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A Dream Deferred

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A Dream Deferred

To the athletes and families of the 2015 Rockford Christian boys cross country team:

On Friday, August 28, during my commute home after cross country practice had ended, I received a phone call informing me of a clerical error made by the IHSA regarding Rockford Christian’s 2015 enrollment and athletic classification. The corrected numbers, combined with the IHSA’s anti-private school multiplier policy, move our boys cross country team into the 2A division. I am disappointed to inform you that we will not have the opportunity to compete for the 1A state team title this fall.

What happens to a dream deferred?”

I anticipate an appeal from our administration, and I expect it to be rejected by the IHSA. Most likely, the boys will be placed in the 2A Belvidere North Regional and in the 2A Woodstock Sectional. This Sectional assignment will almost certainly include Dyestat preseason ranked #2 Grayslake Central, #5 Yorkville, #6 Crystal Lake Central, #7 Prairie Ridge, #8 Vernon Hills, #9 Belvidere North, #14 Kaneland, and #23 Sterling. These schools are some of the largest and most successful cross country programs in the 2A division. We will be David against a host of Goliaths in this Sectional.

“Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun?”

I refuse to allow the IHSA to define this program and for their discriminatory policies to break our spirit. Our 2015 team motto of “Champion in Training” was not selected for the pursuit of trophies and titles. The Rockford Christian cross country program is – and has always been – about the development of character via running. The gathering up of trophies, medals, and records, in and of themselves, is vanity. As Christian’s, we believe that everything we do can be an act of worship to God. We do not praise Him in victory alone. Rather, we honor Him through the manner in which we train and compete regardless of the outcome.

“Or fester like a sore – and then run? Does it stink like rotten meat? Or crust and sugar over – like a syrupy sweet?”

I’m not going to pretend that I have transcended this tribulation. I am hurting. However, I do not desire to be defined through the sport of cross country. Rather, I want to conform to the image of Jesus Christ – though I am a work in progress. I understand that the boys team will experience a wide range of emotions while we transition to this new classification together. I will strive to be mentor, coach, and teacher to these young men who have had a dream deferred. And I will do everything I can to help guide them through this turmoil to success.

“Maybe it just sags like a heavy load.”

I am working to adjust both our training cycles and racing schedule to help prepare us for the new challenge of competing in 2A cross country. This will take sometime to solidify and will require some patience and flexibility from the families of Rockford Christian cross country. I will continue to use the RC You Know page to communicate schedule changes as they occur.

“Or does it explode?”

I want the boys team to know that they have done nothing wrong. All the hard work and sacrifices they have made this summer have not been worthless. We will reap the fruits of our labor. Although our dream of a state team title for this season has ended, we will strive to qualify for the 2A state meet. We are going to show the IHSA, our critics, our competitors, our school, our families, and all who witness us compete that the Rockford Christian cross country program is comprised of young men of fortitude and integrity. Enrollments, labels, and trophies will not define us. We will be defined by our faith in each other, in ourselves, and in our Lord Jesus Christ.

Boys, I believe in you! As always, I am a friend for life…

-Coach Moore