A Quiet Thank You

December 20, 2017

At Palisades Park (N.J.) High School, Athletic Director John Wroblewski was surprised when visiting team members from the Cresskill (N.J.) High School boys' basketball team approached him after a game last weekend. They wanted to thank him for his son's military service.

According to northjersey.com, Wroblewski's son, John “J.T.” Wroblewski died in April 2004, during Operation Iraqi Freedom. John Flaim, Head Coach at Cresskill, told his team about Wroblewski's son's service.

Wroblewski thought the players were coming over to him to shake hands.

“But no, every kid wanted to thank me for my son’s service and tell me that he was a hero,” said Wroblewski.

It's something he will cherish for a long time.

“What I experienced personally just topped off the whole night, I will remember that forever,” Wroblewski said. “Those kids were patriots. They made it so special for me to remember my son like that. I take my hat off to John.”

Flaim said he did not order his players to greet Wroblewski, but said they were motivated to do so because of the sense of good sportsmanship that had been instilled in them.

“Coaching is just a way to teach values,” Flaim said.

Wroblewski agreees.

“It’s all about sportsmanship,” Wroblewski said. “It always seems like what we are seeing on television is bad behavior, to me, you can have an undefeated season, but if you don’t exhibit sportsmanship, people will have bad things to say about you and your team. If you are a good sport, that’s really what people will remember.”

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