Sometimes in sports it's not about winning.
Sometimes something tragic happens to make everyone stop and think about what's really important. And that's what happened last night on the soccer field.
"How are you doing? asked David Rooks, assistant Cavalier soccer coach. "I'm hanging in there", answered Douglas junior Alyssa Dikoff. "That's good. You just keep hanging in there. We're all going to pray. We're all here right now." continued Coach Rooks as he led the prayer at the start of the soccer game in Rapid City's Sioux Park.
Tuesday night, the joint STM-Douglas team took on the Stevens Raiders on the soccer field. The game was dedicated to goalie Alyssa Dikoff, hospitalized with a broken leg. With Alyssa on the cell phone, everyone joined in the prayer circle. All donned Alyssa's favorite color- red, with red hair bands, leg and arm bands.
Doc Carlson, the Cavalier trainer, spoke highly of the absent goalie. "She's a very skilled player with a great sense of humor. She's one of the leaders on the team, by example and by voice. I can't say enough about her. We just love her and we hope for the best and a quick recovery."
Kiley "KJ" Medler is the Cavalier's captain and Alyssa's best friend. "Is she going to be ok? Yah, she's going to be OK. It just scares me, because I love her. I'm happy we get to do this for her."
Stevens head soccer Coach Troy Anderson says the Raiders also wanted to dedicate the game to Alyssa. "What we do goes beyond the game. We're competitors on the field, but a lot of these girls are friends off the field. As much as we look at the game as a rivalry, it puts things into perspective."
Alyssa is out for the rest of the season. She remains hospitalized with a rod in her femur, and hopes to be back on the playing field in six to eight weeks. Alyssa's spleen was nicked in the accident and doctors are keeping a close watch for bleeding.
And incidentally, Stevens won the soccer match, three to zero.