The Press Box For May 24
Covering high school sports can be taxing at times.
You run from one school to the next, you watch what the kids are doing and try to keep up on everything. Often you talk to kids, parents and coaches. Your main goal is to cover all that you can without making any mistakes. Without getting any names wrong or writing up the wrong stats, you do the best you can to give credit where credit is due.
However, mistakes happen and sometimes quite often.
I talk to other writers who run in to the same things I do. Often we don’t know who’s in a picture and we ask someone and it turns out to be wrong. We ask for information and it’s not always correct. I know at least on my part it is never intentional when the wrong person is named or given credit.
I don’t believe in giving credit for someone’s hard work and determination to another individual. This past week that happened. I listed the wrong athlete in a track relay event. I had talked to the an athlete who said he was going to run. However, he opted out at the last minute to avoid further injury, and another athlete replaced him. I was at the finish line in the event and was unable to see who was running and no one had told me any different. Plus it was even posted on Run WV which later published a story about it with the wrong athlete being named.
Nicholas Gorby should have been mentioned as the correct runner instead of Trent Shepherd. Gorby has been the starting leg in the 4×100 since mid-April and is a fine athlete with a lot of potential. His effort was good enough to help the Silver Knights of Tyler Consolidated to a second-place finish in the event at the regionals and qualify for the state meet at Charleston.
It was an honest mistake on my part that I regret. I based my story on what I was told by the other athlete and what was on Run WV, the state’s official track site. Mistakes do happen and when they do they need to be corrected.
The Silver Knights have been an exciting team to watch all year long. Losing Trent Shepherd to an injury really hurt but athletes like Gorby, Anderson and others stepped up and made their presence felt at the state meet, where they finished fifth out of 25 teams.
I congratulate all of the Knights and Paden City athletes who battled against the odds in Charleston this weekend and still came away with several winners.
The kids did amazing with injuries and lack of depth putting them behind the eight ball. There was great support for the teams and that’s one of the most important things a parent can do to motivate their children. Support them even when they’re down. I can tell you positive support can never go wrong, it’s when you beat them down with words you can’t take back, when you blame others for their faults and when you talk in front of them about poor coaching or scream at officials, nothing brings them down quicker.
There is a lot of pressure on kids these days and it’s almost to the point of survival of the fittest. Parents who over react take the fun out of sports and are the most common reason kids give it up. Recognition for an athletes achievements is one of the most important parts of a desire to improve, to work harder and to feel more confident to make a child be the best that he can be.
Failure to give the proper recognition can be degrading and stop motivation. Parents play an important role in seeing their children are treated fairly. Parental involvement is a great thing. It means more than anything else in a parent-child relationship.
I never had that growing up. I was basically on my own but I had a lot of support from my coaches and that alone helped me more than anything else. It made be a better athlete, just knowing someone cared. I remember how it felt, “nerves in my stomach, butterflies, and so scared.” No one to stick up for me. We had very little newspaper coverage and what we did get wasn’t much to write home about.
We here at the paper try are hardest to give fair and honest coverage. We just can’t get everyone in all the time and sometimes we miss those that should have made it. None of that is intentional.
I have pictures of my boys as 5-and 6-year olds playing baseball and basketball, pictures of my girl playing sports. She had a passion for gymnastics and just watching some of the old videos of her brings to mind the importance of parental support. One thing I realize, however, is it’s not a life or death situation if they get passed over on occasion, it happens. It happened to mind many times, but it’s just a game so relax and let the kids have some fun, don’t make a scene, remember it’s your child’s life not yours and it’s their team. Just in case you missed it my e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org
I normally respond within a day.
Congratulations to Jarrett Lemasters of Tyler Consolidated and Jake Pierce of Paden City on winning gold medals at the state track meet in Charleston this past weekend. Also congratulations to all medlists and to all who qualified for the state meet. You are all winners.