By Alvin Richardson, Columnist
The Morgan County Bulldogs basketball team lost in the state championship game this past Saturday night but to anyone who has watched them closely throughout the campaign one irrefutable fact was abundantly clear – this was a group of players and coaches who were made of sturdy cloth.
They were a splendid, inspiring team comprised of gritty competitors, they gave maximum every time they hit the floor, and perhaps best of all were loaded with class. In short this was an assemblage of young guys who represented their home town in impressive style – and we are most certainly proud of them.
Just about every time you see this type of team on the field of battle they have one thing in common and that is sound leadership. In the case of Morgan County’s basketball team that leadership begins with the head coach Jamond Sims.
Sims is a Morgan County product who came from a family who always placed a high value on doing things the right way and on a good education.
He is the living embodiment of that family upbringing and as well as being a top-flight basketball coach he is more importantly a genuine life coach – and you can clearly see the reflection of his personality in his players.
One of the tough things about sports is that nearly every time you are a part of a good team that season ends with a loss (except on those rare occasions when the team wins a state title) and it seems for a moment that the year was a failure but that’s never really the case and a little time and reflection has a way of putting things in perspective.
For the 2015 Bulldogs that is certainly true. They won a region championship, were ranked in the Top Ten all season long and then won four state playoff games versus the best Georgia has to offer.
Then came a loss in the final contest that makes it feel like the all those good things have gone down the drain – but that emotion should be short-lived. A day later it’s stings a little less and a few days later reality sets in and you realize that we’ve all been part of something very special. This scenario happens every year in every athletic endeavor, in every state.
I for one found this band of Bulldogs to be every bit the champion. They always looked adversity square in the eye and responded by bearing down even harder and never giving up. Most of the time that never-say-die attitude won the day but as we all know life doesn’t always hand out roses – sometimes it offers up stinkweeds and we have to find a way through the tough times.
Our young team members just experienced one of those days when they did everything in their power to win a game but things didn’t work out like they wanted them to in the end. It happens to all of us in one way or another and the test of our character is how we respond when that happens. I’m pretty sure I know how our guys will respond.
They will use the lessons they have learned on the courts to take on the bigger game of life and that my friends is the most important championship of all. (E-mail comments to email@example.com)