As parents, we try to teach our kids that winning isn’t everything – especially when it comes to sports. We do our best to teach them that a good attitude, fair play, and heartfelt effort are the things that matter most. And most importantly, we try to teach them good sportsmanship – whether they are on the winning team or the losing team. We don’t always get it right and, let’s be honest, no one likes to lose. But in the case of one high school baseball player, it’s clear that he has learned how to be a gentleman and a friend above all else.
When Ty Koehn, a senior at Mounds View High School in Minnesota, and his longtime friend, Jack Kocon, found themselves faced off against each in a championship baseball game, there was no doubt that both boys were playing their hearts out. But Koehn, a pitcher, managed to win the game for his team by striking Kocon out in the final inning. As you can imagine, the Mounds View High School team was elated – and no doubt, Koehn was, too. But as his teammates ran onto the field to congratulate him, he only had eyes for his friend.
In a truly touching display of friendship, not to mention sportsmanship, Koehn ran past his celebrating teammates, straight to his friend. He embraced Kocon and later said that he simply told him that their friendship would always be more important than any game.
The pair who had played baseball together since their Little League days are a beautiful example of what we all want our children to exemplify on the field, in the classroom, and in life. In a world that seems all too often to be about winning and competition, these two baseball players are role models, not just for our kids, but for us as adults, as well.
Cheers to the winning team, for sure, but an even bigger congratulations to these boys for their example of true friendship and love.
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