In a time when selfishness and the "me-first" attitude seems far too prevalent in sports, a simple act by a Grafton boys swimmer needs to be recognized.
Senior Sean O'Connor had the opportunity to swim on the Black Hawks' top 400-yard freestyle relay team, which would have given him a shot at his fourth gold medal of the North Shore Conference Meet on Feb. 4 at Nicolet High School.
The Hawks, however, also needed their B relay to do well to hold off rival Cedarburg for the team conference championship, so O'Connor was asked to swim on that team instead.
Putting the team crown above his own possible gold medal, O'Connor agreed to anchor the B relay team.
He helped Trevor Bodart, Matthew Fischer and Gaven Depies to a share of third place in the 400 relay with 3 minutes, 33.03 seconds, giving the Hawks 31 crucial points.
Everything worked out for Grafton when the top unit of Charley Hanney, Nick Starr, Adam Schacht and Jake Herlache went on to win with 3:20.29, scoring 40 more points.
Athough Cedarburg's top team of Evan Geiser, Owen Carr, Kevin Glomski and Will Hobbs came in second (34 points), the Hawks had enough to beat the Bulldogs for the overall team crown, 455 points to 434 1/2 points.
That was the first North Shore Conference championship for the Grafton boys team, and the unselfish decision by O'Connor helped make it possible.
"Sean unselfishly did what it would take to help his teammates by anchoring the B team," Grafton coach Mark Minz said. "The third place by that relay helped Grafton seal the deal on the conference team title."
The next time you read or hear about someone ignoring his or her teammates or doing everything to boost personal stats, please think of Sean O'Connor, who proved that selflessness and team spirit does indeed still exist in sports.