The #SportsmanshipTogether series follows examples of good sportsmanship and programs doing things the right way in an effort to highlight the positive things seen across the NCHSAA during the Association's "Sportsmanship … Together we make the right call" campaign. If you see an example of excellent sportsmanship at an NCHSAA member school or event, please contact James Alverson of the NCHSAA with the details (firstname.lastname@example.org).
ROCKY MOUNT – We've all seen it, a player gets injured in a game. It is not a pretty part of the sports experience, but it was part of the reality of the JV men's soccer match between C.B. Aycock and Rocky Mount on Tuesday, September 13.
Sam Andrews from C.B. Aycock was injured trying to make a play in the Rocky Mount box, and laid behind the Gryphons goal. His injury drew the attention of Rocky Mount JV goalkeeper, Lucas Martinez. Martinez quickly got the attention of the match official and stayed by the side of the injured player until the coaching staff and trainers could get to him.
"I checked to see if he was okeay and he wasn't, so I called the referee over because he didn't know what happened," Martinez said. "I was just looking out for him and I didn't want to see anybody get a major injury that could take him out for the season." After the game, Martinez made it over to the C.B. Aycock sideline to check on the injured Andrews who had fractured his ankle in two places.
It is not the injury itself that drew attention to the event, it was the simple act of concern and sportsmanship shown by Martinez that drew the attention of Andrews' mother, Betty Andrews. So moved by the kindness and concerned shown to her son by Martinez and the rest of the staff from Rocky Mount, Betty emailed Rocky Mount Athletic Director Michael Gainey to thank the student-athlete and staff.
She wrote …
"Dear Mr. Gainey,
I would like to commend Rocky Mount High School and especially the JV Soccer Goalie on their sportsmanship in Tuesday evenings match against CBA High School. After a play on the ball, my son went down behind the goal. Your Goalie recognized he was hurt, obtained the attention of the Referee and remained with him until our Coach and teammates were able to get over to help him. Also after the match ended, this young man came over to the sideline to check on my son.
As a parent, this display of sportsmanship and concern for your fellow man meant so much to us. This young man’s actions speaks immensely about his character and your Athletic program. We would appreciate you sharing our appreciation with this young man, his coaches and School Administration.
We would also like to thank the gentleman who obtained the Gator to help get our son to the car.
Best of luck to your JV Soccer team."
Exhibiting good sportsmanship doesn't cost anything. In many cases it is easy to do, but so often in competition, participants are too distracted to show concern for their fellow competitor. Even when concern is shown, it is not often that someone takes the time to thank that person for their display of good sportsmanship.
Even in the midst of a bad situation, an injury that has ended a young man's season, these individuals and teams were great examples of what high school athletics is supposed to be about. They taught a great lesson in sportsmanship for everyone in attendance, and set a great example set for both communities.