Moral Victories: An Athletic Director's Perspective
June 5, 2011By Shane Lightfoot of Bethesda Christian High School
Many times, after a loss, you will hear coaches say, "We are not looking for moral victories," when asked what they can take away from the losing experience. I would submit to you that at Bethesda Christian School, winning the moral victory is something we must always strive to do, whether we win the actual game or not. Our testimony, individually and collectively, depends on it.
At the Spring Sports Awards Program this past Thursday, Superintendent Tom Wittkamper referenced Hebrews 12:1, which states, "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with endurance the race marked out for us." The race described in this passage is the Christian life we are striving to live, and the picture is of an athletic arena filled with the great heroes of the faith mentioned in chapter 11, who are watching us, rooting for us and urging us on as we strive to overcome life's obstacles and become what the Lord would have us to be.
Mr. Wittkamper expressed his pride in our athletes for how well they had represented Bethesda Christian School and reminded us all that people are watching, and that, as athletes and coaches, we are Bethesda to other people when we step on to the court or field. Winning the game is important, but running the race with endurance and representing ourselves, our school and the Lord well is the crux of what we want to be known for in Bethesda athletics. So, whether it is a great cloud of witnesses made up of heroes of the faith or a great crowd of witnesses at a Bethesda ball game, winning the moral victory is imperative every time we play.
As last night's Baseball Regional Final wound down, the Athletic Director at Shakamak High School, our host, and a veteran of 40 years as an Athletic Director and educator, came and stood beside me for the last few outs. He shook my hand and told me what a good group of kids we have and that he was impressed with how they played and how they carried themselves on the field. He mentioned how he had noticed that they did not talk to the umpires when calls didn't go their way and how respectful our kids were toward the men calling the game. That, in my book, is winning the moral victory, and we should celebrate that, too.
Proverbs 22:1 says, "A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold." Now, I know our players and coaches are disappointed after last night's Regional Final loss to North Central (Farmersburg), as we all are, but what they won... what we won... is far more valuable. There is nobody that wanted to see our kids win the Regional plaque more than I did, but I am far more proud of who they are than what they did or didn't accomplish.
Thanks for supporting our BCS sports teams! You make a huge difference!