School Sports: Show support, not criticism 2015.10.14

Interscholastic athletics can bring out the best in kids—and the worst in parents.

It’s not uncommon to hear fans complain about referees, but to hear them criticize the very players they came to cheer on? That’s really uncalled for. 

It’s one thing for fans to berate professional athletes, but quite another to vocally criticize high school kids for the way a game is going.

Sports can be great for a community, for a school, for a student, but they need to be put into perspective.

These are just teen-agers out on the field, kids who spend their days in the classroom and their evenings at home or with friends. They’re still learning to play the game, and they aren’t super stars heading for college ball. It’s just 19 kids trying to do their best.

After last year’s extra special football season, Morenci is now expected to win. It’s like having a target on the back, says Morenci coach Mike McDowell, and now even some spectators are taking aim.

Before setting foot on the field, the players are spending hours every night in practice and additional time with weight training. There’s no question in the mind of the coach about how hard they’re working, but this isn’t the same team as last year. They have a good record and will probably make a playoff appearance, but they’re not going to win every game.

Rather than being ridiculed, the young athletes should be encouraged. Let’s help make high school sports the best experience possible.