October 22
Cambridge-Isanti High School

A Story of Character

A great example of the Minnesota State High School League’s emphasis on “Why We Play.” Story below written by veteran teacher and head Bluejacket girl’s tennis coach Mr. Lee Orvik. Cambridge-Isanti freshman student-athlete Lili Marlton; a person of tremendous integrity!

Lili Marlton is a ninth grader playing third singles for the Cambridge-Isanti Bluejacket Girls’ Tennis Team.  She is the daughter of Deb and Jon Marlton.  Her older sister is Tori Marlton who played tennis for the Bluejackets and for the St. Cloud State Huskies.

On Thursday, September 17th, we played the #10 ranked Princeton Tigers.  There were close matches on nearly every court, including Lili’s.  Lili was playing a marathon third singles match against her Tiger opponent.  At the end of three grueling sets, it was finally match point.  Lili’s opponent hit the ball deep to the line, and Lili called the ball out.  She had won the match.  Immediately afterword she walked back to the fence to talk to me.  With tears in her eyes, Lili told me that she thought she made a bad call on that last shot.  She said that after she called the ball out, she started to think that the ball might have actually been on the line.  She was very upset.  “If you believe that, what’s the right thing to do?” I asked her.  Lili said, “I have to give her that point, go back out there, and keep playing the match.”  I told her how proud I was of her for making the honorable choice.  She acted with absolute integrity.  So many players would have taken the point and the win, but Lili couldn’t live with herself if she thought she had won unfairly.  The two girls played the rest of the match, and after a long battle, the Princeton third singles player ended up winning.

At a young age, Lili Marlton demonstrated what it means to be a person of integrity who upholds the ideals of good sportsmanship.  Starting in kindergarten, Cambridge-Isanti students focus on the five character traits of respect, compassion, responsibility, honesty, and self-discipline.  Lili Marlton is a shining example of extraordinary character.