The best sportsmanship of the CLAA conference basketball tournament took place on the sidelines in Carroll County, Missouri. And while the players on Northwestern’s and Hardin-Central High School’s basketball teams no doubt made it an exciting game, it was their cheerleaders that will leave a lasting impression.
Brenda Milligan’s daughter cheered for Hardin-Central High that year and sent a video to WDAF News in Kansas City after the game showing the inter-school spirit.
After the cheer squad noticed that rival team Northwestern High only had one lone cheerleader on their sideline, they decided to cheer with her rather than against her. So they went over and introduced themselves, each learning the other team’s cheers.
They cheered together – for both teams – throughout the game.
Now that’s what we call “squad goals.”
The video shows the aftermath of Hardin-Central High’s generous gesture.
“My daughter and her squad took the nerve and went out to cheer with her. They learned her cheers and were able to present them to the crowd in a short amount of time. Many people were there supporting the girls in this great achievement.”
The local news tracked down the cheerleader that had been adopted by the opposing squad to get her take on the evening.
Tori Adams told WDAF that she traveled by herself to the game because the rest of her teammates were unavailable. Some were sick, but since the game had been rescheduled, it caused conflicts with other students’ schedules.
“My coach gave me the option to cheer or not cheer, and I felt like I had to be there for the team,” Adams said.
And she was grateful for the show of support – she felt awkward after performing a few cheers on her own.
“It was a little intimidating,” she said.
But when she took a break, the girls from Hardin-Central approached her.
“They learned some of my cheers and I learned some of their cheers,” she said. “It was a big relief.”
Since the video was posted online, it’s been viewed millions of times, including 2.3 million views on a national ABC News Facebook story about the good deed.
“That is awesome. A great show if what sportsmanship is all about!!! This shows team spirit and shows how awesome each of these cheerleaders are for supporting each other,” said one of the hundreds of commenters.
Many more pointed out that this was, indeed, the epitome of sportsmanship, which is literally defined as fair and generous behavior towards others.
And still others said adults could learn a lot from these teens bridging the divide.
In the end, people agreed that this is the kind of news we need more of, especially when it comes to sports.
“When we talk about true sportsmanship this is the example that should be used. It really isn’t about winning or losing and it really is about HOW you play the game. Though honestly, I see absolutely no losers her.”
While the majority of commenters gave credit to the parents (which, to some extent, they deserve), these teens made the decision as a group – and on their own – to make the move. They’re responsible for their actions, both good and bad, so let’s put them front and center when it comes to the kudos as well.
Be sure to scroll down below to see the footage captured by one proud parent.
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High school cheerleading squad adopts the lone member of their rival squad in an incredible display of sportsmanship. http://abcn.ws/2EmaEKl
Posted by ABC News on Tuesday, February 13, 2018