Lake Stevens JournalLake Stevens Journal

Team sports can bring out the best in a community

Published on Tue, Nov 29, 2011 by BY PAM STEVENS | MANAGING EDITOR

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After having the opportunity to be among the first of what could possibly be millions of people, to see the MTV documentary “Berzerker” about the daily trials and victories of the Lake Stevens wrestling team and watching our football team work incredibly hard each and every day in an effort to become state champs, I’m incredibly inspired by those kids and their coaches.

Driving to the high school in 40 degree weather with rain pouring down in buckets, I watched the Vikings out on the football field preparing for their semifinal game. They were practicing plays in soaking wet clothes. 

Each week those boys have played harder than many have expected them to, moving their way up the charts as they got closer and closer to a very much deserved state championship. Entering the semi-finals with a 12-0 record and beating teams they were not “supposed” to beat have brought not only their team closer but also our community closer as they fill the stands in support of a team we have grown to love and admire.

It is nothing short of amazing when you get to watch Jake Nelson throw a beautiful pass right into Christian Gaska’s hands or when they come from behind in the last seconds of the game to beat a team ranked higher.

My favorite part of the game is when the four team captains join hands out on the field before the game starts. It is a perfect analogy of the way this team plays—together for the good of the entire team.

In wrestling the dynamic is the same. Even though each wrestler is competing for his own win, they are also competing as a team trying to earn points to bring the team to the top of the leader board.

Witnessing how hard the wrestlers work to ensure they make weight and the hours they put in both before and after school practicing, has left me in awe of these young men and women who push themselves past their limits on a regular basis.

I am grateful to high school coaches who continue to teach these kids that getting an education is just as important as how well they perform on the field or the mat. Coaches who truly learn to love each of the kids they coach and want what is best for them and their future. Coaches who teach these kids what it means to work hard for something that they want.

I am also grateful to the Lake Stevens community who continues to cheer and support all of our local sports teams. Go Vikings!
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