On 5/18/21, Jeff Lemire and I officiated the Boys Varsity Lacrosse game at Valley Regional High School (vs. Morgan).
Before the game, the Valley head coach indicated that he had something to give us at the end of the game. I want to share what happened, since, in my opinion, it was the essence of good sportsmanship that all officials hope to experience, but, unfortunately, too often do not.
At the end of the game, three players, possibly captains, and several other players, possibly seniors, presented us with a certificate of appreciation and a thank-you card, signed by everyone on the team (see attached). There were also friendly exchanges on the sideline (along with a placard of Betty White, their good luck symbol), plus a photo op, which was a nice touch, all in recognition of their Officials’ Appreciation Day. I don’t know who was responsible for making this happen. It may have been the coach, the AD, or school administration, but I think this is the sort of behavior that should be publicized, because all too often we hear only about the ugly aspects of athletic contests.
Obviously, Jeff and I are no different than other officials. We all try to conduct a fair game. We just happened to be in the right place at the right time. Our hats go off to the Valley athletic community, the players, coaches, and parents, who should be very proud of the school’s efforts to instill good sportsmanship and respect and to “honor the game.” I would appreciate it if you would share this experience with the rest of the COLA board. Thank you.