In today's world of 24-hour sports television and the increased attention to athletic competition, some of the things that have touched me the most are the actions of our student athletes who are not in the spotlight.
I am amazed every Tuesday and Thursday morning when I arrive on campus in the predawn hours to see our army of cross-country runners as they prepare to defend their seven straight state championships. Silently in the mist they circle the campus as coaches bark out splits and times and they push each other to become the best they can be.
After great competitions with 6A Bob Jones and Cullman High School this week, our volleyball team, wearing Randolph game jerseys, cheer as a team the entire football game on Friday night and made it very apparent that we are Randolph.
The swimming and dive team began their season this week with a great meet on Tuesday, yet Coach Chou is one of the first to ask what he could do to help with athletic preparations.
The cheer squad battles the funky musk that typically surrounds a football team's locker room to hang signs and let the boys know that they will be supported.
The Randolph School honor code was made very apparent to me on Friday night. Thirty minutes before kickoff as tensions were high and the team was preparing, I found a dollar bill in the doorway of the locker room. I asked the team if anyone had lost a dollar. Not thinking, I placed the dollar on a bench and continued the game prep.
At the end of the game, after much of the celebration was over, as I checked the locker area for pads or equipment, I noticed the dollar bill was still in the exact place I had left it before the game. It was quickly quite humbling as I realized we are teaching much more than football or sports at Randolph, but we had won many more things than cannot be indicated on a scoreboard.
On Friday night, as the bus left, and most of the team had departed, and the coaches were unloading the last of the equipment, I saw a senior make his way to the stairs of the empty gymnasium as he prepared to leave. I watched as he tiredly climbed the stairs and, as he neared the top, he raised both hands over his head as a champion. It made my heart leap as I realized that we are winning.
Photo by Debbie Tomlinson taken at the September 7 Friday night game, submitted by Jill Gaunt. "I think this picture says so much about our school—that we are a K-12 school and how much the little kids look up to the bigger kids." (The number 5s are a kindergartner and his senior buddy.)