Herald Journal Columns
Jan. 3, 2005, Herald Journal

Records and milestones

By Aaron Schultz

Records are made to be broken, and milestones are made to be achieved.

Just last week, Lester Prairie senior boys’ basketball player Jeff Andersen scored his 1,000th career high school point.

Andersen got it in early in the first quarter against Kimball, in the opening round of the Lester Prairie Holiday Tournament Monday.

A few years back, I remember when Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted Laker Brad Wynnemer scored his 1,000th point.

These are impressive milestones, as are 100 wins in wrestling, or gaining 1,000 yards rushing in football.

It takes a special dedication, staying relatively healthy, and having some good teammates and coaches to reach such a milestone.

In my high school days, I didn’t reach too many milestones or break too many records, other than a couple of school baseball records, which have been surpassed since my graduation in 1995.

The record I was most proud of was the career stolen base record in baseball, which has since been broken.

Yep, slow me was the career leader in stolen bases at Lester Prairie High School, which just proves you don’t have to be the most gifted to be successful.

Still, I always remember setting goals, such as breaking the school records for home runs and for tackles.

I also set other goals, such as reaching the state wrestling tournament, getting 100 career wins in wrestling, and staying undefeated as a pitcher.

Now, many of the goals I set were attainable, but not necessarily realistic.

Still, I set the goals for myself, giving me something to strive for.

But, in the end, the most important goals were those of the team, such as winning a conference championship, making the state tournament, or even winning a state title.

Sure, it would have been great to hit 10 home runs my senior year of baseball, but if we would have only won a handful of games, who would have cared?

Now, if I would have hit 10 home runs, and we would have advanced to the state baseball tournament, then, it means something.

Of course, I didn’t hit 10 home runs, and we didn’t advance to the state tournament, so that kind of stunk.

The point is, team accomplishments are so much more important than those of an individual, because everyone gets to enjoy a team accomplishment, from the star player to the last player sitting on the bench.

Don’t get me wrong, individual accomplishments are great, not only for the individual, but also for his/her teammates, but it just doesn’t equal out.

I remember back in my high school days, watching my wrestling teammate Brian Heimerl win two state titles, and go 181-13 in his career.

But, I think if you would ask Brian (Heimerl), he would tell you that he would have much rather had the team advance to the state tournament, then all of his personal accomplishments.

The individual records and milestones are great, and they shouldn’t be looked down on, but the bigger goals are those of the team.

Reaching milestones, and breaking records can be great individually, but they just mean so much more if they help your team win.

Wynnemer helped his Laker team to a third place finish in the state basketball team, Andersen has his Bulldogs team at 6-2, and those are the times when individual milestones and records mean so much more.

Keep setting your individual goals and milestones high, but don’t forget that the team always comes first. That is what sports are all about.