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Home arrow Opinion arrow Comeback kids


Comeback kids

If something has ever not gone your way because of a technicality, you know how hard it can be to retain your composure — much less persevere and continue to do your best against the odds.

Well, sometimes high school students can be good example for the rest of us.

Consider the stories of two Baker High School groups: the Bel Canto choir and the softball team.

Both had their dreams of going to their state competitions squashed by Oregon School Activities Association rules.

Both put together campaigns to win back their goals.

The Bel Canto choir was disqualified at their district competition because their performance was 30 seconds shy of the required length.

They tried again to qualify at a festival, scoring high enough to earn a place at the state competition. But through no fault of their own, only two of the three judges met OSAA's standards. The score would not count.

Put yourself in those shoes for a moment. It would be a tough place to be.

But advocates for the talented choir found another way in to the state tournament through a "tape pool" where judges listened to recordings of choirs without a state berth.

The result: a shot at state.

And the upshot: a state championship.

Baker's softball team has been singing a similar tune recently.

Off to an even 3-3 league record, the team discovered that a transfer student was ineligible to play. Under OSAA rules, the team had to forfeit all the games where the player ever stepped on the field.

In an instant, the softball team's league record went to 0-6.

You know what could have happened. The team could have imploded, pointing fingers at the player, the coach, the OSAA, anybody.

They didn't.

Instead, the players rallied around their technically-ineligible teammate. Seniors stepped up to take leadership roles and help drive the team. Players started trying that much more to improve. And a team that had some trouble early in the season started coming together like it hadn't before.

The result: the team played its way from last place in the league to a shot at third.

The upshot: Baker absolutely demolished Ontario last Friday to earn a shot at the state playoffs, defeating Sweet Home Monday in the first round.

In both cases, regardless of the outcome, it was the way the students and their adult leaders handled what had to seem like unfair setbacks that really shine through the stories.

So, congratulations are due to the Bel Canto choir for their accomplishment, and good luck to the softball team, who has us all humming along.


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