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Teamwork is important

As a sports writer I have the opportunity to be on the sidelines during football games, so I’m privy to things that fans don’t see.

One thing that has really stood out is the camaraderie I’ve seen at the games I cover.

While we don’t have a category on the All Roanoke-Chowan Football Team, I would like to give Jay Baugham at Northeast Academy a team spirit award.

There hasn’t been a game that I couldn’t hear his voice above all other cheering on his teammates.

It hasn’t mattered in the Eagles were ahead or trailing, on offense or defense, Baugham is always cheering on his team and encouraging the rest of the sideline to do the same.

I have been covering Northeast for four years and I must say that this year’s team is the closest definition of a team I have seen.

In past years players have criticized each other coming off the field.

This year, they pick each other up.

I think I am safe in saying that this “team” attitude is a result of Collin Sneed and his coaching staff’s attitude about the game. Teams don’t give up on each other and the Eagles have embraced this philosophy and run with it.

You only need to look at their three wins to see the difference.

I covered Northampton-East Monday night and one player stood out.

I don’t know his name, but number 22 is the motivator on that sideline.

I heard him tell other players that just because they were on the sidelines was no reason not to cheer the players on the field.

He led the team in pulling for the Rams offense, which pulled out a two-point victory.

I’ve always said that one of the benefits of playing sports is learning to work as a team.

I may not be on a sports team anymore, but I still work with a team in my job as an Extension Agent.

I’ve been to a number of teamwork trainings and working in the real world isn’t that different from playing on a team. The boss, in my case my director, is the coach.

The other staff members make up the team.

It’s true there is no starting line up but we do have to condition. I’ll be the first to admit that doing teambuilding activities with my co-workers is 10 times better than running suicides with my soccer teammates.

I couldn’t begin to count the number of books that have been written on coaching in the workplace. The parallels between coaching a football (or soccer, tennis or any other sport) and being in a leadership position are numerous.

Otherwise there wouldn’t be a market for books by Mike Krzyzewski, Pat Summitt or Dean Smith.

Playing on a team teaches players so many things they can’t learn in a classroom.

They learn you can’t always win. They learn that you may try your best but still come up short.

They learn not everyone is the starter or the star.

They also learn that if one part of the team fails, the whole team fails.

In Monday night’s game, Southeast Halifax had an opportunity to score before time expired. Had the Rams defense not held, the offensive line’s work would have been for naught.

If number 22 hadn’t got the sidelines behind their team on the field, who knows what would have happened.

Heather Odom can be reached at sports@r-cnews.com.