The incident that made news this week involving a parent who apparently shone a laser at an opposing goalie at a girls hockey game is one of those situations where it truly can be said that the action of one person is in no way reflective of the community at large.
Winthrop athletes, coaches, and fans long have been acknowledged as among the most sportsmanlike of all the schools and communities in our area. Yes, we are a rabid sports town where our high school teams excel year-after-year, despite the long odds of being the smallest school in our conference.
But we submit that it is precisely because our community engages in athletics in a sportsmanlike manner that our young people have had so much success on the playing fields, in the high schools gyms, and in the hockey arenas.
Athletic competition requires discipline for it to be a successful endeavor. If Winthrop athletes and their supporters were anything other than gentlemen and ladies, both on and off the court, we would not be anywhere near as successful as we have been for generations. It is axiomatic that our success is a product of our conduct and there is no one in our community who was not dismayed by the actions of that one foolish person this past week.
That so many of our student-athletes have gone on to success in college and in their careers speaks for itself and embodies what General Douglas MacArthur said about the value of athletic competition when he was the Commandant of West Point: “On the fields of friendly strife are sown the seeds which in later years and on other fields will yield the fruits of victory.”
This past winter season once again has seen our student-athletes attain immense success, with the boys and girls hockey and basketball teams all qualifying for the state tourney. We congratulate these athletes, their coaches, and their parents, for a great season and for once again bringing a great measure of Viking Pride to every gym and arena they visited.
They have been a credit to their school, their family, and our town.