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Community support is heart-warming.

There were hundreds of people lining the main street Saturday night to watch the annual Christmas parade and many gathered downtown for the lighting ceremony and visiting Santa. The young ladies who had won several categories of the Miss Pea Ridge contest, as well as the Mr. and Miss Pea Ridge High School winners, were in the parade and on had at the event afterwards.

Monday night, there was a good turn out at the Band Winter Concert.

As we move from fall into winter, and football season has ended and basketball begins, we see great attendance in the gyms for both boys and girls basketball games.

The Pea Ridge Blackhawk football team won the majority of their games this year.

Blackhawk fans have been watching, cheering, standing with the athletes throughout the season, traveling to away games and packing the stands for the home games. Last Friday night, the the home stands were full of Blackhawk fans cheering and supporting their sons, grandsons, neighbors in the semi-final 4A football game against Arkadelphia.

Regardless of whether you're a sports fan, there's something worth noting. These young people are learning the value of supporting one another, of caring for someone other than themselves.

It was emotional watching the football players crying after their loss Friday night, but again and again, someone hugged them, patted them on the back and encouraged them. Coaches hugged athletes. Athletes hugged one another. Athletes thanked coaches. Parents thanked coaches.

Some of the young men and women in this town think there will be nothing better than to grow up and get as far away from their little home town as possible. Few probably really see the value in living in a small town. But, it is here they have been nurtured, trained, taught, discipled and encouraged. Yes, there are "tattle tales," "tongue waggers" -- people only too quick to call their parents and tell them when they're caught doing wrong. But, those busy bodies may be just as glad to catch them doing right, too.

And, human nature is the same in small towns and large cities, it's just the awareness of it is diluted in a larger population.

Neighbors can be quite an asset, especially when they're truly looking out for one another's welfare.

Now, with the football season ended, basketball season is upon us.

The Battle at the Ridge begins Thursday for the Blackhawk basketball team.

What is the value of sports during school years?

These young men and women learn team work, how to face challenges of winning and losing, how to discipline themselves to persevere. The coaches are dedicated men and women who want to build good character into these maturing men and women to help them become responsible adults, leaders for tomorrow.

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Editor's note: Annette Beard is the managing editor of The Times of Northeast Benton County, chosen the best small weekly newspaper in Arkansas for five of the past seven years. A native of Louisiana, she moved to northwest Arkansas in 1980 to work for the Benton County Daily Record. She has nine children, three sons-in-law, eight grandsons and two granddaughters with another granddaughter next year. She can be reached at abeard@nwadg.com.

Editorial on 12/06/2017

Print Headline: Community support encourages

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