurricane victory.
But for the members of the WHS baseball team, it just wasn’t acceptable to leave some of their own in the bleachers. After all, these classmates, in their own right, are part of the Hurricane team.
And because these young men in Hurricane uniforms know it really is about how they play the game, each home game they invited their classmates to don a jersey, throw out the first pitch and be part of the team.
Winning and losing isn’t just about the final score. It’s about perspective. It’s about character.
It’s about understanding that long after the cheers from the bleachers have subsided and the season has ended, the memory of that first pitch will live on.
Information for this article was provided by Diana Miller, who coordinates communications for several area schools.