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​​​​Teaching children how to deal with winning is almost as important as teaching them how to deal with losing. It’s also important for them to learn ​how to deal with injury, performance pressure and balancing academics and athletics. At Boys Town, we teach all of this and more under a single defining phrase: Competing with Character. Beyond the playing fields, this fundamental concept ​has ​become ever-present throughout Boys Town.


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Dr. Bob Reznicek: Competing with character is one of the key elements of our athletic program and it also goes into other activities but it was really developed by Coach Kevin Kush almost 20 years ago here on our campus. And it teaches kids how to be good sports, how to handle adversity, how to handle success and that is a common thread through all of our athletic programs.

Kevin Kush: Competing with character really marries with the rest of our Boys Town skills. So, we're taking our social skills that we teach every day in the classroom and in the home and we're also extending them to the playing field so not only is important for our kids to learn the skills of the sport but they're also learning life skills through that sport.

Chikh Fall: Boys Town athletic and competing with character had helped me become the man that I am today and to allow me to be a good husband and good parent and a good role model for these kids today.

Kevin Kush: There's a lot of highs in sport and I wouldn't trade my experiences I had growing up in sports for anything but there's a lot of lows too. There's injury, there's defeat, we want to teach our kids 'how do I handle those?'

Rick Nordhues: Our last game was against Boys Town in the playoffs and it was a tough game. Their kids after that game going through the line gave us the most respect. They gave us the most respect in terms of 'great job guys, great job, that was a great game, great effort.' They demonstrated extremely graceful sportsmanship in that close win.

Michele Matulevicz: People come up to us as coaches all the time and complement our girls on their effort, on how they work with each, on how they accept coaching, winning with grace and losing with dignity. I don't know how many times our kids stop in the game to pick up and help up another player from another team and the games still going on.

Kevin Kush: I think that's the ultimate goal, are we developing successful citizens when they leave Boys Town? I had a young man visit who was here some 10 years ago. He took the time to come in and say 'hey, thanks for what I learned through sports.' It took him awhile, he said he fell on some tough times right when he left Boys Town, but it all came back to him. And, what came back to him were those basic skills: how to be successful, how to get along with people. It really meant a lot for him to reach out and tell us that we kind of saved his life through these skills. So, it's doing what's it's intended to do. We strive to win, trust me, that's why the title is Competing with Character because we want to win here at Boys Town. We try as hard as we can but it's not paramount to what we do. It's that teaching of life skills and having that kid have a positive experience through sports.