HILLARY SMITH: A year of thanks from the players on the field

2012-11-18T19:00:00Z HILLARY SMITH: A year of thanks from the players on the fieldHillary Smith Times Columnist nwitimes.com
November 18, 2012 7:00 pm  • 

Throughout the year, a nice "thank you" here or there might seem a little trivial.

A pitcher thanking his outfielder for making a diving catch, or a center thanking her point guard for a soft pass through a tough defense.

At the time, it's a reminder that one good play doesn't happen without a team of help behind it.

Quarterbacks should thank their centers, pitchers should thank their catchers, every player should thank the coach.

Here are the thanks we'll remember from this fall, the ones that grabbed our hearts enough to make their way to print.

After Morton beat Highland for a Class 4A sectional title, Governors coach Roy Richards thanked his team. "This isn't mine," he said, holding the trophy, "but thank you for getting me another one."

After losing in the sectional football semifinal to Mishawaka, Hobart junior Andrew Barras was reminded of those who came before him. 

The Brickies were 3-8 last season and 8-3 this year.

"I want to give a big thank you to the seniors. They turned the program around," Barras said. "They played with pride. They played hard. They never quit.

"I'm so proud of them."

Some athletes prefer to thank someone bigger than themselves. After finishing as the highest-placing runner from the New Prairie Semistate at the IHSAA state championship cross meet, Lowell's Kyle Eller was reminded of this faith.

"First, I give God all the glory," Eller said. "Honestly, I don't think I have the talent myself. I'm thankful I have a wonderful coach and a team there to support me."

It's not just prep athletes with gratitude. Munster native and MMA star Stephan Bonnar took to Twitter after losing a bout to Anderson Silva.

"Thanks to everyone for the support," Bonnar wrote. "I'm so sorry I lost. I feel so bad for letting my fans down, but I promise to make it up to you. (I'm) not injured, just caught with a perfect knee … and it paralyzed me. Was just getting movement back when (the) fight was stopped."

Finally, we'll leave you with heartfelt appreciation for achievement after adversity.

RailCats groundskeeper Michelle Pickering said that learning basketball and baseball as a girl on the boys team gave her strength to be in a profession dominated by men.

"Every day it's a battle to prove yourself in a world of men," Pickering said. "I always played on the boys basketball teams, the boys baseball teams, but that's also what makes you successful. They might not have liked it, but I can thank them for my success."

It's much easier to remember this week, when the turkey is on the table and the stuffing is steaming hot, but behind every bout of success is someone deserving of thanks.

This column solely represents the writer's opinion. Reach her at hillary.smith@nwi.com.

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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