“Our friendship is more important than just the silly outcome of a game.”
Sportsmanship is too broad — and too important — of an art form to describe in a small quote. But some of the greatest athletes who have ever lived have summed it up like this:
“You’ve got to be able to lose in grace and win in grace.” — Michael Jordan
“The moment of victory is much too short to live for that and nothing else.” — Martina Navratilova
“Sportsmanship is making sure you have respect for the guy you’re playing across from.” — Warren Moon
A new video from Minnesota, which has since gone viral, shows a young man who appears to have perfected the highest art of sportsmanship at a young age.
Ty Koehn, a pitcher for Mounds View High School in Minnesota, was on the mound for the final out in a sectional championship game. Up to bat was his close friend, Jack Kocon, of Totino-Grace High School.
Koehn struck out his friend to end the game, sending his team to the state championships.
But instead of celebrating with his teammates on the mound, he made a beeline to his buddy to console him in his defeat.
Here’s another angle.
For Koehn, it’s just what friends do. “We are very close friends,” he told Bring Me the News. “I knew him from all the way back when we were 13. We were on the same little league team. It was tough when we went to separate schools but we kept in touch.”
Koehn’s coach, Mark Downey, wasn’t surprised by the teenager’s behavior.
“Ty’s actions the other night do not surprise me and are reflective of what I might expect from any one of the players on the team,” Downey said to Bring Me the News. “All really great kids, just a joy to be around on a daily basis.”
Koehn and the Mound View Mustangs move on to play the No. 2 seed Stillwater in the state Class 4A quarterfinals on Thursday, June 14.
“I knew the game was going to keep going or it was going to end right there,” Koehn added. “I knew I had to say something. Our friendship is more important than just the silly outcome of a game. I had to make sure he knew that before we celebrated.”