Athletics and Community
Girls Soccer Shines at Cross Country: Athletics is an important part of the Bethany community—well over half of the student body participates in interscholastic sports—and draws many enthusiastic fans, including students who enjoy cheering each other on. Soccer fans are used to seeing Bethany's 8-2 girls soccer team perform well. And on September 11 the team did so again. Only this time it was not on the soccer field, but at a home cross country meet.
When it came time for the girls cross country race to begin, girls soccer coach Dennis Yoder suspended soccer practice so the girls soccer team could cheer on their schoolmates. As the first runner approached the finish line—a Bethany runner—the soccer team formed a tunnel for her to run through at the end of the finish chute, cheering enthusiastically for her success and offering words of encouragement.
They stayed there to welcome other Bethany runners. As the next runner approached, this time from an opposing team, one soccer player said, "Hands up everyone." Immediately all conversations stopped, hands went up, and the team cheered and shouted encouragement for this opponent—and each succeeding runner, regardless of the school name emblazoned on her jersey. The reaction on the faces of many runners from other schools was priceless: surprised smiles mixed with confused looks of wonder.
On that September 11 the Bethany's girls soccer team demonstrated an integral part of athletics at Bethany: playing to win while showing respect to all. And by doing so, they showed that they are winners on and off their field of play.