Brook Hill volleyball recognized for special sportsmanship - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Brook Hill volleyball recognized for special sportsmanship

BULLARD, TX (KLTV) - As the Brook Hill Lady Guard wind down one of their final volleyball practices of the season, they take with them countless memories. The thrill of victory. The agony of defeat.  But the defining moment of the 2014 Lady Guard has nothing to do with wins or losses.

"I was expecting memories like really close games, or funny memories and stuff," said Brook Hill senior Samantha Anderson.  "This is totally different than anything I've experienced in my three years."

Earlier this month, Brook Hill visited a new district opponent.  Brighter Horizons Academy in Garland, is a small Islamic school, playing volleyball for the very first time. 

The Lady Guard didn't know what to expect. What they found was an over matched opponent.

"Once we got there we saw that that team wasn't at the level we were at," said Brook Hill senior Lindsey Wheeler.  "So Coach (Ricky) Clements told us we we're going to play with them and let them play.  We would pass it and play it back over."

The teams started rooting for each other.

"Throughout the game they (Brighter Horizons) got better and better," said Anderson. "We won a game 25 to 16. They had never scored 16 points in a game before. It gave you a feeling so much better than winning."

Brook Hill would eventually win on the scoreboard. Brighter Horizons was the team celebrating.

"I wasn't expecting a response like that at all," said Brook Hill junior Charlie Niles.  "They were so happy and so grateful, just having a fun time. It made us have a fun time."

"After the game all the parents came down and took pictures," said Anderson.  "We were all giggling because our cheeks started to hurt."

Brook Hill AD Wally Dawkins received a thank you from the Brighter Horizons athletic director.

The official for the game, Craig Kidwell, sent a letter to TAPPS, commending Brook Hill's coaches and players, calling it the best sportsmanship he'd seen in nearly 40 years of officiating.

"Brook Hill could have beat them 25 to 0 if they wanted to," said Kidwell.  "They could have been that dominant. But they chose sportsmanship, class and integrity."

After officiating another Brighter Horizons game a week later, Kidwell says the girls were still talking about they fun they had, and the friends they made from Brook Hill.

"They were so welcoming of our girls being kind to them," said Dawkins.  "I think it's an example for all of us."

"It made me realize what we did mattered," said Niles.  "This wasn't just another volleyball game. This changed the way they looked at volleyball and looked at us as Christians."

A senior memory, Anderson never expected.

"Being able to do something in a game that will affect other peoples lives outside of it," said Anderson.  "Is what truly is important."

Copyright 2014 KLTV. All rights reserved.


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