The occasional tales of sportsmanship on this blog are, indeed, heartwarming. But it must also be acknowledged that with every yin, there is often a yang.
Tyler Ohmann, the sports editor of the Morrison County Record, found the yang at the homecoming football game in Royalton earlier this month when Upsala Swanville came calling.
It’s an intense rivalry, he noted in his column over the weekend. Coaches were screaming at players, the referees and each other, he said.
But the fans? They were the worst.
Sportsmanship might just be a word to some of you, but to the athletes and many surrounding the high school athletic activities it is something that is necessary to facilitate fair play and respect among all of those involved.
I implore all who attend high school sporting events to review the pillars of good sportsmanship: accepting all of the officials’ decisions, using positive cheers, remembering that it is just a game and not life or death, showing concern for injured players regardless of team and respecting the outcome.
I also applaud the officials who kept the game in hand, despite what must have been a very frustrating display of lack of sportsmanship and dignity in some cases. I am thankful every day that I get to work in the same realm as the thick-skinned and respectful men and women that officiate the high school events in the area.
I really hope that the next time I attend an event it can return to the place that I enjoy so much, and that those in attendance or involved in the game can exercise discretion, good manners and most of all good sportsmanship.
If sportsmanship should break out, be sure to tell me about it. We desperately need more yins right around now.