I wanted to share an experience I observed as a volunteer with the “chain gang” as part of a Friday night football game between Snohomish and Marysville-Pilchuck high schools. As a parent having been involved in youth athletics, I was anticipating what seems to have become the norm of trash talking, screaming coaches and out-of- control situations in games. While this does not mean every team behaves this way, many times this seems to be the case throughout different sporting events.
I, along with several dads, took our spot along the field, and as the game began I noticed that there was an absence of “chirpiness” from the players and out-of-control coaches. This had nothing to do with the score and more to do with the expectations of coaches and players. As we moved the chains up and down the sideline, players apologized for bumping into us and said “excuse me” as they tried to get around us. One player in the fourth quarter approached me and asked if I had a kid playing and when I pointed him out he simply said; “Cool, he’s good” and then stepped back off of the sideline.
The coaches clearly led by example. Never once did I hear swearing from a coach (or player) and even when plays did not develop as expected, the coaches never lost composure on the sideline. I was so impressed that I sought out one of the coaches after the game to tell him how proud he should be of his team, not because of the score but the character they showed throughout the game. So, while I’ll continue cheering for SHS and have seen that our coaches and players exhibit the same level of sportsmanship, I would like to say thank you to the Marysville-Pilchuck football team. I hope they finish their season with a state championship win as they demonstrated to me on a Friday in September that they are deserving of this title.