This I Believe

Luke - LaGrange, Illinois
Entered on February 26, 2007
Age Group: Under 18
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I Believe You Will Always Need a Friend

To succeed in almost any sport, team work is needed. In no sport is that more apparent than in hockey. Every play is dependant on everyone being in the right position and reacting appropriately to any situation. Behind every goal and great play there is a team of people that make it possible.

The game was tied with little hope for a swift victory. We were at a disadvantage. A selfish act by our teammate had resulted in a penalty against our team. He still sat in the box and our team was left shorthanded on the ice. With only a few minutes left, we either had to score or settle for a tie. The odds that faced us only fueled the intensity with which we fought. We knew that every stride and every pass had to count if we were to win the game. As the crowd cheered with excitement we took the ice for our last shift. We slowly skated down the ice to line up in the opponents zone. Taking our positions we prepared ourselves for the referee to signal the face off. With the drop of the puck the once motionless players sprang into action pushing and fighting to gain control of the puck. After a few failed attempts to pass the puck to an open man in front of the net the center took a chance and started to skate it to the corner. Without hesitation he slid the puck to me at the point. I gained control of the puck, wound up and ripped a shot from the top of the circle. The puck zipped past the horde of people in front of the net, narrowly squeezing between the goalies glove and pad hitting the back of the net. Astonished I raised my stick triumphantly in the air. Still awe struck, I was greeted with the cheers of gratitude by my teammates. I was surprised too, at my own feelings of gratitude. I was proud of my fortunate shot. But I was more thankful for what my team had given me a chance to accomplish. I knew my goal was just the culmination of a long line of accomplished moves by my team.

This experience has given me a renewed respect for each person’s contributions on and off the ice. I realize each decision, each effort by each individual makes a difference. We may not win every game but we can take pride in our commitment to each other and to excellence. I know that if I make a good decision and I try my hardest I am contributing positively to something bigger. I also know that personal success does not come in isolation. You will always need help from your friends.