The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

April 17, 2014

Soccer rival 'plays it forward' to Tanner High

— The idea of “paying it forward” is an ages-old concept when someone is the beneficiary of a good deed repays it to someone else.

In Wednesday’s News Courier, Kim West wrote a touching story about one school soccer team paying it forward to another team who helped out the family of a classmate.

Recently, the Tanner girls soccer team donated their uniform money to the family of Alexis Hamilton, a Tanner senior who died in her sleep last month.

A parent of a Madison Academy girls soccer player heard about the Tanner girls good deed and got Madison Academy parents and players to pay the Rattlers’ $300 donation forward.

After only a few days, they raised $4,500 and presented it to the Tanner team last week.

The two schools are on-field foes — particularly in football — but they showed clearly what sportsmanship and sports should be all about.

They put aside their rivalry for a more important cause — helping their fellow students.

It’s a lesson we all should learn and a reason to praise the next generation.