There's No 'I' In Team, But There Are Two In Integrity
Nate Haasis, quarterback of the Southeast High School football team in Springfield, Illinois, recently broke the Central State Eight Conference career passing yardage record in a 42-20 season ending loss. While the accomplishment should have been reason for much celebration for the talented young senior, it was unnecessarily tainted by the actions of the two competing coaches.
It seems that Southeast's coach, Neal Taylor, called a timeout late in the game with rival Cahokia in possession of the ball and holding an insurmountable lead. The two coaches got together and Taylor agreed to let Cahokia score a quick touchdown giving his team one more possession. In exchange for this act of goodwill, the Cahokia coach agreed to hold his team back and let Haasis complete one more pass and break the record. On Southeast's next possession, the Cahokia players defended against the pass with their arms in their jerseys thereby allowing the record breaking 37 yard completion.
Here is Haasis' reaction:
In a letter to the Central State Eight Conference's president, Chuck Hoots, Haasis wrote: "While I admittedly would like to have passed the record, as I think most high school quarterbacks would, I am requesting that the Central State Eight does not include this pass in the record books. Reaching 4,969 yards required a lot of cooperation and hard work from my teammates. I do not wish to diminish the accomplishments that were made in the last three years."
Talk about integrity. This kid's got more freakin' integrity then those two moronic coaches combined. Haasis holds both the school and city record for career yardage and his coach demonstrates his confidence in the kid's ability by asking the other team to take a dive. The truly amazing part is that the opposing coach actually agreed to this little charade rather than laughing in the man's face.
If this is the kind of guidance our nation's youth is getting in high school, things are bleak indeed. We need to be teaching them that accomplishments are earned, not generously gifted by others. We need to be teaching them that rewards come from hard work and determination, not from some munificent benefactor. Most of all, we need to be teaching them that sometimes you fail to get what you're striving for so they learn to strive even harder the next time.
Thankfully, there are some kids out there like Nate Haasis who get it.