“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.”

“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.”

I recently came across the aforementioned quote and couldn’t help but immediately think of some our outstanding local student-athletes.

For those of you who follow me on Twitter, I am sure you know exactly where I am going with this column. But for those who do not, let me explain.

One of the best parts of being a reporter is getting to know coaches, school administrators and especially student-athletes.

With the athletes, the majority of our interactions are after a good performance that most likely resulted in a win for their team.

It has always been my personal policy where I very rarely interview an athlete, at the high school level, after a loss — unless it’s season ending or something along those lines. I also like to interview those who don’t always get the recognition they deserve. Sometimes that is tough, just depending on what all develops from that particular event.

On April 10, Palmyra baseball player Peyton Abbott recorded four hits and a walk to reach base all five times in the Panthers win over Unity. Abbott is Palmyra’s No. 9 hitter and doesn’t do a whole lot of damage at the plate, other than terrorize opposing pitchers and coaches by reaching base more times than not.

I didn’t talk to Abbott that night because Jacob Kroeger socked a 2-run walk-off home run in the eighth inning. However, Abbott's name came up several times while I interviewed Kroeger.

The hero, or I should say the most recognized hero of the night, didn’t want to talk much about his game-winning homer. He instead wanted to talk about his teammates. Kroeger talked about the kind of game Abbott had that helped them win. He also talked about relief pitchers Austin Riney and Caden Power.

My interview with Kroeger lasted a little over three minutes that night. Well aside from the 65 second pause from his teammates dousing him with cups of water, that is. Sans about 20 seconds of him describing his game-winning at-bat, the entire interview Kroeger spoke about his teammates.

That says a lot about his character.

Same can be said of the Hannibal girls soccer team.

I have spoken with a handful of the Lady Pirates this season and they all are pretty much the same interview.

“I have to give all the credit to my teammates. If not for them making (fill in the blank), I would not have been able to do (fill in the blank).”

I am beginning to think those girls think I am hard of hearing, because the quote above is said numerous times throughout one interview. And they all say it.

Whether it be Shelby Stine after a 6-goal performance or Peyton Utterback and Kaylee Falconer after recording a hat trick or Chloe Ebers registering multiple-goal games after scoring just one goal in the first 10 games of season, they all pass the credit off to their teammates.

I honestly think any one of those girls could “dribble” the ball the length of the field and score while the other 10 teammates fall down on the play and she would still give credit to a teammate.

But I still ask the questions.

Interviewing these young athletes is an absolute breath of fresh air. In a world where athletes (a lot of college and most pros) want to pound their chest and let the world know just how great they are, it’s refreshing to listen to these young adults talk.

A lot can be learned from our exceptional student-athletes. I hope some publicists for some of these “me, me, me” athletes are taking notes.

I know that is wishful thinking, but our local athletes should be lauded for the way they conduct themselves.

So if you know any of the few athletes I have mentioned, ask to shake their hand, give them a hi-five, pat on the back or something to show you appreciate their humility.

It’s most definitely a rarity these days.