Baxter’s Blitz

Baxter: What happened to sportsmanship?

scvarsity@ sc.rr.comMarch 20, 2013 

Jim Baxter


AS I WAS viewing film from this past football season this week, I wondered if sportsmanship might be approaching nostalgic status.

Football doesn’t have a monopoly on it, either. Sportsmanship is sometimes as misunderstood, or ignored, as something called teamwork.

It’s not cool to be a good sport or a good teammate anymore. It’s all about “me” and not you. Look no further than the “ID” lines for shoe companies where players can personalize their cleats, have their numbers screened on sweat bands or get their name plastered across the back of a jersey in block letters.

What happened to the days of no names on the jerseys and everyone wearing the same dull black cleats?

We’re all to blame. As parents, we’ve become a “my kid’s first” community.

Old school values are not being taught like they used to be. Thus, punishments for doing wrong are more difficult to accept.

High school coaches deal frequently with parents who want their kids played at certain positions or “we’re moving him outta here.”

The High School League in South Carolina tries to enforce sportsmanship, but it is at the mercy of the membership.

I don’t think sportsmanship will make a comeback, but we can all hope.


Kendall Joseph, LB, Belton-Honea Path (2014): At 6-foot-2, 225 pounds, Joseph is one of the top linebackers in the Class of 2014, according to He got his first offers this week from Louisville, UCLA and Appalachian State

Demetrius Lewis, QB, Irmo (2014): This 6-3, 185-pounder got part-time starting duties as a junior and was productive. He’s a dual threat quarterback.

Trayvon Thomas, RB, Darlington (2015): At 5-9, 195, he may be the best running back in South Carolina’s 2015 class. He’s explosive but could improve his straightline speed.

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