Kramer submits letter to Minnesota State High School League head of officials.

The Crookston Pirate girls’ soccer team last fall struggled, plain and simple. They struggled to generate offense and score goals and, as a result, their difficulties were illustrated in a lopsided win/loss column.

    Not surprisingly, then, their post-season was short-lived. As the lowest seed, Crookston had to take on Bemidji in the first round of the playoffs. It didn’t go well.

    But if that game had a silver lining, it was the positive attitude that the Pirate girls maintained after every goal scored by the Lumberjacks.       

 Their good attitudes didn’t go unnoticed.

    Published in the Minnesota State High School League Winter Bulletin is a letter written by Dan Kramer, who was working as a referee in the Crookston/Bemidji game. Kramer wrote the letter praising the Crookston team’s attitude and sent it to Tom Johnson, MSHSL supervisor of officials.  The letter, under the headline, “Crookston girls, outmatched in soccer game, still displayed character,” reads as follows:

    “On Oct. 11, 2012, I was the center referee in a section playoff game between the Crookston and Bemidji girls' soccer teams. The Crookston team was the low seed in the section and had a challenging year, scoring few goals and giving up many over the season. The Bemidji team was a high seed and built a considerable lead by the first half's end.

    “Despite the circumstances, after each Bemidji goal the Crookston girls walked back to the center circle with heads held high and genuine words of encouragement for each other. Led by their goalkeeper who had been peppered by shots during the entire game (and season), the team never showed the despair and discouragement that is often seen in a team that is behind by several goals.

    “The team, included the bench and coaches, obviously realize the benefit of strong bonding, encouragement, and support which extend far beyond the playing field and make the sporting experience valuable outside of the statistics of wins and losses.

    “Even with under two minutes left in the game the support was still being verbalized and no one had given up. I would like to commend the team for this characteristic.”