Nov. 1 — To the Editor:

After welcoming back to New England one of the most victorious and spectacular teams in baseball history and closing out the fall sports season in schools across New Hampshire, I find myself full of nostalgia and appreciation for sport. I am already counting the days until spring training and tasting the bitter sweetness of the end of the Portsmouth High School Girls Varsity Volleyball season, where I have the privilege of coaching. Truthfully, I would love to be back in the gym with this year’s exceptional group of young women striving to be the best team we can be through hard work, persistence, selflessness and determination. And who wouldn’t love to watch this very Red Sox team play one more game?

During an especially unsettled time, sport offers more than simply an escape or outlet. Of course, it is those things, but it so much more. It is an honor to witness a group of very different people with dramatically different life experiences, perspectives and strengths who need each other in order to accomplish their collective audacious goals. Sport puts on display the value of teamwork where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The best teams remind us that we need each other to be the best versions of ourselves. The best teammates make you believe that you can do whatever you set your mind to, then they help you get there, and then they step up if you fall short.

Coaching a sport that has been such a formative part of my life and given me so much has truly been one of the greatest joys of my life. The gift of watching young women move from being unsure and tentative to fearless with unconditional faith in each other is an extraordinary experience. I cannot imagine anything better than witnessing young women compete in relentless games with pressure and pain who push through and win together by doing things they were not sure were even possible.

It is hard to say goodbye to this year’s fall sports season, but we can take part of it with us into a new year. By believing in each other, working hard to accomplish things we didn’t think possible, and being the best teammates we can be, each of us in our own way can inspire!

Stefany Shaheen