Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 6, 1998

L’Observateur / May 6, 1998

Being a winner is a great feeling. For those who’ve never experienced thesensation of being part of a winning team, it’s an emotion so thrilling, so exciting, it can hardly be matched.

The softball teams at St. Charles Catholic and Lutcher high schools nowknow this heady feeling. It’s a taste of celebrity in their schools andcommunities, and there are valuable lessons to be learned from the experience.

Some lessons, those of sportsmanship, overcoming adversity, sticking to discipline and keeping a sense of humility and good grace, are all valuable lessons, to be sure.

One important lesson, hardly ever mentioned, is to not let this experience be the highlight of their lives. Too often, the afterglow of this sensationis allowed to coast for years, with little effort spent to go beyond, perhaps in other endeavors, to continue that good feeling of success.

And, to continue this unorthodox lesson, the members of the softball team at Riverside Academy are learning much from their own experience of coming in second. It’s often said “almost” only counts in horseshoes.That’s not true. There are teams across the state, some of whom playedRiverside, who could only dream of what Riverside achieved. Nothing canor should be taken away from their accomplishments.

It’s also a heady feeling for the fans as well, knowing as we do that the athletic programs in the River Parishes are unrivaled in overall quality, year after year, decade after decade. We have a long-standing traditionand expectation of excellence in the River Parishes which continues generation to generation.

Over the years, we’ve had state champions in virtually every sport within the River Parishes region, football to baseball, track to swimming, softball to tennis. There’s a tradition of hard work, high self-esteem andaiming at high goals – and reaching them, too.

It’s no surprise, therefore, that so many athletes from the River Parishes grow up and make their mark in adult life, in business, industry and politics. They learn early how to compete, set and meet goals, sacrificefor success and set positive examples.

Lessons learned in high school athletics are lessons for life, offering a blueprint for success and insuring the continuation of our traditions of excellence.

The teams and coaches are proud of what they have achieved, and rightly so. They are joined in that pleasure by their classmates, parents and otherfans.

Let’s not forget, though, this is only the beginning of what can be a lifetime filled with achievement and success.

It’s pretty neat to see your name and picture in the paper and to look up in the stands to see your proud parents smiling down. They know what you’refeeling. They’ve been there.Congratulations to Lutcher, St. Charles Catholic and Riverside for theirbanner years. You have achieved so much, and we are all quite proud of you.Best of luck for continued successes.

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