With the start of another high school sports season comes another opportunity to remind players, coaches and fans about respect both for officials and for the game itself. We all remember the tragic death of a recreation league soccer official in Taylorsville, only last year after he was punched by a player he was trying to discipline.
Then, this week, a 24-year-old Cameroonian soccer player died after being hit in the head by an object thrown from the stands just seconds after scoring on a penalty kick.
While it's highly unlikely that such a drastic event would take place here in Summit County, it's important that coaches teach players the proper way to interact with game officials and to provide good examples themselves.
And, as fans and parents, we need to remember that high-school and lower-level players are looking up to us as well. Constant complaining from the sidelines won't affect a referee's decision and will only serve to set a bad example to the athletes on the field.
While disagreements are part of every competitive sport, there is a right way and a wrong way to voice displeasure. Let's hope our Summit County athletes and coaches set a good example for younger athletes in the community who look up to them and handle the inevitable bad calls with respect and restraint.