Laing students honor Lincoln athletes for sportsmanship

  • Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Members of the Lincoln Middle School football team hold up the sign made for them by the students on the Laing Middle School football team. PHOTO PROVIDED

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On Tuesday Nov. 12, the Lincoln Middle School football team traveled to nearby Laing Middle School in Mount Pleasant for a regularly-scheduled seasonal match. Laing was the clear victor, however, something unexpected happened for LMHS students on that fateful night.

Following Tuesday’s game, LMHS principal Dr. Yvonne Commodore received a call from a parent at Laing who raved about how the LMHS boys “totally impressed her” with their sportsmanship, and as a result, the parents of Laing told Dr. Commodore that they wanted to provide a special treat for the team on Friday.

That Friday, Nov. 15, members of the Lincoln Middle School football team, along with their coaches Benjamin Rzyski and Athletic Director Rodney DeWitt, were treated to a complimentary lunch courtesy of Big Game Bar and Grill and the parents of Laing Middle School’s football team. Joanna Sparks, who manages Big Game Bar and Grill and whose son Isaac plays for Laing, came to personally deliver the meal to LMHS. Ms. Sparks was accompanied by Coach Richard Poole, Poole’s wife and Poole’s son Dillon who serves as assistant coach to the Laing team.

Coach Poole, who has been coaching for 13 years, said that LMHS students “displayed more moral character than some of the other teams in the league.” Poole, who is a father of six boys, said that, as he has reiterated to his own boys, if you do the right thing, it will make a difference in the end. He, along with the parents of Laing, wanted to show LMHS students that their positive actions did not go unnoticed.

Poole’s son Dillon said of LMHS, “the team acted like they were a family and served as each other’s own fans.” They didn’t give up, regardless of the score, and that was one of the things that impressed the Laing parents and athletic staff the most. Laing players also provided Lincoln students with a card that expressed their gratitude for their honorable sportsmanship.

Chances are years from now LMHS students won’t remember what the score was of the Laing game, but hopefully they will remember the importance of their actions. They left that game with something greater than a victory; they left with an important life lesson.

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