North Carolina High School Athletic Association

Great Sportsmanship By Western Harnett, Cleveland Described By Official

       It’s not hard to hear about problems in the world of sports or examples of bad behavior by athletes, since they seem to pop up often. Even though we pride ourselves in high school athletics on teaching appropriate values, sometimes incidents occur at our level as well.

       Often, though, there are great things that go on at member schools all over the state that we just may not hear about.  And here is one such example—although the difference is somebody wanted to tell the story.

       Joe Wolozyn is a football official registered with the NCHSAA to work games, and he recently wrote to the Association about what had occurred at a recent game he worked:

      “On behalf of the officiating crew who worked the October 30, 2015, junior varsity football game between Western Harnett and Cleveland, I am writing to commend both coaching staffs and players.

      “Despite a frustrating evening for one team and a very successful one for the other, everyone to a man remained focused on playing the game, displayed exceptional sportsmanship, and never lost sight of the true spirit of competition.  In addition, on more occasions than we normally observe, players on both sides of the scrimmage line were offering hands of assistance to teammates and opponents alike at the conclusion of playing action. 

      “In our view, both teams displayed, through their demeanor and their actions, outstanding examples of sportsmanship and should be commended as such.  They represented their schools on the ‘field of strife’ admirably and set an example that others should follow.  It was a pleasure for this crew to have had the opportunity to officiate their game.

      “I request, if possible, that the Western Harnett head coach Larry Brock, his coaching staff and players, and Cleveland head coach Scott Riley, his coaching staff and players, be recognized in an appropriate manner by the NCHSAA for their exemplary individual and collective conduct and sportsmanship.”

      So we are proud to do just that—to recognize both Western Harnett and Cleveland’s head coaches, coaching staffs and players in their junior varsity football programs for living up to the spirit and the mission of education-based athletics and the North Carolina High School Athletic Association.

     We are also grateful to Joe Wolozyn for taking the time to acknowledge these two programs and sharing that with us.