Rivalry game could’ve ended a lot differently
Published 12:00 am Sunday, December 12, 1999
Column By: STEVEN G. WATSON
Close contests and competitive athletes playing their hearts out make for a strong rivalry any time you put the two factors together. Being that the two schools in question are only a stone’s throw away from each other doesn’t hinder the process either I suppose, and deep down I truly believe that when two teams are that competitive and excited about playing one another great things more often than not come from it. The bad and the ugly seem to find their way through the cracks as well however.
The last three games between the boys’ varsity at Goshen and Pike County have been won by three points or less by the Eagles. That makes for a pretty emotional contest any way you look at it. What a rivalry game such as this one doesn’t need are fans getting to emotional about the whole thing in their attempt to be a part of the contest.
In Friday’s 52-49 win by Goshen, Kendaris Pelton of GHS was on a break away and was fouled hard by a Pike County player which sent him crashing to the floor. The ref immediately made the correct call crossing his arms and signaling the intentional foul. The play led to a four-point swing Goshen’s way at a crucial time and when you look at how hard fought each point was in this contest, it was definitely a turning point.
That should have been the end of it, but it wasn’t.
Words were spoken and fans began to charge the court causing confusion and creating a very volatile situation for everyone concerned.
This kind of thing always makes me cringe. I can’t stand to see a fantastic game tarnished by the actions of people who feel the need to be a part of a game physically when they have no business anywhere on the court.
I wrote a column last week on fans being an important part of the game and how support for your team and cheering can effecting the outcome, but actually getting physically involved is an absolute horror.
Cheering and making noise for your team is one thing, taking part in something as stupid as what almost happened on the gym floor Friday night is another.
You have to give a lot of credit to the coaches, refs, law enforcement personnel and school officials from both sides Friday night for keeping the peace and allowing the true participants of the game finish what they started.
It was a fantastic game and who knows what would have happened if the peace had not been kept. Those players from both sides might have been cheated out of the chance to play an outstanding game.
After it was over opposing players showed no ill will toward each other. Some shook hands and others even hugged afterwards.
That shows that sometimes we can all learn a lesson from those who actually play the game in learning that’s all it really is ­ a game.