This I Believe

Austin - Rockford, Michigan
Entered on January 21, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: sports
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I have been involved in sports all my life. Sports have been a good way to learn the values of teamwork and hard work. Recently, in high school, I have focused on water sports; swimming and water polo. The Rockford water polo program has been very successful in the last few years. This year was my senior year and the year I was really tested.

I am considered short for most people. My height is five foot and five inches. However, size has less of an influence in the water. My skills in the water outweighed my size, so I was a starter this year. Being a starter put a lot of pressure on me. Being the smallest on our team, every team we went against always tried to take advantage of me. Their plan was to match me up with a bigger player in front of the goal. The team and I knew the final game was going to a tough one.

The championship game was a close game. It started out very slow. The first quarter was back and forth. Each team had chances to score, but both goalies were solid. The first quarter went scoreless. Then, the opposition struck. I was guarding my man when he pulled his arm back. I put my arm up to block it, but with no effect. The ball flew past my arm and the goalie. Their bench went nuts. They had gained the momentum. We were crushed. They managed to score once more before the half to make the score 2-0.

Halftime was a somber one. We were down and couldn’t score anything in the first half. The possibility of a comeback seemed slim. However, we were determined. We were not going to back down from this challenge. This was the last game and the biggest one of the entire season. We did a cheer and lined up for the third period.

The second half started much like the first quarter. Then, we caught a break. Our lefty was able to force the ball past their goalie. The fans cheered, but we were still down by one. Just a little later, our team high scorer was able to get the ball in front of the net and fake out the goalie for another goal. Our bench was frantic. We had tied up the game. We had gained the momentum. Before the end of the third quarter, we scored two more goals. However, the opposition had managed to score another goal. The score was 4-3, we were winning.

The fourth quarter was very tense. Both teams put up a hard fight. Each team made one more goal and the game was over. We had won the state championship for Michigan 5-4. We didn’t back down from the challenge. We were determined to win. We believed and made it happen. This is why I believe in determination.