Letter to the Editor

Poor sportsmanship was on display

Sunday, November 18, 2007

To the editor:What my daughter and I learned this weekend: I grew up spending my weekends on a field of some sort. So when my daughter decided to play soccer, I was thrilled. I was even more thrilled when she was asked to play on the All-Star team in two local tournaments. The Cape Girardeau tournament was last weekend and had all the fanfare that one would expect from die-hard soccer players, fans and parents. As it turned out, that was the problem.

During the championship game, there were disturbing displays of unsportsmanlike conduct from the out-of-town coach and even more disturbing behavior from the parents of the out-of-town players. My daughter left that game crying, not because her team didn't win the trophy, but because the coach from the other team berated the girls and their talent. As it turns out, teaching my children to listen to adults and accept what they are saying backfired on me and, unfortunately, my child.

What presented itself as a great opportunity for my daughter to learn from adults about good sportsmanship and parental support was turned into a lesson about how sometimes adults behave worse than children do. That's what we learned this weekend -- all this, and only in fourth grade. Pity.

PAMELA DENEKE, Cape Girardeau