Youth Sports Heroes: 12 for 2012

Every month in 2012 MomsTEAM contributing expert Doug Abrams has highlighted a Youth Sports Hero. As he does in December each year, he listed his top five in an article for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Can you guess which ones Doug picked as the top five? Which ones would you pick?

Youth Sports Heroes of the Month: St. Clairsville (Ohio) High School Football Team

Early in the fourth quarter, senior running back Michael Ferns broke through the line near midfield, and nothing but daylight stood between the St. Clairsville High School star and his twelfth touchdown of the season. What happened next made the entire team this month's youth sports heroes.

Youth Sports Hero of the Month: Seth Goldstein (East Memphis, Tenn.)

At a the half-way point during a recent high school cross country meet, one of the runners maintaining a brisk pace with a solid chance to win or place high, suddenly stopped running. What happened next makes him our Youth Sports Hero for November.

Youth Sports Hero of the Month: Meghan Vogel (West Liberty, Ohio)

When Meghan Vogel helped a fellow athlete across the finish line at a state championship track meet in Ohio, she became an instant YouTube sensation precisely because everyone would not have done the same.

Youth Sports Hero of the Month: Rashawn King (Apex, North Carolina)

This month's hero had much to be thankful for, and many people to thank, but his gratitude had nothing to do with the school community's support for his exploits on the gridiron or the court and everything to do with the school community's support in his battle to live.  (Photo credit: Takaaki Iwabu, News-Observer)

Youth Sports Hero of the Month: John Huether (West Roxbury, Mass.)

When a referee at a JV hockey game in Massachusetts suffered a serious concussion, a coach's act of exceptional sportsmanship set the kind of example for his players they will remember long after their playing days.

Youth Sports Heroes of the Month: Billerica (Mass.) Floggers U-15 Baseball Team

In this month's Heroes column, MomsTeam contributor Doug Abrams explains how a title-winning youth baseball team valued giving to a cause above personal recognition.

Youth Sports Heroes of the Month: Armando Galarraga (Cumana, Venezuela) and Jim Joyce (Beaverton, Oregon)

At Detroit's Comerica Park on the night of June 2, 2010, the nationally televised Detroit Tigers-Cleveland Indians game offered children - indeed, Americans of all ages - enduring lessons in compassion and personal responsibility. The teachers were a pitcher, Armando Galarraga, and an umpire, Jim Joyce, improbably thrust into the limelight after years in relative obscurity, and their dignity and grace created a "teaching opportunity" for parents, teachers and coaches who seek to shape children's values through sports.

Youth Sports Heroes of the Month: James Whitney and Kyle Christopher (Allegany, New York)

It was only the second inning, but the Allegany-Limestone High School Gators varsity baseball team was already losing big. Apparently angered that the Wellsville High School Lions had bunted with a 6-0 lead, the Gators' coach went to the mound and instructed his pitcher, James Whitney, to hit the next batter, Sawyer Korb. Worse yet, the coach reportedly told Whitney to throw at Korb's head.
Whitney refused, dropped the ball on the mound, and sprinted to the dugout. Gators relief pitcher Kyle Christopher also refused the coach's command to bean Korb, who struck out on the next pitch.  For demonstrating the courage of their values in the face of their coach's command, James Whitney and Kyle Christopher are Doug Abrams's youth sports heroes for the month of May.

Youth Sports Heroes of the Month: Kele Steffler (Durango, Colo.) and Connor Sherwood (Ellensburg, Wash.)

On March 1, 2011, the 20th annual National Sportsmanship Day again urges Americans of all ages to embrace wholesome values that professional and amateur sports too often lack these days -- values such as competing with grace and respecting your opponent, as this month's Youth Sports Heroes, Kele Steffler and Connor Sherwood, each did.
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