Springport Sportsmanship

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The new code asks parents to refrain from criticizing coaches or athletes--including their own--until after emotions have cooled.

The district knows It won't be easy to enforce, of course, but they say they're serious about their sports, and even more than that, they're serious about the spirit behind them.

As his son plays one of his final games as a senior friday night, Brian Chamberlain remembers some tense moments on these fields

"You want your children to do well, you want your children to play," he explains. It happens, he says, an honest attempt to offer some advice, and things just come out wrong. "I've had to learn to back off thru the years."

Springport principal Chris Kregel says that's the point. Backing off for a while--24 hours to be exact--will end nearly all those parent/kid and parent/coach confrontations.

"They can commend a coach, they can tell em how well they did or how well the kids did, but we want them to stay away from confrontations where there are emotions still after the game," Kregel says.

He says no one event predicated this recommendation, but they want to make sportsmanship their top priority.

Gale Love, a baseball mom, is a little hurt nonetheless. "I thought our parents were good in that respect. " She says she can't help wondering why this community's taking the lead on this issue. "I guess I kind of take it personally."

That's a sting Kregel says was never intended when the sports community included parents in their sports bylaws. He says other districts could sign on. Springport's Athletic Director has already received several e-mails from AD's in the area wanting more information.