“Teamwork” Has a Nice Ring to It

This past fall, the women’s Cross Country team was crowned the Division One State champions. Their victory left them ranked number one in the country. As if that wasn’t enough, they received the first ever perfect score of a 1.000 from the National Cross Country Coaches Association. The team was awarded rings to commemorate their achievements and their hard work.

But now, there is talk around Seaholm about whether the whole team deserves state championship rings or if just the seven girls who actually ran in the state meet are deserving.  They say only those seven earned the right to wear the honor.

I disagree.

Yes, the seven girls who ran obviously did bring home the championship, but it was because of the rest of the team that the seven runners were able to compete. The whole team was given the opportunity to receive state championship rings for their hard work and effort as a team.

The seven girls who ran were seniors Aubrey Wilberding and Tess Wilberding, junior Danielle Bentzley, sophomores Julia Demko, Audrey Belf and Rachel Dadamio and freshman Marissa Dobry. The whole team was able to purchase rings, but some did not. Surprisingly, some of the girls who ran in the state meet chose not to get a ring (Demko and Dobry) because they “were probably going to lose it,” said Demko, along with the fact that it was expensive and, they said, ultimately unnecessary.

The rings are silver with a large maroon stone on the top with a thick Seaholm “S” visible within the stone, surrounded by “2012 State & National Champions.” On one side lies “Seaholm” engraved above the outline of the state of Michigan, on the reverse side is the runner’s name, or an abbreviation if too long, with the girls’ cross country team logo below.

It’s hard to determine whether or not the entire team deserves to receive such a high honor of a national championship ring, rather than just the seven girls. The team was awarded rings because of the win at the state meet, which isn’t something that the whole team did.

In a sport like cross country, the final meet decides where a team stands in the rankings. In a sport like lacrosse, which is another girls’ sport at Seaholm that won a state championship in the last year (along with tennis), a single game in which the whole team participates decides the team’s success, usually after a long tournament of hard competition, rather than a meet that determines rank with a limited number of players chosen to compete.

The girls’ cross country team received a perfect score of a 1.000 after the season, which is the first perfect score given to a girls’ high school cross country team in the history of the sport. That kind of success does not come from an individual effort. That score shows the entire team’s dedication and hard work.

Read my lips, the girls deserve that giant ring that sits on their fingers every single day, due to the fact that they put in the dedication and work in the grueling, humid, blistering hot late summer months to propel themselves past the competition and into first place on a national scale.

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