Thursday, January 24, 2008

'Central girls' league streak hits 100'

Welcome to the softer side of HHR. It's not too often that we discuss high school sports, but this story was too good and too personal to pass up. Unfortunately I was not there to attend, but my old high school softball coach was able to win 100 consecutive games as the coach of the girl's basketball team.

Back in the day, I was an All-Public Softball Player. Made the varsity team as a freshman, but mostly because the Philly Board of Ed decided to cut JV sports a few years earlier to save money. Bastards. But, it did feel nice to be one of about 6 girls out of over 100 to make the team.

My coach, Frank Greco, took coaching from the traditional style and really made it personal. The four years I spent on that team built a level of skill, but most importantly a level of self-confidence and determination to be the best athlete I could be. But not just for myself, but for the greater good of our team.

He led our team in my senior year to the school's first Girl's Softball Public League title, and I think like 6 or 7 of us made the All-Public team (all-stars of Philly Public League sports). We like to think we started a dynasty. For a team that was about 12 years old by the time we won, they have only lost 1 championship since.

It makes me proud and happy to read this story today, because as my old Principal mentions in the story, "It's about creating a community. It's about creating something that goes far beyond the basketball court." Sports should always be about something more. Not only did Mr. Greco shape us as athletes, but he shaped us as individuals, and we're better people because of it.

My two girlfriends from HS still regale the days of ole, when we played for Grec, and they were some of the best times. I hope that my children are lucky enough to play for a coach like him.

I really hope that everyone out there reading this can remember why they loved sports so much. This is part of the reason I am the fan I am today. Because it was alwasy about something more. It brought me a sense of importance and contribution and community and responsibility - all lessons that I know helped make me the woman I am today.

Grec - Congratulations - you deserve it!!!!

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