Don#039;t quit

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 15, 2003

High school and college are institutions of learning. Students learn basic fundamental

rules and laws, whether they be scientific or mathematic, they can use later in life when they become active participants in the so-called "real world."

Students also learn a lot about themselves and expand their horizons when they go off to college. It opens their eyes to a whole new world.

Many students will opt to join the United States Armed Forces where they will continue their education. They will also be tested physically and no doubt wind up in the best physical condition of their lives.

Some students will go from graduation straight into the workforce. It will be a tough transition and it will also be a learning experience.

All of those options provide certain benefits as high school seniors continue their trek toward adulthood, but to me one of the best educations a person can get is by participating in sports.

High school athletics teach teamwork and leadership skills. Sports also teach student-athletes not to quit. It teaches them how determination can almost always help them to achieve a goal or "where there's a will there's a way."

Members of the Pleasant Home School softball team have learned several lessons this season. They have learned sportsmanship, teamwork, the importance of hard work, the benefits of being prepared and how to be leaders.

They have also learned not to quit.

The Lady Eagles were a favorite to win the Class 1A, Section 2 Tournament going into the event. Many believed the Lady Eagles were the most-talented team. Hosting the tournament also gave them an edge in the eyes of many fans.

The Lady Eagles won their first two games and then hit an obstacle they did not expect and could not overcome in the Ariton Lady Purple Cats.

Ariton sent the Lady Eagles into the loser's bracket of the tournament.

The members of the Pleasant Home squad were upset, but they did not quit.

They fell behind to the Kinston Lady Bulldogs in an elimination game and battled back for a comeback win to advance to the championship game of the sectional tournament.

The Ariton Lady Purple Cats were waiting for the Lady Eagles in the championship game. The Lady Eagles had to defeat Ariton twice to win the sectional title. A loss and the Lady Eagles would finish as the Class 1A, Section 2 runner-up, but they would still make the state playoffs.

Once again, the Lady Eagles refused to quit. In fact, the Lady Eagles demolished the Lady Purple Cats with two lopsided wins. The Lady Eagles won the first game 23-0 and then eliminated Ariton with an 11-1 win in the second game.

So, as the Lady Eagles fly to Montgomery for the Class 1A State Championship I know they will do well because no matter what happens they will not quit.

They will not quit because they have learned through athletics the importance of giving your best effort and seeing things through to the end.

The late college basketball coach Jim Valvano put it best during a speech at the Espy's "Don't give up. Don't ever give up."

John Wallace is the sports editor of, and columnist for, The Andalusia Star-News.