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“Play to win.” It’s a well-known phrase and a mantra held by many sports teams in our world today. After all, how many people would sign up for a team, attend practices, and then on game day, walk out onto the field or court saying to themselves, “Today I’m going to lose.”? Of course the answer is that nobody says that. Everybody always wants to win. But does the overwhelming desire to win keep them from the true meaning of playing the game?

With the first ever Holy Trinity Basketball team established and the second year of soccer starting up, competition is or will be on everyone’s mind. The most important thing to think about though is why we play. Holy Trinity doesn’t play to win trophies; we play to learn lessons.

Holy Trinity teams compete in order to develop personal virtues and, most importantly, to glorify God with the physical body He has given us. Athletics is an extension of education, that teaches discipline, hard work, dedication, responsibility, health-consciousness, and the importance of teamwork. For some people, these lessons are better learned on a field than anywhere else in the world.

If you spend any time at all at the school, you’ll see how athletically gifted some of the students are. God has given them these talents and sports gives them a way to use them. Practices are rigorous, and a lot of work goes into developing the team. Both the coaches and the athletes do their best and pour their hearts into representing the school through sports. The school motto is “Soli Deo Gloria”- Glory to God alone. This applies in the field of extracurricular athletics as well as school, and all Holy Trinity students are taught to be humble and give all glory to God whether in triumph or defeat. After all, the true prize is not a victor’s title, but knowing that God is pleased with our efforts to glorify Him.

To be clear, winning in sports in not a bad thing. It’s fun, it’s gratifying, and realistically, not every game played in the world can always end in a tie. But no matter how fun it may be, winning should never outweigh kindness, or dignity, or Christ. No matter what happens during a game, you will always see Holy Trinity students being gracious to their opponents and congratulating them on a game well played. Holy Trinity teams play to learn and winning is just a bonus.

Our student blogger, Caroline O’Neal, is in the 9th grade at HTCCS.