Staying censored during high school athleticsPublished 6:29pm Thursday, August 14, 2014
With a new high school sports season just a few days away, the Pam Pack, Panthers, Seahawks, Knights and Raiders are preparing to showcase an off-season’s worth of hard work and improvement.
For the three public schools in Beaufort County, next week marks the start of the football, volleyball, cross-country and soccer seasons, as well as girls’ tennis and golf for Washington.
It’s an exciting time for all involved, including parents, who should remember that these high school sports are, in fact, just high schools sports. When parents go out to watch the Pam Pack football team try to defend its conference title, they shouldn’t taunt the opponent like the would at a Redskins game. To some, that goes without saying, but to others, slipups are all-too common.
To a kid, healthy criticism can go a long way, just as verbal abuse can have lasting effects. Even in during some of the Little League Baseball and Softball tournaments at the Susiegray McConnell Complex this summer, parents and coaches would occasionally forget to censor themselves, saying something to the umpire or opposing fans they shouldn’t have. Of course, in that setting, those instances are rare.
But at the high school level, fans willingness to say things they shouldn’t is much more likely. It’s up to the coaches, athletic director and administration to control their fans; however, it starts with the fans themselves.
And while each school has its own sportsmanship policy, Pungo and Terra Ceia have some of the strictest. That was evident during the last basketball season.
Like professional athletes posting inappropriate stuff on Twitter, if we can all just think before we hit send, this high school season should be defined by what happens on the field or court, not in the stands.