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This year’s was Paco’s first playing competitive sports.
All along, I told him that my only standard for success was “leave it all on the field.”
I didn’t care if he won or lost, scored or didn’t. I cared how hard he tried.
And tried he did. Every play. I was very proud of him.
Now, of course, we like to win as much as anyone and his team made it to the championship game.
With minutes left in the game, his team was leading 1-0.
Paco was in goal.
The other team (Blue) kicked a ball from a relatively far distance, it took an admittedly weird bounce and went over his 3’5” frame into the goal to tie the game.
Ultimately, the game went into overtime and Blue beat Paco’s team (Gold) for the victory.
Surprisingly, Paco wasn’t that upset about the goal. That is, he didn’t feel like he had cost his team the victory, but he was DISTRAUGHT about the loss.
He cried on my shoulder for a good few minutes.
He wanted to win so badly and I felt his pain so much that I started to get choked up.
I admired his guts and his determination. His desire for excellence and victory.
I didn’t like that he was too upset to go shake hands in the post-game lineup, but I suppose I get it.
Still, I was proud of him.
Even beyond that, I was surprised by how much my emotions were wrapped up in his.