More than meets the eye

Published 5:47 pm Wednesday, February 1, 2017

This past Friday, Washington’s basketball teams hosted 2-A Eastern Plains Conference rival Farmville Central. The evening didn’t go well for the Pam Pack. Both varsity teams were handed decisive losses by the talented Jaguars.

Late in the boys’ game, though, everyone’s attention shifted from the action on the court to a commotion in the stands. A local parent had reportedly been berating Washington coach Ralph Biggs throughout the game, as well as the girls’ game before it. She ended up getting thrown out of the game.

It was bewildering to see a fan accosting a coach escalating to that level, let alone one of Washington’s own home fans. The bleachers behind the Pam Pack bench are generally a source of encouragement and support for not only the players on the hardwood, but also the coaches working with them.

There is absolutely no place in high school athletics for that kind of disrespect. Sometimes, in the heat of the moment during a rivalry matchup, sportsmanship can take a bit of a backseat. Fans may voice their displeasure with the visiting team and its coaches. That’s not sportsmanlike, but it happens.

Antagonizing one’s own home-team coach is on an entirely different level, though. Parents can go to every single game throughout a season and still only see a fraction of the work that Beaufort County’s coaches put in. Coaches in this area don’t earn outrageous salaries like some may see from coaches in other parts of the country. These coaches put all this work in for the county’s children.

That’s especially true with Biggs. He stepped up in a big way when he took over the boys’ teams for the remainder of the season. He’s coaching all four Pam Pack basketball teams and doesn’t deserve such treatment.

There’s a time and a place for everything, and this incident was no different. If a parent or a fan isn’t pleased with the product on the court, there’s a more appropriate time to voice that than in the middle of a game. Show respect for coaches and set an example for the children by being respectful in the approach.