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Letter To The Editor - Unsportsmanlike Conduct

 

Jennifer Stewart

LaGrange

 

To the Editor:

It has been several years since my family and I have attended a high school football game, so we decided to take the advantage of the beautiful fall weather and attend Lakeland’s home game vs. Fairfield. Since both teams were 6-0 coming into this game, and Fairfield has always been a tough opponent, we knew this was going to be a great game. But what we witnessed by several of the Lakeland players during the game, and by several members of the Lakeland student body after the game, has turned a Friday night of fun into that of questioning “why?”

I couldn’t believe all of the unsportsmanlike conduct from the Lakeland team. This included late hits, down and out playing dirty, and players coming off the field and smacking the coaches on the behind without any repercussions. Keep in mind not all of Lakeland’s players were playing like this. And, yes, I know I was at a football game, and I’m very aware of what goes on in this sport. But to be allowed to act like a bunch of thugs on the field time and time again makes me question how proud we should be of our school and the athletes that represent Lakeland.

But what truly upsets my family and me is how the Lakeland student body acted after the game. We were standing down where both teams would walk to the locker rooms. There were a group of students from Lakeland standing across from us celebrating Lakeland’s win. As the players from Fairfield were walking back to the locker room, a Lakeland student thought it would be funny to smack Fairfield’s players on the behind and make fun of them, while the other Lakeland students stood around laughing at the Fairfield players. The students didn’t do the above to just a few players from Fairfield, they proceeded to do this to just about every member of the team until an adult stepped in to stop this behavior.

All of this was allowed to go on while several Lakeland parents and staff members stood by and looked the other way. Yes, I’m all for taking pride in your school and showing your school spirit but this is not how you do it. If you are on the losing team you take your licks on the field and when the game is done you shouldn’t have to be subjected to humiliation on the way to the locker room by the opposing team’s student body. I was truly embarrassed!