|High School quarterback proved to America that winning isn't everything
Officials' Quarterly Spring 2004 Magazine
At a time when most high school students are struggling with insecurities, the physical and emotional changes of adolescence and the shift from childhood to adulthood, Springfield (Illinois) Southeast High School quarterback Nate Haasis proved to players, coaches and the nation that he was more of an adult than many of us.
Haasis is just one of a million high school football players in America, yet his selfless actions in his final game on October 25 made him stand out among that vast crowd. Haasis unselfishly declined the opportunity for his name to join the short list of high school quarterbacks who have passed for more than 5,000 yards in their careers. He refused to allow his final, record-breaking pass of his career to be recorded because his coach manipulated the last play of the game with the help from the opposing team's coach so that he could pick up the additional 37 yards he needed to reach that vaunted mark that most quarterbacks can only dream about.
As a result, Haasis has changed the way many high school student-athletes, parents, coaches and administrators are viewing sportsmanship. His selfless actions have forced all of us as a society to step back and re-examine our philosophies and attitudes, and ask ourselves what we would have done in the same situation. Naturally, we would all like to think that we would have exercised the same good sense and precocious wisdom that Haasis exhibited. Because of his selfless actions, he has been very deservedly featured in Sports Illustrated and The Sporting News, and was ABC World News Tonight's Person of the Week, which is generally reserved for influential, world-changing baby boomers.
What makes this act so uncommonly significant is that it was so selfless, honest and full to the brim with integrity. Whether it's heroes in wartime, whistle blowers on corporate crimes or people who give to others all year long and not just seasonally, the essence of human honor is evident in actions like Haasis'. He denied a chance that many would have jumped at.
The rest of the article can be found on page 2 of the Officials' Quarterly Spring 2004 Magazine. Reprinted with permission of the National Federation of State High School Associations. Feb 18, 2004