When the Monomoy boys lacrosse team finished its Monday practice, they decided to show some love to the girls team, which was currently doing battle against Sacred Heart on the turf at MRHS. To say they were loud is, well, an understatement. But rude? Not so much, which is why when they rankled an official and were tossed out of the stadium, the move rankled others, including me.
Having been on the sidelines of many a high school game in my career, I can safely say that while I might not have seen it all, I've certainly seen a lot. Armed with that knowledge, I would like to remind fellow fans, opposing teams, and officials that loud doesn't equal rude.
Were the boys loud? Absolutely. Were they making an impression? Definitely. What matters most, however, is that they were THERE. I've written before about how difficult it seems to encourage people beyond parents to come to girls games. For reasons I don't understand, fans seem to think that girls games are boring. Obviously, they've never given them enough attention since that is nowhere near the truth.
Before the boys arrived at the girls game, there were only a handful of fans in the bleachers. Once the boys showed up, they raised the energy level on the sidelines, adding greater excitement to what was already a thrilling competition. The only person fazed by their vociferous cheering was the lone official, who grew so irritated with their enthusiasm that eventually game play was stopped until the boys left the arena.
Given that I was standing maybe 20 or so feet away (and the fact that they were quite loud) I can assure you that nothing was said that would justify such action. There was no swearing. No chants calling out the opposing team. Nothing except good-natured support for friends and fellow student athletes.
When they got kicked out, everyone was more than a little stunned. Fortunately, what followed was pure awesomeness, and a reminder to just let kids play their games. As the boys made their way to the parking lot (where they continued their vocal support), the parents picked up where they left off, shouting, clapping, and cheering just as loudly.
There are certainly times when kids being kids warrants admonishment. This wasn't one of those times. In a world where not enough people attend girls games, let's not punish those who do when there is no real reason.