Sportsmanship in the face of adversity

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On June 14 at Felts Park in Galax, I witnessed the most poorly officiated game of baseball in the history of the game itself.
The Carroll County Indians were given every bad call imaginable. The umpires refused to be questioned and threatened to eject the team’s coaches from the game.
Parents became upset with the treatment of their children and decided to take them home so that they couldn’t be cheated.
The teams refused to leave, stating: “We came to play!”
During the following three hours, the effort given by this group of 13 young men was truly heroic.
They pitched relentlessly, swung without fear and dived for home headfirst even though they knew that the call if at all close would not be in their favor.
Their actions sent the message that even though you are treating us unfairly, we came to play and we will finish the game.
This is what a true hero does. True heroes give their all against great odds, and never lose sight of the fact that they are right.
These young men have the greatest of examples in Chris Burnette, Isaac Edwards and John Canning, who bit their tongues, supported the team’s decision to play and encouraged the team to “just have fun.”
These coaches and this team’s desire to play the game as it was meant to be are what make them heroes.
With the assistance of unfair officiating the other team may have emerged the better team at the end of this game, but the Indians emerged the best team without a doubt.
Thanks to the amazing coaches and setting such a great example for this team!
To Blaine, Chance, Cole, Cory, Derek, Ethan, Jarrett, Jonah, Morgan, Taylor, Trace, Tyler and Zack: thank you for teaching us all a valuable lesson in humility, courage and the true art of being heroic.
You are truly the heart and soul of baseball, and you are my heroes.
Dana Dalton
Laurel Fork