“Character counts”: Ex-coach honors “Champions of Character”

(Pictured from left are: Meredith Lang, Hope Lutheran 8th grader; Tori Hammond, 7th grader; Erin Salle, 8th grader; Anika Lidstrom, 8th grader; Meghan Espinoza, 6th grader; Olivia Wake, 7th grader. They were coached by teachers Kristin Tarabochia, and Kim Hood)
We received that photo of Hope Lutheran basketball-team members from Bob Matthews, along with a tribute he wrote in honor of their recent effort. Read on to see what he wants you to know about them, and the lesson they taught:

Character Counts!!!

About 3000 years ago King Solomon wrote in Proverbs 21:2 Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD weighs the heart.

Isn’t it strange that motives and attitudes of our hearts are valued higher than results?

Many of you know that I coached for 33 years and won more than a few League titles and some State Championships in High School Sports. One thing I discovered early on is that athletes with character won more than those who had deficiencies in that area.

Character is the Heart. A heart keeps things in perspective. A heart puts passion into life. A heart considers others before itself. A heart hurts when things aren’t right in acts of commission or omission. A person with heart gives their best, their heart.

At the Lutheran Elementary Schools Tournament held in February at Concordia University in Portland, attended by schools from six western states, each school chose, by a consensus of coaches, teachers and administrators, a Champion of Character to represent their school. These students were introduced during the opening ceremonies and stood on the gym floor in front of a large crowd while the master of ceremonies read something about them.

Anika Lidstrom was the choice from Hope Lutheran School, and this is what was read about her in Portland:

“Anika has shown, especially in her 8th grade year, what it means to be a Champion of Character. Her teachers and coaches describe her as hardworking, full of integrity and servant hearted. Anika gives from her heart, whether it is at a church sponsored event as a volunteer, or helping her teammates in basketball. Anika exemplifies what Hope Lutheran School sees as a Champion of Character.”

For my own part I observed Anika and the Hope Girls 7th and 8th grade basketball team compete in Portland. These athletes had not won a game all year but won two in a row and came home with a beautiful third place trophy. Anika and these girls played with a passion I wish every athlete of mine could have had. As they say: “The cream rises to the top.”

Bob Matthews
Hope Administrator and
XC and Track Coach
Seattle Lutheran H.S. 1981-2001

1 Reply to ""Character counts": Ex-coach honors "Champions of Character""

  • The O'Connors March 6, 2009 (9:03 am)

    Way to go Anika! We are so proud of you. You are an amazing young lady.

Sorry, comment time is over.