Being on a team means you have your teammates back, whether it is on and off the field. Teammates often form close friendships that can last a lifetime. Without the support and various skills each player brings to the table, a team risks falling apart and failing. This was not the case with the basketball team of fifth-grade students from St. John's, a school in New Jersey.
The team has been playing as co-ed for about four years because there were not enough girls who want to form a separate team. However, two weeks ago the teams coed nature was discovered, the team was deemed "illegal" and their record was wiped. They were told to disband in order to finish their season. This all happened when the team was two games away from finishing the season. When the students were given the chance to decide whether the team should be split they unanimously voted against it. This decision ultimately forced the team to forfeit the remainder of their season.
Despite the efforts of the team members, parents, coaches, and even the archdiocese's new cardinal the team will not be able to stay in the league as is. Instead, the are legally required to find students to form a girls team or the girls will have to play for other parishes. The team has begun to speak out under #unitygames to fight to remain together.
Throughout my life, I have been on several teams from track to dance, and if your team does not support and protect you it can be a very unpleasant experience. The comradery that these players showed, by standing up for each other and what they think is right has is what it means to be on a team. While the students may end up coming to a conclusion that is best for them down the line this small act will influence their lives for many years to come.