To overcome adversity is a tough lesson to learn and it’s a lesson the Southridge baseball team had to learn quickly.
Monday night the raiders lost the 2A State Championship at Victory Field in Indianapolis after a heartbreaking defeat.
Wednesday night a community rally was held for them.
Facing hundreds of people with a smile on their face was hard for the Raiders, but they say it was all worth it to show their supporters just how much they mean.
“It’s ok to be hurt, it’s ok to be down, to struggle with the outcome,” said head coach Gene Mattingly.
It was a hit to the outfield that no Southridge player could catch and in the blink of an eye, it was over.
“Life’s never easy and it’s not supposed to be, but how we face that adversity and how we bounce back is what makes a difference,” said Mattingly.
In that moment, the Raiders were comforted by their opponents, the Alexandria Monroe Tigers.
“That was a respectable thing. Take a lot of guts to do,” said senior Tucker Schank.
The players and coaches left Indianapolis heartbroken, but knew that this loss would not and could not defeat them.
Less than 24 hours later, Mattingly’s team faced hundreds at a rally back at their high school sitting face to face with their fans, giving back the love and affection they received.
“There’s sometimes things are uncomfortable but they’re the right thing to do,” said Mattingly.
“Seems like we don’t really want to be here we don’t want to go to that but once we got here and go to look everyone in the face… I’m glad we got to go through it. Makes a hard weekend feel a lot better,” said Schank.
Schank says the loss taught him an invaluable lesson: stop focusing on the end result and start enjoying the journey to get there.
“I learned you can do everything right you can work hard for months, with your eyes set on one goal and do everything possible to achieve it then at the end it could still be left up to chance, nothing’s guaranteed.”
The team proved to be bigger than baseball, as they’re leaving a lasting impact not only in their school, but community.