Between the lines: Your yearly reminder

My parents always taught me, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.

Trust me, it only took one taste of soap in the mouth for me to figure it out. But, in this day and age there needs to be a lot more mouths washed out with soap.

It seems to be getting worse and worse as the years go by.

The last few weeks of the baseball season I heard some of the worst things I’ve ever heard in 10 years of working at a newspaper.

At the Wyoming ‘C’ Legion State Tournament in Cheyenne, I heard a mother from another community dropping f-bomb after f-bomb towards the umpires, and the same individual also called a player from the opposing team a male body part.

I was mortified.

I was even more mortified when nothing was said nor done to the loud-mouth parent. When nothing is done, it encourages that type of behavior, and it will continue to get worse and worse in the years to come.

Even hearing parents demean their own coaches and the decisions they make gets old. There’s a reason why they are coaching and you’re not. When I hear such a thing, the devil in me wants to come out and ask, “If you think you can do better, why didn’t you apply for the opening when it was available?”

However, it’s not just the parents either. This also includes the athletes on the field or on the court.

I heard an umpire tell a team this baseball season, “There’s a lot of God-damning coming from this side of the field.”

Before every high school event I go to in Goshen County and in the state of Wyoming, the public address announcer always reminds fans and athletes to enjoy the “RIDE.”

RIDE stands for Respect, Integrity, Dedication and Encouragement.

As the 2022-23 sports season is within weeks of ramping up, it’s time fans and athletes start enjoying the riding. Wins, and yes, even losses are going to happen.

Yes, losses are frustrating, but not every team will and can go undefeated. How people react to the losses shows people’s true character.

It’s time we as a fan base, county and state get back to showing respect, integrity, dedication and encouragement, but in this day and age of entitlement, it’s tough to remember this.

At the end of the day, you’re not entitled to anything. You have to go out and earn it.

This was another valuable lesson I learned growing up. My freshman year during the high school basketball season, the team went through a three-game losing streak, including a 15-point road loss to the South Coffeyville (Oklahoma) Lions. After a team meeting and early morning practice the next day, coach John Bilby scrapped the starting lineup and said if you want a starting spot, go earn it.

Well, myself and a sophomore answered the call and knocked out a couple of the upperclassmen out of the starting lineup for the next several games. The upperclassmen also responded in a positive way, showing their true character, ultimately re-earning their starting spot a few games later. The Chanute Christian Academy Warriors never lost another game for the rest of the season, capping off the season with a Kansas state championship.

The team responded in a positive manner, and we were better off in the end for it. Torrington, Southeast and Lingle-Fort Laramie fan bases, how will you respond to negative situations this season? Will you let it get the best of you or will you be better off for not letting it get the best of you?

Let’s show the rest of the state the true side of the county this school year because as the WHSAA says, “This is how we RIDE.”

And one last side/random note heading into the season, I’m one person and can’t be at every game. It’s not because I’m lazy, or I want others to do my work for me. I would be at every event if I could, but it’s not humanly possible. I just want to say thank you, in advance, to the coaches and athletic directors of the Goshen County School District for keeping myself and the Torrington Telegram in the loop of what’s going on at their respective schools to keep the pages of the sports section full of local content for our readers. Yes, even when I can’t be at a game.


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