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forever 11 maddie potts

The mood was festive at the Chariho High School soccer field Friday evening October 27th. It was senior night for the girl’s soccer team. They would be playing Westerly High School in their final regular game of the season.

Flowers were on hand to be distributed to graduating senior players. Cameras were ready to capture the seniors and their parents as they were honored at center field . A Cox YurView tv crew was televising the game. All was celebratory; what could be better than a small town soccer game on a clear, crisp New England autumn evening?

Of course, the by now well documented passing of senior Chariho High School soccer team co-captain Maddie Potts earlier in the season lent a gravity to the evening that is generally not a part of most high school sporting events. Organizers had built a tribute to Maddie into the night’s itinerary, and Maddie’s family and friends were on hand to accept her senior night honors and cheer on the team. Everyone assembled wanted this to be a memorable night not only for the graduating players, but also for all in attendance who knew and loved Maddie.

Of course, Maddie should have been there by her teammates’ sides accepting the accolades that seniors have earned on these types of evenings. But life can be unfair and cruel at times. Often, though, beautiful and memorable moments can grow out of sadness. And that is exactly what the folks gathered at the Chariho High School girl’s soccer team senior night game bore witness to that Friday evening: the best of the human spirit coming together in unity, compassion, and support, not to mourn what should have been, but to celebrate what was … and will continue to live on.