This past Saturday in Meeker a student-athlete on the Craig Middle School 8th grade boys basketball B team, after losing a close game, kicked the game ball against the wall in frustration.
This action upset the Meeker coach so much that he immediately got in the face of the CMS coach and began yelling at him until the referee separated the two.
The CMS coach handled the situation appropriately by attempting to apologize for the mistake and even after the players shook hands attempted once again to apologize, which created about 10 more minutes of tense conversation while the A team prepared to play.
I’m not saying the offending student-athlete's actions shouldn't be addressed. He made a mistake and needs to know that.
However I was appalled by the Meeker coach's actions.
First of all, this player plays for CMS and the appropriate action would have been to ensure his coach saw it.
Secondly, why do we think it is appropriate to make a scene in front of 40 or 50 young impressionable students? Especially when we are upset about a student’s sportsmanship, shouldn’t we as adults then show that expected sportsmanship?
I spoke to the principal/athletic director from Meeker following the incident and he did admit that the Meeker coach could have handled himself better. However he went on to say that it was his belief that "Craig" is one of the worst towns for unsportsmanlike conduct in the region.
I know sometimes we all get a little too involved in the game, lord knows I do. I write this column only as a reminder that kids are going to make mistakes.
We as adults need to remember that our behavior is of the utmost importance when it comes to making sure our children know how to act and how to correct the mistakes they inevitably will make.
Handling a child's mistake by becoming verbally and/or physically threatening is by no means the right action and sets a terrible example along the way.