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The Ripple Effect of Teamwork


As principal, I have never received an e-mail like this before!
As I read the words from the Cross Country Coach at
nearby St. Colette, I admit that tears came to my eyes with
an overwhelming sense of pride. Our coach and cross
country team truly served as the “hands and feet of Jesus,”
and represented what it truly mean to be a Christian athlete!
As the Cross Country coach for St. Colette School in Rolling
Meadows, I’d like to bring to your attention a behavior I
observed from the Holy Family Academy Cross Country
team and coach [parent Ian Norman and “Coach L”] at
this week’s meet in Clark Park, hosted by Queen of the

Here’s the story

Saint Colette School, although

small, does its best to field a team and give all students the

opportunity to perform in the field of sports. Not just the

athletically gifted and not just the fastest runners. So

our Boys’ Varsity Team is a mixed set of talents. While we

had two of our runners place in the top 5 for this race, one

of our runners was also the last to cross the finish line . . .

over 10 minutes behind the lead runner.

After all the other runners had crossed the finish line, we all

realized that one runner from St. Colette School was still

somewhere out there, probably walking the last leg of

the two-mile course. Somewhat concerned that he just

gave up, I waited at the finish line hoping that our last

runner would finally show up and have some pride that he at

least finished the race. Along with the timing official, our

athletic director, and several other concerned parents, we

waited . . . and waited at the finish line . . . for our last

runner to come over the hill and finish his race.

Just as we were about to give up, finally, we saw a mob of runners from

Holy Family, including the coach, come over the hill

surrounding the last runner . . . and encouraging him on to

the finish line. When the other schools saw this, they joined

in and by the time the last runner crossed the line, there

were dozens of runners jogging along side and cheering

him on. While I was proud of our runner for not giving up …

I was even more proud of the sportsmanship of Holy Family

Academy’s team and coach who brought the last runner in … and made him feel good about his race.


Throughout my many years as a parent and coach of sports

teams, I know that teams like this don’t just happen. Teams

like this learn sportsmanship from their school and from their

coaches. Your team set a new benchmark for

sportsmanship that day, one that made us all feel proud of

the values and attitude learned in Catholic Schools.

My best wishes to your school, your teams and your

coaches in all their future adventures. It’s a pleasure

to play with teams and coaches like yours. They are all


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