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Douglas E. Abrams, J.D.

Youth Sports Heroes of the Month: Jane Hoover (Elizabethtown, Pa.) and John Suren (Manassas, Va.)

Coaching today may create pressures and occasional frustrations, but earning the players' lasting respect pays a coach dividends for a job well done long after their memories of other heroes grow dim.

Youth Sports Heroes: Sticks for Soldiers Lacrosse (Fairfield, CT) and Patriots Challenge Cup Hockey (Pittsburgh, PA)

This month's Youth Sports Heroes are the organizers of the annual Sticks for Soldiers Lacrosse Classic in Fairfield, Connecticut and the Patriots Challenge Cup Hockey Tournament in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which exemplify the best of civic responsibility in sports.

Youth Sports Hero of the Month: Brayden Beckworth (Kenora, Ontario, Canada)

Generosity is learned behavior, and teaching the importance of giving is a lesson that can begun to be taught at a young age. By supporting worthy causes, youth leaguers, guided by their parents, can have a positive impact that contributes to meaningful change, as this month's Heroes column illustrates.

Youth Sports Heroes of the Month: Lewis Winter (Boca Raton, Fla.) and Nicholas Penberthy (East Amherst, N.Y.)

This month's youth sports heroes are giving the children of migrant farm workers in Florida and inner-city children in Buffalo a chance to play sports.

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: The Centralia (Ill.) High School Football Team

On a late-April Saturday morning in 2006, eleven members of the Centralia High School varsity football team were working on a community service project when they were asked to use their brawn to help safe a man's life.

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 Hero of the Month: Maria Pepe (Hoboken, New Jersey)

In sports, as in other areas of American life, the path to equality often awaits someone with courage to stand alone, supported perhaps only by family and friends, when acceptance of the status quo might seem easier. Maria Pepe's entire Little League baseball career lasted only three games, but her courage remade American youth sports. 


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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