Tri-Fecta, No….Three-Peat, YESSSSS!

What is a tri-fecta? It’s what Sanford High tried to achieve…..both the varsity girls & boys basketball teams have won the state championships for two years straight & both were going for their 3rd straight win.  It hurt my heart to see the girls loose, but they had an outstanding year. I hope that they won’t be too hard on themselves & understand that there is nothing to be sad about.  They played hard all year, and for them to have made it to the state finals AGAIN, that’s a huge deal! In addition, Sanford basketball’s Johanna McMillan is this week’s WDEL Female High School Athlete of the Week, the junior helped pace the Warriors to the top seed in the DIAA Girls State Basketball Tournament. I am VERY proud of her & the entire team….so girls “keep your head up”!

Now as for the Three-Peat…..the boys did it, they won their third straight championship! There were five other teams prior to Sanford in Delaware high school boys’ basketball history that had won back-to-back state championships. HOWEVER, ONLY Sanford can lay claim to being the three-consecutive championship-winning team in the DIAA Boys Basketball State Tournament! The Warriors, officially, stand alone! It took 32 minutes of hard-nosed defense, some clutch free-throw shooting down the stretch and senior leadership to help top-seeded Sanford emerge from its skirmish with No. 3-seed Newark with a 58-50 victory and a large chunk of Delaware basketball history.

What I absolutely love about these boys is that they never act real cocky & they have a real sense of respect towards others, humble attitudes, sportsmanship conduct, & team effort. I witnessed many games where players of other teams were shooting off at the mouth & playing real grimy, in my opinion. But these young men always remained focused & continued to play the game with good sportsmanship & team effort. There may be some top scorers…but they always supported each other, encouraged each other with an unmatched defense and giving each other opportunities to make big plays (because it’s never about getting the ball to one key player with them). In an interview with sports examiner Micheal Lang… as he caught up with Sanford’s forward Khallid Hart Friday night at the Bob Carpenter Center, where he and teammates Sabri Thompson and Austin Ford had just finished watching the Sanford girls team in the girls basketball finals….he asked Khallid, what was the secret to beating Newark? Khallid answered “We just have to stick to our regular game plan and hopefully everything will turn out the way it’s supposed to. Obviously, you have to contain Andre Horne, but if we stick to everything we’ve been doing for the whole season, hopefully we’ll come out on top.”

By the second half of the game, even though they were leading by 10 or more points, we saw a look in Khallids’  eyes of ‘determination’. He was a true leader for his team throughout this season, MVP material in my personal opinion. I watched as he rallied his team together & encouraged them to stay focused & finish out strong like they came to do. He even motioned to their Pep Rally schoolmates to rev up their cheering as if to say ‘Come on! We need your encouragement too!’

That kind of attitude, I try to instill in my own children. I want them to be bold, confident leaders, but I want them to also have a humbleness & respectful attitude towards others. That is no easy thing to teach, and the best way I know how is to lead by example. It’s in the way we treat people, even when they are wrong. It’s in the way we handle difficult situations….will we run away, or will we do our very best and have a good attitude win or lose. Even as adults, many decisions we are faced with, we would rather NOT deal with it. But cowering away or blaming others for our mistakes will never help us in life or our kids who are watching our every move. One scripture that my husband & I have made sure that we taught & reminded our kids is “I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength” Philippians 4:13.  They know that there is nothing they can’t do, that they set their minds to, but they FIRST have to believe in themselves!

After the game, coach Waterman (an outstanding coach I might ad) had a well-deserved big ol’ party for everyone at his house, then on our way home our son Bobby (who is 17) asked if he & a friend (who we were giving a ride to) could go to ‘the after-party, party‘ at a girls house from school. Without much hesitation & a quick talk to his friends mother & the girl’s mother, we told said ‘yes’.  They were surprised, and elated. We even let him drive the Escalade & set the curfew at 12:30am!  His friends mom was a little shocked herself at that, but you know something… when you know your kids and they have earned privileges…what are you going to do?  It’s like the 16 yr old or fresh out of college kid looking for their first job and getting rejection after rejection because they lack “experience”.  But how can you gain experience if no one gives you a chance?  So we use opportunities like these to let him prove he is responsible & that he can be trusted!  No child or human for that matter, is perfect so they will make mistakes, but it’s about how they handle the mistakes.  We have taught him to be honest & upfront, “man up’ when you mess up.  The decisions he makes now, & how he handles them, will set him up for the future, good or bad. He knows that if he crashes the car, speeds & gets tickets, uses drugs or alcohol or gets caught up in a lie doing something he’s not supposed to do, that there WILL be consequences & we will immediately shut down his privileges.  And that’s real life! So my motto is “it is…what it is”, reward them for doing great, and follow through with consequences when they act the fool! I’m just sayin’! He has to learn how to control himself when he is out on his own & make wise choices on for himself, we can’t do it for him or hold his hand his entire life!  And guess what, he took his friend home & then walked through our front door at 12:22am.  I expected nothing less of him. 😉

I leave you with this,

Every new job, project or task is some form of a challenge.  Without God it can be frightening.  With God it can be a great adventure.  Just as God was with Joshua, he is with us as we face our many challenges.  We may not win every battle, but every day that we face tough situations, deal with difficult people and fight off temptations…God promises, that He will never abandon us nor fail to help us.  When we ask him to direct us we find that we can conquer many of life’s’ greatest challenges. (check out Joshua 1:5)


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