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The magnificent thing about sports is the power they hold to inspire us. This power is possessed by certain athletes as well. However, the real beauty emerges when an athlete challenge us not only to improve our own skills but also to become better human beings.

On Dec. 10, 2016, E-2 Seaman Elijah Weeks returned home after graduating from Coast Guard training to watch the Corydon Panthers take on his alma mater, the Henryville Hornets. Elijah was a fan favorite who was known for his relentless hustle, intense work ethic and outstanding attitude. Upon his recent return, he received a warm welcome (pictured) from his former ball boy, Elias Kleinert, who considers Elijah his hero.

Elias is better for knowing Elijah, who has always been gracious to his young admirer. Now that he serves in the United State Coast Guard, the pair regularly exchange handwritten letters.

Elijah and Elias are of no relation. They are not neighbors. They didn’t ride the same bus or attend the same church. Theirs is a connection inspired by a shared love of sports.

Sports are dynamic in their essence to affect individuals of all ages in myriad ways, whether the athlete or the spectator. And that’s exactly why we love them.

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