Recently, the Upper Arlington Hastings seventh-grade girls basketball team won their way through its tournament to the championship game.

Despite the loss in the final game, the path to get there was a Cinderella story with a huge upset over the undefeated, top-seeded team in the second game.

However, what was more moving than anything was the support the girls received from their peers, teachers and community. On the day of the championship game, the HMS wrestling team lined the hallway and cheered the girls as they made their way out of the school and onto the bus.

The HMS boys basketball team came to the game with handmade signs to cheer on the girls, and they brought them candy the day after their disappointing loss. Hastings and Jones families filled the stands. The coach and several girls from the UAHS varsity basketball team not only attended the game but also greeted the girls outside their locker room and cheered them on as they took the court. HMS teachers brought their own kids to watch the big game.

This was all in addition to the personal family and friends of the girls who came out to watch them play.

As parents, we could not have been more proud of the players and their coaches. The girls played every game with heart, power and good sportsmanship. Coach Tom Sappington modeled what it looks like to coach with intensity, passion and integrity. And looking around at the crowd that made time in their busy lives to be there, our pride extends to our whole community.

It may just be middle school basketball, but the support and love this team felt means much more than a trophy.

Jennifer Jupp

Upper Arlington