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Letter: Big congratulations to Libby girls soccer

| November 4, 2009 11:00 PM

Dear Editor:

I want to give a big congratulations and high-five to the Libby girls high school soccer team. Undefeated regular season and in the state championship – what a great accomplishment! I’ve loved following their season from where I work in Thailand.

I haven’t had a chance to be on the sidelines, and won’t be at any awards ceremonies. But I want to say that I believe this team includes a great group of girls. They are not just good athletes, they are not just disciplined and hard-working, they are not just talented – though they are all of these things.

They are also humble. They’re nice to each other. They take care of each other. They have fun. They’re not perfect, but they are exceptional.

Lest you think I’ve lost perspective to make a big deal of a soccer game, I don’t think I have. I work with people from Burma, normal people who are under attack by a dictator’s army, who live under constant threat of abandoning their homes.

They love soccer, too, and I’ve played in some great games in the villages we visit – sometimes only hours from enemy army camps, where the fields are packed dirt, or old rice fields, rocky and rutted, the players are barefoot.

But the joy of playing is the same, in Libby and in Burma. The fun is the same, the effort and dedication to the game is the same.

The call is the same, for this game, as for each moment we’re given here.

It’s the call to give your best, to throw yourself into it with joy. And I think these girls have done this – 13-1 seasons don’t come about from half-efforts. Ten years from now, girls, you’d better not be watching game film and looking back on this season as the highlight of your life – this is just the beginning! But I do hope you look back on it as a time when you were called on to give your best – and did.

You girls are awesome! And I’m proud of you.

Hosannah Valentine

Chiang Mai, Thailand