By The Bakersfield Californian
Recently, a team of my sixth-grade students, my son, a teacher and a few parents participated in a local flag football tournament. It was a mixed tournament with all ages competing against one another.
We were nervous to find that we'd be playing a team with several Centennial High School varsity football players on it. We were apprehensive as parents, and our children were intimidated and unsure to play against such experienced athletes.
I want to commend those Centennial football players for having the best sportsmanship I have seen in a long time. In the competitive world we live in, these boys carried themselves with respect for themselves and for our children. They could have gone out and slaughtered our team (of inexperienced sixth-graders), but instead they played with the boys, built our children up, and modeled exemplary behavior in student athletes. Our children were in awe of the Centennial boys' performance, and our young athletes stopped short of asking for autographs.
High school students often don't understand the impact they have on their younger counterparts and our community. It is wonderful to see high school students who have been raised, coached and encouraged to know that all actions have consequences, positive or negative. I did not catch these athletes' names, but I would like them to know that their attitudes toward our children were greatly appreciated and did not go without notice.