Coach Greg Rota could have let it go. But he didn’t. He didn’t need to win that badly. What he needed was to be honorable.
Rota coaches the golf team at Westborough High School in Massachusetts. His team had just won a state championship. They had just gotten the trophy. All the kids were posing for the photographers and enjoying the moment. Meanwhile, the opposing team from Woburn High School the losing team was already on the bus back home.
Then Rota discovered something a little funny on the score card. Something to do with the action at the 18th hole. Instead of letting it slide, he decided to investigate. He learned from one of his own players that a score at that hole had indeed been incorrectly recorded. The correction meant that Woburn had won after all. Rota’s team had lost.
Woburn senior captain Rob Pruyne told reporters, “Watching them roll around with the trophy kind of got to me. But then my coach called me last night and told me we had won. . . . [W]hen I heard it was their own coach that discovered the mistake, I couldn’t believe it. . . . It takes a lot of courage to do something like that.”
Why didn’t Coach Rota keep his doubts to himself?
“You can’t go through life that way,” he says. “[Woburn] worked just as hard as we did. It belonged to them. It wasn’t ours to take.”
By being honorable, Greg Rota has given his players an example far more valuable than any trophy. Coach Rota, you are a winner.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.