Standing tall on the field

Published 9:35 pm Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Trying to pinpoint the best lesson sports can teach often depends on the last game someone’s been in or even just watched from the sideline or the couch. Certainly one of the best lessons, one that hopefully can be carried over to times that have nothing to do with bats or uniforms or scoreboards, is resiliency.

The toughest example of a Suffolk squad showing that trait clearly was Lakeland’s football team back in the late summer and fall.

After the tragic news that a Lakeland football player had been murdered last August — practically as the Cavaliers were beginning official preseason practices — the simple fact that the Cavaliers fielded any team at all for their season-opener a few weeks later at Wilson epitomized a spirit of perseverance.

Email newsletter signup

Sports provide plenty of chances to show both perseverance and resilience.

Consider basketball season, when Lakeland upset King’s Fork for the first time in five seasons and did so during the district tournament. Also, there was King’s Fork, which a couple of seasons ago had “nothing” to play for except pride and still upset Lakeland, as the Cavaliers were on the verge of a playoff spot.

Just within the last few days, Nansemond River’s baseball team was on both sides of the equation.

On Thursday, the Warriors dominated at Deep Creek for four innings before the Hornets stung NR for eight runs in one frame.

The Warriors couldn’t regroup in time for the last two innings Thursday, but they did so in time for Monday’s game, which was a 12-2 win over Hickory.

In part, the Warriors could be forgiven for still wondering “what if?” about the Deep Creek game. Counting Monday’s romp, that makes 11 fair-to-excellent innings out of the last 12 and a 1-1 record.

Beyond a high school sports season, though, turning around a totally disheartening loss and bouncing back is an experience to build on.

Now, rain permitting, comes the opposite test as there’s no time for Nansemond River to sit back and remember such a well-played game. Nansemond River hosted Lakeland Tuesday evening and just as one loss on Thursday couldn’t afford to become another loss Monday, a win Monday is most effective when followed by another.

And THAT takes perseverance.