Peninsula on probation

Sports teams put on probation from the Scholastic Cup because of multiple ejections

Christian Lewis, Reporter

One of the first things anyone learns when joining a sports team is the value of sportsmanship and respect for not only the other players, but the game itself. In the last year, this simple idea has caused many problems for some athletes and the school. The seahawks were placed on a “watchlist” by the WIAA because they surpassed the limit of five ejections for all sports.

”We as a school don’t want to be known for having a large number of ejections,” Athletic Director Phil Willenbrock said.

In the 2012-2013 WIAA Scholastic Cup the Seahawks earned enough points to place 16th in the state. But because they accumulated more than four ejections in the past year, all 540 points that Seahawk state athletes worked hard to acquire were nullified, so the school received zero points and zero recognition for their hard work.

As a public school, Willenbrock believes it is the school’s responsibility to teach the students about the value of sportsmanship; which is why he presented a sportsmanship plan to the school board along with principal Tim Winter. In the long run he wants the Seahawks to be taken off this probation list.

To do so, Willenbrock said,“There are three ways to lead, by fear, aspiration and education.”

Following this theory he said that as a school, we are trying to increase the penalties for unsportsmanlike behavior so students will think about the consequences of their actions. Along with this, he wants to encourage student athletes to aspire to do well in whatever they do, by promoting events like the Scholastic Cup, because many students are unaware this Cup even exists. The last step in this process involves coaches becoming teachers, taking proactive steps to educate their athletes about how to react if they ever come into a potentially dangerous situation.

But for a change to take place, these values have to go beyond the team atmosphere, and enter the classroom to truly solve the problem.

“Physical Education (PE)  is a good place to initiate the concept of sportsmanship to students; it creates a base that will transfer into athletics,” PE teacher and football coach Mauritz Winquist said.

Winquist also said that while physical education is a good place to initiate sportsmanship, it is not always the best place because many athletes are involved in sports outside of school. In some cases these students are not receiving the correct education about sportsmanship on these club teams.

“We are on this watch list because of a small percentage of students,” Winquist said.

Whether this small percentage of athletes are or are not receiving the correct education on sportsmanship, the reality is, it is causing state athletes hard work to go to waste. To rectify the situation, athletes cooperation with administrators will be crucial.