As fans of sports, we often times forget besides the value of entertainment we can receive from our favorite leagues or teams. We also understand relationships are formed in multitudinous ways across the field, court, or ice.
The latest example of class action has come from Indianapolis' baseball team, who were prepping to face one of their biggest conference and intra-state rivals, St. Joseph's (IN). Unfortunately, this would also mark the final time that these rivals would play in the regular season, as SJC is preparing to shut its doors in the coming months.
With the games being held at SJC, the Greyhounds of Indy decided to take further action to acknowledge the future loss of one of their rivals, and one of their best competition year-in and year-out. Instead of going about business as usual when embarking on a road trip, the Greyhounds program decided to present the Pumas — and specifically their head coach Rick O'Dette — with a plaque commemorating their membership with the Great Lakes Valley Conference, as well as the 17-year rivalry that blossomed between two currently-ranked teams.
The plaque — which you can see below — thanked O'Dette for his years of service with the SJC program, and the work he accomplished in molding terrific ballplayers, as well as terrific men off the field. Summarizing the Puma coach's efforts was this saying from the plaque: "Through your leadership, your players have learned and displayed the characteristics of what college baseball is truly about."
This won't likely be the last time we see these rivals meet if they continue their starts through the entire season, as both are nationally-ranked and are fighting for position in the GLVC East. But this will be the last time that the loser will be able to continue playing on through the season.
St. Joseph's will leave a hole in the GLVC when they do shutter their athletics program and entire collegiate doors, but they will not be forgotten. This year, SJC is sporting the motto of #ForeverPumas, which fits perfectly into our story.
Though UIndy may be the Greyhounds, they will always hold the Pumas in high regard, and forever call them rivals and foes, but more importantly, they can bestow upon each other the respect that sports teams need, and desire to create the games we love.
"The GLVC East will not be the same without all of you!" The plaque ends, as does now the regular season rivalry between two Indiana-based schools who know how to go beyond wins and losses.
[credit]St. Joseph's College Athletics[/credit]