It seemed like a storybook ending for a Boston-area boys track and field coach.
Derek Herber appeared to have just led his team to a second straight Division 2 outdoor championship in what he said would be his last season as coach. His North Attleboro Rocketeers squeaked by second-place Central Catholic, 69-68, last weekend to take home the state title.
The next morning Herber was crunching the numbers in his record book and had a difficult time getting to 69 points. He realized that officials had made a clerical error in scoring the finals of the 110-meter hurdles. They gave North Attleboro points for second place even though its hurdler had finished in seventh. The team of the actual second-place finisher was awarded points as if he had finished in seventh.
"For our individual scoring, I try to keep up with it and try to keep the kids [aware of] where they are individually for scoring," Herber said, via the Boston Globe. "We were looking at it, and I did all the math, and I said, 'Aww.'"
Herber alerted state officials and, once his math was confirmed, he sent the trophy to Central Catholic. The new scoring dropped North Attleboro to third place.
Central Catholic athletic director Ernie DiFiore lauded Herber for his honesty and said the coach's gracious act will not go unnoticed.
“I don’t think there is any question the message is loud and clear: There are bigger things than winning,” DiFore told the 'Boston Globe. "It's nice to win, nice to be recognized, but at the end of the day the type of person you are and how you carry yourself is more important than the wins and the losses."
(H/T to For The Win)