Archived Story

John Jarpe: For the pleasure of the sport and the game

Published 7:33pm Wednesday, February 1, 2012

On Tuesday night, the Lady Bobcats from Brandywine played against the St. Joseph Bears at the St. Joe gym. In a very close game; the Bears won 50-44.

These two teams played each other at Brandywine a year ago, and in that contest, Brandywine won a close game. The two schools play in different classes (“C” for Brandywine, “B” for St. Joe) and are a little more than 20 miles apart, so although it’s not a true rivalry, for the past couple years, they have played great games against each other.

It’s not just the close scores that make these games fun and exciting to watch. Games like this should remind fans why we like sports. Here are some of my reasons:

• The coaches of both teams emphasize teamwork and unselfish play, and the players follow the coaches’ plans.

• You never saw showboating or hot-dogging after a good play or basket.

• Officiating is a tough job, and there are always calls that can be wrong — yet, never once did a player roll her eyes or say a word to a ref, nor did coaches get after the officials.
• Fans from both schools behaved very well — no insults, no questionable cheers, no booing.

• When it was allover, coaches and players from both teams showed great sportsmanship.

Daily Star Sports Editor Scott Novak once told me he enjoys watching and writing about high school sports for all the above reasons. In a few days, and leading up to the Super Bowl, we will see the opposite in Indianapolis: Trash-talking; fans going berserk over calls; players celebrating routine plays; and all the hype in the world. Of course I’ll watch, and of course I’ll cheer (for the team with the most Michigan guys). But, the best and most enjoyable game of the week for me was Tuesday night, watching two good teams battle up in St. Joe.

If you haven’t been to a high school game in awhile, go back and rediscover what sports should be all about. If you go to high school games, thanks and keep it up!

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