WASHINGTON — The saying goes “it’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game.” For John Hayden Johnson Middle School, simply playing the game was all that mattered.

The school in Southeast DC lost to Alice Deal Middle School in the DCIAA Middle School Archery Championship.

While the team might have lost the match, they won in the game of life.

The students and faculty at Johnson Middle School are trying to change how Southeast DC is viewed.

“There are a lot of great things that are going on in Southeast,” said Johnson Middle School Archery coach Tyrone Powell. “It may not always be seen that way, but there are a lot of great things that are going on. We are trying to change the narrative. Our kids can do everything else that anyone else can do. We’re no different from anyone else. We want a chance. That’s all we want, is an opportunity. That’s what we’re going after.”

The archery team at Johnson got an opportunity to compete against a Deal Middle School team made up of kids from Upper Northwest DC.

Before the final scores were announced, Tyrone Powell already was extremely proud of the progress his team has made.

“This is the third year participating in archery,” said Coach Powell. “First year was kind of rough. Second year, we made the semifinals last year. And this year we made the championship. I’m very, very proud of my students. It’s a special group of young kids that are doing something different here in Southeast, and I could not be more ecstatic and happy for them.”

Deal won the 2019 championship 3050-2644.

But as coach Powell told his team, being in the championship match was the accomplishment.

It’s an accomplishment that the Johnson Middle School archery team should be very proud of.