Letter to the Editor: Vikings are athletes and gentlemen

Submitted to Dorchester Banner
The Dorchester Banner welcomes opinions from readers.

I recently attended a wrestling tournament at Easton High School, where our Cambridge-South Dorchester High team competed with more than a dozen other high schools from around the state. From what I could see, the Vikings did pretty well on the mat, but I was even more impressed with the way the team represented our community.

As a sports writer in a former professional life, I’ve covered dozens of these events and know how easy it is for student athletes to get themselves into trouble while coaches are fully engaged at multiple mats, sometimes in completely different rooms. Because of the intense, face-to-face aggression between wrestlers over the course of three periods, these tournaments are almost tailored to get an unattended athlete into trouble.

Instead, the Vikings represented their school by being well-behaved, organized and left their area in the stands clean. I’d had some contact with a few of the wrestlers when they were younger in other sports, and each of those young men went out of their way to shake hands and say hello.

We hear a lot of stories coming out of our local schools, and they aren’t always good, but I thought it was important to share how our local student athletes represented us in a positive way in front of hundreds of spectators. If you know a student athlete at any of your local high schools, take the time to thank them for representing their community.

If you are involved in youth sports, or even have a child participating, please take a few minutes to tell them how important it is to represent all of us here, and the privilege they have been given. Good sportsmanship is a great way to set a new example.

Brandon Hesson