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Everyone’s an all-star

I had the privilege of attending the annual Halifax County-South Boston Sports Hall of Fame on Saturday.

Each of the six inductees — Ward Burton, Richard Wilkins, Lawson Osborne, Todd Trickey, Louie Seabolt Jr. and the late Everett Taylor — is deserving of the honor of being included with the 87 already in the Hall.

I was struck by the humility of each inductee, who noted the help of family, friends and the community in helping them achieve the levels of excellence they achieved in their respective sports. 

I also attended opening ceremonies for the Halifax-South Boston Dixie Softball League Saturday and Sunday, and again I was struck by the numbers of parents and coaches who take time out of their busy schedules to work with our youth.

Noting all the youth baseball leagues set to open in the next several weeks, it’s clear to me the amount of sacrifices made by parents and volunteer coaches are paying off.

Youth sports programs in Halifax County have been templates for success the past decades, with multitudes of teams garnering district and state championships.

Three Dixie all-star softball teams have reached the pinnacle of their sport by winning World Series championships, and several other softball and baseball all-star teams have come close.

A number of teams have returned home from tournaments with sportsmanship awards, and to me that tells more about a team than winning championships.

It tells me that those players and coaches do things the right way and play with passion and respect for the game.

Sports can be a vehicle for teaching life lessons, including discipline, teamwork and reaching common goals.

In rural communities such as Halifax County, sports are vital in providing a supervised outlet for youth, and they also are vital in bringing much-needed revenue to the county while hosting various tournaments during the summer months.

The all-stars you see on the field during post-season tournaments are just the tip of the iceberg.

Louie Seabolt Jr., son of a coach and one of the six inducted Saturday night into the Halifax County-South Boston Hall of Fame, recalled his father’s coaching philosophy, one that emphasized doing your best despite the circumstances.

“A person who tried never made an error,” Seabolt said in recalling his father’s advice.

For each all-star you see, there are a number of youth who are deserving of their own sportsmanship awards for doing things the right way, both on and off the field.

Each is an all-star in my mind.