I have been a sports writer now for more than 15 years. I have seen quite a few bad displays of sportsmanship, but the game between Magnolia and St. Marys tops the charts.
After a hard battle between a pair of basketball titans, you would think they would shake hands and go to their locker rooms. For the most part they did, but one of the St. Marys coaches went a little overboard. He shook the hands, but he confronted one of the Magnolia players and had the nerve to tell him some bad things about his future.
I know personally that I saw the assistant coach talking to the boy, who was distraught afterwards. I said that was no way an adult should talk to a player. I didn't hear the conversation, but only saw the boy being upset. So I later asked his father, who told me the story.
I didn't talk with the coach to get his view of what was said, but I don't think a boy would make up such a story to his father.
And besides that, the head coach was busy during the shaking of hands, taking it out on the water bottles, he was picking up to clean out his team's section, at an alarming rate. He did stop for a minutes to shake the Blue Eagles' head coach's hand, and went right back to taking the frustrations out on the poor water bottles.
I know the loss hurt, and the game was played hard, but the game was called by three top officials, and called the same way, from the opening tip to the final buzzer. As a coach, you want the game to be called fairly for all four quarters. If the referees were not calling, reaching in with a little body touching, at the start of the game, you don't want it to change in the fourth period and at clutch time
But even before this happened, a Magnolia fan was guilty of saying something to the official and was thrown out of the game. He went quietly, but as he left he did something very bad when walking out, with his hand held high, that most of the Blue Eagle fans didn't like it either.
Now this is me talking.
I was a referee for 24 years before giving it up because of my knee. I know I must have have made bad calls, but never on purpose. The other referees feel the same.
We try to do a good job, but sometimes our focus isn't what it should be. However, that even goes to everyone, whatever and whomever. We all make mistakes, and we want to correct them if we can. Maybe the referee saw something else, and maybe he might have passed because he didn't feel it was a foul or whatever it could.
You see, and I see, things that should be called if we were out there. But if we were where the 10 moving players were, moving at one time, around coaches yelling, and fans getting rowdy all at the same time, as the refs are, it might be different. Maybe you didn't see it because of a body in front of you, and you were locked in and couldn't see.
What if the guys in charge would go home with you and see that you didn't do something you felt was right? Just turn that around. You wouldn't like it at all. We see what our president is doing, and we all have different opinions about what's going on, and who is right and who is wrong. He is the president. He is the official, and he is the worker or father. We all aren't right, but we must not judge, there is only one judge.
Besides the fans, the MHS student body clapped as he left, because they didn't like what he did either.
I expect the coaches have now cooled down and will make their apologies sincere to all involved, but I feel like if they don't, they should.
And now I can say, we all need to apologize for something we did or didn't do. Put your hands to together and talk to the man upstairs.
He is the only one that really is right all the time.