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Cheering for Sportsmanship

(This blog first appeared on MHSAA.com January 08, 2013)

I try to start each new school year at the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association summer camp at Michigan State University. I talk briefly about who the MHSAA is and what it does; and then two or three dozen high school newspaper editors and writers ask me questions; and in doing so, they give me clues to what’s going on in our schools and what’s important to our students.

Several years ago, when I opened the session to questions, one young man asked:  “Mr. Roberts, what’s your job?”  I paused, and then said, “I guess I’m the head cheerleader for high school sports in Michigan.”

So then this precocious student asked:  “Okay, what do you cheer for?”  With a briefer pause, this is some of what I said:

  • I cheer for sportsmanship that’s not merely good, but great.
  • I cheer for sportsmanship, not gamesmanship.
  • I cheer for playing by the rules, both the letter and the spirit.
  • I cheer for maximum effort to try to win each and every contest.
  • I don’t cheer for winning at any cost; I do cheer for learning at every opportunity.
  • I cheer for losing with grace and for winning with even greater grace, with humility and modesty.
  • I cheer for the lessons of victory and the even greater lessons of defeat.
Posted in: Sportsmanship

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From the Director is the official MHSAA Blog which will touch on pertinent school sports topics periodically throughout the school year from various MHSAA Staff.