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Weston Sixth Grader Wins Writing Contest

More than 2,000 students entered The Sports Museum writing contest.

The following information is from TD Garden's community relations coordinator:

Weston resident Jenna Letterie of the was chosen as the winner of the grade 6 division of The 2012 Will McDonough Writing Contest. The contest, presented by The Sports Museum and sponsored by Bank of America and the Boston Globe, is open annually to students in grades 4 to 12. The Sports Museum received approximately 2,000 entries for this year’s contest
and judges were asked to pick one winner from each grade. Letterie won the contest two years ago also, as a fourth grader.

Letterie’s essay, “Winning and Losing with Integrity,” will be displayed in the Will McDonough exhibit within The Sports Museum until April 2013. Thanks to the continued support from the Boston Celtics, Letterie and the other contest winners attended the Boston Celtics vs. Milwaukee Bucks game on Thursday, April 26, immediately following the awards ceremony held at the TD Garden. The winners watched the game from the press level at the TD Garden and experienced what it’s like for writers to cover a professional sporting event. Each winner was also awarded an e-reader.

The Will McDonough Writing Contest is designed to encourage the development of language and writing skills while incorporating the topic of sports and concepts such as teamwork, respect, and perseverance. Judges from the Boston Globe hold the entries to the highest of standards, and all entries are judged on organization, expression and how well the topic was addressed.

Will McDonough, a Boston Globe columnist of 44 years, was the Globe’s only sports-writer to be nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. McDonough passed away in January 2003. Sports editor for the Boston Globe and one of the judges for the contest, Joseph Sullivan, sites McDonough, as “a legend, one of the greatest sports journalists in history.” McDonough was a mentor to young writers and for this reason, The Sports Museum and his colleagues from the Globe dedicated this contest in his memory.

Below is Jenna Letterie's winning entry:

Winning and Losing with Integrity
Based on a True Story

By Jenna Letterie

“Coach,’’ I asked as I boarded the bus nervously, “Can I talk to your team?’’
Two hours earlier chants had filled the arena. “St. Pat’s, St. Pat’s!” The crowd was so wild I could hardly focus. We had just started overtime and we needed a goal to win. After about a minute, everything stopped. It was all a blur. All I could see was a red light flashing behind the glass in our end. The Panthers had just scored and would be advancing to the semi-finals.

I dropped to the ice and covered my face with my hands. A million thoughts raced through my mind. . . How could we lose? We’ve beat this team five times in the past two years. Why did we have to lose this game? I knew it would be extremely hard to win the Division One title four years in a row. I needed to let the loss sink in.

I couldn’t change what had just happened, so I decide to make the best of it. I forced myself to get up off the crisp ice surface and to shake hands with the Panthers hockey team. When my team and I reached center ice, there were only a few girls waiting to shake hands. I wondered why these girls weren’t involved in the excitement. Then it hit me. The girls were the seniors on
the team. They had experienced losing important games in the past like this one. They knew what it felt like to be the losing team. They weren’t cheering because they knew how we must have felt. They didn’t want to rub the loss in. Although they were probably extremely proud and excited because they had just beaten an undefeated team, they tried not to show their emotions. The Panthers won with class. The other girls that were cheering came over to shake
our hands as well. They were very considerate and understood how hard it was for us to lose after an incredible hundred game unbeaten streak.

As I was walking to the parking lot, I thought we were very fortunate to have lost to such a classy team. Instead of walking to our bus, I walked straight over to the Panthers bus without hesitation.

“Coach,’’ I asked as I boarded the bus nervously, “Can I talk to your team?’’

“Go right ahead, young lady,’’ he replied.

The Panther girls were silent. I cleared my throat and said, “That was a great game. If anyone was going to beat us, we’re glad it was you. We respect you all so much.’’

The Panther’s attitude showed me that you don’t achieve greatness by putting the puck in the net. You achieve greatness by winning with integrity.

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