Veronica Preaskorn, Editor in Chief

Competition has always been a huge part of sports, but some schools are taking the competition too far. Even at an early age, parents taught their children about good sportsmanship. As the kids get older, however, they forget what their parents taught them and only care about winning. Oakton athletes have to put up with people damaging equipment, cheating, and even being cursed at. Competition is good- healthy even- but players are taking things too far.


For Thomas Katsakos, a player on the Oakton freshman football team, competition is a main part of the game. “South Lakes wasn’t very sportsman like,” he said when asked if any schools were showing unsportsmanlike conduct. “I’m sure Westfield will be a very competitive game. Just wave them off; don’t let it bug you. You take it as a compliment.” Even before joining the football team, Thomas had to deal with this kind of behavior playing basketball.  The football team is not the only team who puts up with this.


Oakton’s boys varsity lacrosse team is now the state champions; however, it took a very aggressive game against Robinson to earn that title. After a stick check (the ref checks the stick to make sure it is regulation; pockets aren’t too deep, the head is correct, etc.) on Robinson’s Nicholas Rowlett was called by assistant coach Aaron Solomon, the faceoff man- not to mention one of their best players- was punished with a three-minute penalty. The pocket on Rowlett’s stick was against regulation. As if that weren’t enough, Robinson players huddled around him so that he could try to adjust the strings before the refs came over. With Oakton winning the game with two goals in less than forty seconds, lots of emotions were flying. The Robinson players and coach thought it was an unfair and a bush-league move. As the Robinson players received their runner up medals, you could see the Oakton players kneeling respectfully as a team. The Robinson players were not so respectful; they threw and drop kicked their medals. Only moments before that, they had been spitting on and damaging Oakton’s equipment. After asking one player if he’d act that way if they’d lost, he replied with, “Coach Bullock would never tolerate that behavior.”


Isabella Ricci, a cheerleader on the JV team, said, “An individual from another school commented on one of my teammate’s posts telling her things like, ‘you must suck at cheer to be a junior on the JV team,’ and ‘our team deserved that win not you.’ Things like that really hurt our feelings, because we worked super hard to get that trophy!” The JV team recently competed and placed third. They had to deal with people telling them that they weren’t good enough, “My advice for dealing with rude players on the other teams is purely to ignore them. They say these things to make you feel bad about yourself and normally because they are jealous. Answering rude comments just fuels them to continue. As long as you and your team know that you’re doing your best, then anything that someone else says doesn’t matter!”

 Sports have always been a competition, but some players are taking things too far. With social media and texting, it’s easier to be rude. Different athletes have different stories, but they all keep their heads up and continue working harder. They ignore the comments that are most likely fueled by jealousy. Even through the worst of unsportsmanlike conduct, be respectful and take the high road.