Friday, March 23, 2001
Carlisle Comments Something truly wonderful and miraculous
On Saturday afternoon, my husband Bob and I traveled to the Worcester Centrum to watch the Concord-Carlisle girls basketball team play the Oxford girls team for the state championship. Our girls dominated from the beginning of the game, and although their basketball skills were a thrill to watch, the game was not one of those edge-of-your-seat thrillers where the lead fluctuates back and forth and the outcome is unknown until the final seconds of the game.
Nevertheless, I found myself totally caught up in something elsesomething truly wonderful and miraculousthat was happening there. Here was a girls basketball championship game taking place at the Centrum in Worcester in front of a very well attended audience, so well attended, in fact, that Bob and I were unable to get very good seats by the time we arrived. Most of the studentsgirls and guysfrom the high school were there to cheer their team, as well as many adults from both Concord and Carlisle. And these were not just parents of the basketball players. Four male high school fans arrived with their bare chests each painted in a giant letter: CCHS on their fronts, PATS on their backs. The usual raucousness of any state championship game audience prevailed.
This was entirely fascinating to me. Now you might ask whether I've been asleep like Rip Van Winkle for the past 30 years, and I guess I would answer that I've spent the last 20 years caught up raising my boys and attending mostly boys athletic contests. Of course, I was aware that girls sports were being promoted, but I had never witnessed the results. Who were these people who changed the world as I knew it? We owe them an incredible debt of gratitude.
Anyone who went to school with me in the early sixties, or anytime earlier, will remember that there were no girls sportsnothing, zip, zero. Girls participation in school sports was limited to cheerleading, majorettes, or marching team, all activities where girls played, let's be honest, a decorative role. The only sports we ever played at school were played in gym class in those dowdy blue gymsuits they made us wear. And where did those gym teachers get those games we played? No one would ever recognize one of them today.
What a wonderful experience for the CCHS girls, one they will remember the rest of their lives. And what a wonderful experience for the entire school and the towns of Concord and Carlisle. But there is one experience that those girls will never have. They will never choke up, as I did, when a half dozen TV reporters with camcorders rush onto the basketball court at the end of the game to catch a girls basketball team in the moment of victory. For them, that will just be the way things are. Now isn't that a truly wonderful and miraculous thing?
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