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Cowboys honor Valdosta High athlete, Colton Shaw

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The legendary journalist and sports writer, Heywood Broun, once said: “Sports do not build character; they reveal it.” He might have been on to something. On Wednesday, March 25, Valdosta High freshman, Colton Shaw, was struck in the head by an errant throw while he was in the dugout at a game in Moultrie. He was pronounced dead the next day at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital. The tragedy has shaken many parents, athletes and coaches to the core. However, instead of widespread misery, the tragic news has influenced many teams throughout the area to come together and show their support for Colton's loved ones. Like a phoenix, hope has sprung from the ashes of a tragedy; rivals have become teammates and athletes are exhibiting vast amounts of kindness, support and the best kind of sportsmanship one has ever seen. Madison County's very own Cowboys are a perfect example. Upon hearing of Colton Shaw's death, Head Coach Terry Barrs and his players were greatly saddened. In support of Shaw's family and teammates, Barrs took the Varsity and JV players to the visitation on Saturday, March 28. According to a baseball mom, the Cowboys waited three hours to express their condolences to the family, even though they were among the first to arrive at the VHS auditorium. The Cowboys proved they value what is most important, placing competition aside, as well as their time, in order to do the right thing. In addition, during their match-up against Hamilton County on March 30, the JV Cowboys honored Shaw by placing his number on their helmets and on April 1, when the Cowboys played Valdosta High School, they presented the team with a tree in memory of their teammate. Perhaps the positive benefits of sports outweigh the negative. It's certain much can be said for the game of baseball; a game which has a way of bringing people together, teaching the importance of friendship and team work and, above all, growing boys into men. After all, the “Great Bambino,” Babe Ruth, once said: “Baseball was, is and always will be, to me, the best game in the world.”

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