High School Linebacker Gives a Beautiful Lesson in Sportsmanship
By Ken Reed
A week ago, Chatfield High School was playing Erie High School in a barnburner of a Colorado Class 4A state football championship game.
Erie sophomore quarterback Blake Barnett had rallied his team from a 34-20 deficit with two touchdowns in the 4th quarter. During those scoring drives, Barnett had made some dazzling individual plays. With 1:54 to go in the game the title tilt was knotted up at 34.
Chatfield answered with an impressive 80-yard drive to go ahead 41-34. But Barnett wasn’t giving up just yet. However, on the last play of the game, his long pass was batted down in the Chatfield end zone.
That set off a wild celebration for Chatfield’s players, coaches and fans. The victorious players were running around on the field hugging, high-fiving, and chest-bumping teammates. But before celebrating, Chatfield senior linebacker Caden Logan ran straight to Barnett to console the Erie quarterback who was kneeling despondently on the turf in defeat.
Logan put his arm around Barnett and said, “Keep your head up. You’re going to do great things.”
Asked later why he chose to console Barnett before celebrating with his teammates, Logan said:
“They worked just as hard as we did. They’re a great team. I can only imagine the feeling of heartache that he must’ve been going through. I hate that. So, from brother to brother … “
How awesome is that?
If only the rest of us could have that kind of class and decide to play the game of life with that type of respect, empathy and grace.
It sure would be a much nicer country to live in than the angry, divided place we currently call home.
Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
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League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
Vanderbilt Sport & Society - On The Ball with Andrew Maraniss with guest Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director for League of Fans and author of How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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