OK, so the final results didn’t necessarily reflect it. But the teams and fans did. I, along with an amazing group of players, coaches, parents, grandparents and other family traveled to Waupun, Wis., for the Central Plains Wisconsin Nationals Division 2 Legion Baseball tournament. We may have been from smaller towns, but the number of loved ones equaled those of some pretty big cities. And small town values were displayed valiantly at the tournament.
I watched other team fans argue with their coaches, yell at the umpires, squabble with each other, and overall show poor sportsmanship. I witnessed coaches yelling at the fans and at the young men that were giving their best out on the field. While this wasn’t the norm, it happened way too often over the four day tournament.
The young men of DGF and Kindred played with integrity, respect and dignity- despite the score or close calls by the umpires. They played as a team and supported one another throughout the good and rough patches. The coaches respectfully discussed “bad calls” with the umpires without letting their emotions get the best of them.
I traveled as a fan of DGF, but quickly became a fan of Kindred as well. One thing was very clear, this area sent the best of players, coaches and fans to this Regional tournament. We walked away with our heads high, so proud of these young athletes and their obvious display of great character.
They went into this tournament as State Champs and you can’t take that away from them. In fact, it was the first time in the Sr. Legion Baseball history that DGF won the state title. And despite any win-loss record in this tournament, they walked away as Regional Champions too.