Thomas Paine once said, “The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.” I admire the people who struggle and succeed in life, more than I do those who are handed an easy walk through life. To me, it shows true character to endure hardships through life. I believe that it is important to persevere through hard conflicts because the rewards will be great.
At the end of the last school year, the state playoffs for 5A soccer proved to be a struggle for our team. The week before, we barely squeaked out a win having to come from behind 3-1 against a strong St Paul squad. Going into the playoffs we had to play John Carroll who was undefeated and ranked 9th in the nation. The newspapers and online forums were overloaded with pro-John Carroll articles. We weren’t given a chance. The Friday came up for us to travel on a long and quiet bus ride to Huntsville. We arrived and went into the locker rooms where, again, it was silent. As the game ahead of us was ending, our coach began to give us a talk. In him, I found what seemed to be the only person who was confident that we could be the first team to beat the John Carroll squad. After his speech, we were all convinced we would win and had to prove to the people that we were worthy of being in the championship game.
The game began. It was the hottest day of the year. They were quick and came at us in the first few minutes of the game. They missed crucial opportunities and stunned us all. Minute after minute they continued to come at us. Nearing the end of the first 45 minute period, a glimpse of hope came when our forward Sean Tilford broke away from the defense and scored. We were all stunned. We were winning! Soon after, the whistle blew for half time. Having 45 minutes left to play, we were still very nervous. The second half began and I remember it was the longest 2nd half I have ever played. Our defense battled hard for over 35 minutes. Finally with 6 minutes left in the game, another one of our forwards scored to put us up 2-0. We had finished them off. Being up 2 goals, all of our nervousness broke into joy. We waited for 6 minutes until we were finally admitted into the championship game. Our fans, players, and coaches went hysterical when the final whistle blew. We had accomplished the impossible.
Beating John Carroll is most likely the most exciting day of my life. Our team was given an impossible task and turned it into a reality. This is why my belief is that overcoming hard tasks will reap wealthy rewards.
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