No place for poor sportsmanship
January 16, 2019
Our local youths can be at their best when they play sports. They sacrifice their time and sweat to practice. They keep their grades up. They give their heart and soul to their team and the prospect of winning. They learn sportsmanship and teamwork.
They also learn respect.
In short, our student athletes learn all kinds of valuable lessons from the game.
It is a shame that they also learn how petty adults can be.
Not in our Paper
The Saratoga Sun Facebook page bore a glaring example of that pettiness and poor sportsmanship lately.
On our Facebook page a poster called one of our Carbon County teams a desparaging term.
Let us assure our readers that this will NOT be tolerated.
To call any of our student athletes anything derogatory is shameful—and the next person to make such a post will immediately be banned from our Facebook page.
Given that, you can be assured you will never see any negative assertion like that in our newspaper.
Even if a player has a bad game, we will still focus on the positives from the game.
We owe that to our students who give their all.
The game that generated the post was worse.
It is possible that the person who wrote the post was also the person in the stands who shouted that a “dirty” player should be taken out of the game.
We go to these games. We talk to both players and coaches, so we know that the player was hurt. We know his parents were hurt. And we know the team’s coach was in a rage over this classlessness.
The person who SHOULD have been thrown out of the game was the person in the stands.
Saratoga Sun reporters, as a matter of course, talk to all of our school’s head coaches. These are people who take time out of their busy schedules, often as teachers, because they love the programs they lead.
We are confident that those people would not send someone in to “go after” a player with the intent to cause harm.
Sure, they might say, “Hey, guard that guy (or girl) tight.” They may order a double team—still without ANY malicious intent.
This is the way games are played.
We occasionally interview student athletes. We at the Sun almost always find these youths to be polite and low key individuals who want to promote their schools and towns more than themselves.
That attitude should be infectious.
We have never seen a player argue a call—even when it is a wrong one. Nor have we seen a player be overly dramatic when a call doesn’t go their way.
They usually get their head back in the game and play to the best of their abilities.
We at the Saratoga Sun have often seen players on our home teams (Saratoga, Encampment and Hanna) help opposing players up after a fall on the field or court.
It would be a safe assessment to say that Carbon County School District No. 2 (CCSD2) has some of the best sportsmanship in the state of Wyoming.
Keep it to Yourself
In a recent game, one of our local athletes inadvertently ran into an opposing player.
That player lay on the floor for several minutes trying to collect their breath.
As this was happening, one of our own spectators cried out something along the lines of, “Oh, you’re fine! Get up!”
We should be better than that.
The spectator had no idea how the player felt. It is an unfortunate fact that players have been seriously injured in high school games—and how low would have that person in the stands have felt if the consequences had been more dire?
Just keep these comments to yourself.
Keeping the Game Clean
We made a comment earlier in this editorial, “even when it is a wrong one,” referring to bad calls made by referees. The only point there is that game officials are human, too and make mistakes.
The vast majority of the time, the refs are correct in their officiating.
Try to keep in mind that these games could not be played without the time and effort these people take.
It should also be noted that if an official saw overreaching play, they would make those calls.
Join the RIDE
The Wyoming High School Activities Association encourages our student athletes every year to join the “RIDE.” The RIDE meaning:
Respect to participants, officials, guests, your school, their school and yourself
Integrity by treating others as you wish to be treated
Dedication through understanding that the RIDE takes time; not just for you, but for all, and
Encouragement by promoting good sportsmanship just as much as you discourage bad sportsmanship.
If our young players, in the heat of the game, can take the time to show good sportsmanship, then we believe that those in the stands can do the same. We also believe that the lessons of good sportsmanship don’t stop when the game ends or when the athletes walk off the court, nor do the lessons end with the coaches. The lessons of good sportsmanship should be continued by each of us.
The Saratoga Sun supports all our CCSD2 teams and applauds them for the sportsmanship they show on a regular basis and we encourage others to follow their lead.
Cheer, Root, Yell
We at the Saratoga Sun want you to root for your team.
We want you to yell, do the wave, and cheer your team to victory.
Holler for offense.
Scream for defense.
That’s all good.
Those are positives.
Reporters for the Sun often hear fans yell out “foul” or “charge,” along with voicing their frustration that a certain call wasn’t made. These are all perfectly acceptable.
Just don’t make a personal attack on one of our kids.
Remember, our student athletes are representing our schools.
You, as a spectator, are representing our towns.
If our youthful athletes and coaches can bear up under the pressures of sport—and succeed—surely our adults can respect them and their endeavors.