Showcase sportsmanship by student athletes

It’s a Friday night. The Bel Air, C. Milton Wright and North Harford swim meet is going smoothly. Then, all of a sudden, the meet stops. The head official buzzes his starter over and over, getting the swimmers in the current heat out of the water. Everyone is confused, looking around, talking loudly.

    Then, suddenly, a path forms, and the swimmer can be seen at the wall, being held in a head splint by his coach. Everyone grows quiet, watching as the swimmer floats in the hands of his coach, unable to move his head or neck. All at once, everyone turns around, giving the swimmer the privacy he deserves in this vulnerable state.

    The North Harford swim team even leaves the pool deck and prays for the swimmer in the hallway.

    The reality is that injuries happen and coaches and teams have to react.  And with any luck, everyone has the good sense to be respectful and kind.   It’s easy to be respectful and supportive of a fellow teammate, but it is equally important to showcase that same decorum to athletes on other teams. In what was a scary and emotional moment, all of the teams at the aforementioned swim meet showed what it means to represent themselves and their schools in a mature and sincerely respectful way.

   No longer did the amount of points each team had, or who had gotten a best time matter. What mattered was that the boy got out of the pool safely and was swiftly taken to a hospital.

   Having a sense of respect for other athletes on competing teams should be evident in all levels of sports, including professional sports. When Allen Hurns, a wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys, suffered a gruesome injury against the Seahawks, both teams waited respectfully for him to be driven off of the field. Everyone was silently in awe, no longer worried about the game, but about how Hurns was doing, and whether he could ever play football again. The people stands even grew quite, Cowboys and Seahawks fans alike worrying for Hurns. When he was ready to leave the field, both teams gathered on either side of the gurney, wishing Hurns the best, sending their prayers out to him for a speedy recovery.

    Athletics can be competitive and tense, and that comes with the territory. While the score might seem important now, in the long run, the health, well-being of those participating should always be paramount; as such, the behavior of those involved should always reflect the highest level sportsmanship especially in the most critical of moments.