High School QB Plays For Rival Team In Place Of Injured Athlete, Embodies True Sportsmanship

Sometimes the spoils of victory are better shared -- even when it comes to competitive sports.

While Mississippi communities tend to take their football pretty seriously, a local junior varsity team decided that leveling the playing field was more important than crushing their opponent. In a recent match against the Brandon Bulldogs, the Northwest Rankin Cougars lost their only quarterback to an injury during the first half of the game, reported the "Today" show. Unfortunately, they didn't have a backup.

"They tried to play some different kids at quarterback, and any other position would have been fine because you've got other linemen, you've got other receivers, you've got other running backs, but you only a lot of the time have one quarterback," Brandon High School coach Brad Peterson told the outlet.

At halftime, Coach Peterson decided to send Mason Mathieu, one of his two quarterbacks over to the Cougars side of the field to finish the game. While the Bulldogs still won the game, Mason gave the Cougars his best effort and even helped them score two touchdowns.

"It was great playing with them. They're a great group of guys," Mason told "Today."

Great athletes often recognize that, at the end of the day, winning actually isn't the most important part of playing the game.

Last year, 9-year-old swimmer Josh Zuchowski decided to send his winning trophy and an encouraging note to his longtime rival, Reese Branzell, after Reese was forced to sit out of the competition due to an illness, WPBF reported.

In his note to Reese, Josh wrote, "Get well soon so we can get back to battling in the pool ... I would rather get second with you at the meet then win with you absent."



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