Thursday, January 5, 2017


As we pass from fall to winter sports, it is a good time to reflect on an issue that has affected our local sports teams this past season. There have not been any local headlines about the subject, but there is a shortage of sports officials in North Idaho that has reached a crisis point. This season, there were soccer games canceled, and multiple football and volleyball games rescheduled at the high school level in District 1, which covers the four northern counties of Idaho. Many youth leagues had to cancel or postpone games due to this problem.
The decline in numbers is a national trend. The economy certainly is a factor. When the economy declines, people need extra money and officiating is a viable part-time opportunity. However, when the economy is good, then officiating is not worth the aggravation to most. I use the term “aggravation” because officiating is something that you really must “want” to do, as opposed to “have” to do in order to succeed. As a long-time football official once told me, being a ref is something you are … not what you do.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

What sportsmanship! Gamecocks rescue UGA Equestrian Team before SEC Championships

COLLEGE STATION, TX (WIS) - The University of South Carolina and University of Georgia equestrian teams are pretty competitive. After all, the Gamecocks are the defending SEC Champions and the Bulldogs are six-time National Champions.

And the Gamecocks were the number 2 seed in the SEC Tournament this weekend. Georgia was ranked #1.

But the competition doesn't keep the riders from helping each other when they can.

En route to the SEC Championships in College Station, TX Friday morning, Georgia's team bus broke down. So the University of South Carolina team sent its bus to pick up the riders. 

The Bulldogs expressed their gratitude through a tweet Friday: "A bus breakdown is an exciting start to the morning, right? Thanks to @GamecockEQ for sending theirs to get us."

Autistic boy who shared lunch with FSU football player on hand for team's comeback victory

A boy featured in a photo with a Florida State University football player that quickly went viral for the special message behind it attended the team’s home opener as a special guest of the Seminoles. Bo Paske, a middle school student with autism who shared a meal with wide receiver Travis Rudolph said it was “an absolute blast,” Fox 5 Atlanta reported.

Ahead of Monday’s game, Rudolph presented Paske with a custom FSU jersey featuring the boy’s name on the back. Paske and his mother Leah were in attendance as FSU staged a major comeback victory over Ole Miss.

“It’s definitely been a whirlwind, but FSU and ESPN and the whole team has been fantastic and so gracious and kind and generous,” Leah told Fox 5 Atlanta. “Just bringing us here and putting us up. The gifts, they gave him shirts today, so it’s just been fantastic.”

UNLV athletes, Metro Police partner for children’s holiday party

The UNLV athletes who live at the Rebel Place Apartments near campus see these children on most days. It seemed only fitting they celebrate the holidays together.
Heads bobbed, hands raised, hips moved and legs stomped to Christmas music as children and their parents opened fortune cookies, drank hot chocolate and played football with the UNLV players Wednesday outside the complex.
More than 100 local children then lined up at the complex’s front door to eat pizza, take pictures with Santa Claus and unwrap gifts.
Click link to see more ... 

WATCH: OU embodies sportsmanship as Memphis' Rykhoek is stretchered off court

After a collision with Oklahoma's Matt Freeman, Memphis big man Chad Rykhoek went down with a scary injury in the second half on Saturday in Norman. The immediate reaction was an awesome show of sportsmanship, with both teams huddling around him to show their support.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

This is Olympic sportsmanship at its finest

On Friday, Dario Cologna of Switzerland won his second gold medal of the Sochi Olympics, finishing first in the men's 15k Classic in 38:29. More than 25 minutes later, with 85 other competitors having crossed the finish line, Peru's Roberto Carcelen was still on the course. And so was Cologna.
The gold medalist (bib 35) came back to the finish line to greet Carcelen as he completed his race to cheering fans and with a Peruvian flag he picked up in the final meters of the race. Once there, Cologna offered a warm handshake to the last-place finisher who came in 28 minutes behind him. Race winners almost always congratulate those they defeated, but usually when the deficits are in seconds, not dozens of minutes.
Carcelen, one of Peru's three athletes at the Winter Olympics, broke a rib last month but wanted to compete in Sochi anyway.
"Isn't this what the Olympic spirit is all about?" he wrote on his website prior to arriving in Russia.
As the gold medalist showed, Carcelen wasn't the only cross-country skier who knows something about the Olympic spirit.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Act of sportsmanship gives Texas high schooler shot at glory

From CBS News (with video)

EL PASO, Texas -- Coach Peter Morales of the Coronado High School Thunderbirds in El Paso, Texas, makes no qualms about it: he has a favorite on this team.

Team manager Mitchell Marcus has a developmental disability, but he far surpasses everyone here when it comes to love of the game.
"He's just an amazing person that our basketball team loves being around," Morales says.
Mitchell's mom, Amy, says he's always been that way.
"Mitchell always had a basketball, that was always what he wanted for his birthday," she says.
And because basketball is that important to him, on the last game of the regular season, the coach told Mitchell to suit up.
"I was very happy," Mitchell says of what it was like to put on the team's uniform.
Just wearing a jersey was enough for Mitchell, but what he didn't know -- what no one knew at the time -- was that the coach planned to play him at the end, no matter what the score.
Morales says he was prepared to lose the game.
"For his moment in time, yes," he says.
With a minute-and-a-half left -- Coronado leading, but only by 10 -- Coach Morales put in his manager.
"And I just started hearing, 'Mitchell, Mitchell,'" Morales says.
But here's where the fairytale fell apart. Although his teammates did everything they could to get Mitchell a basket, each time they passed him the ball, he either missed the shot, or, like on their last possession, booted it out of bounds, turning the ball over to the other team with just seconds left.