Lessons to be learned from football incident

One week ago, many Hancock County residents awoke hearing of a fight at the end of the Weir High-Oak Glen High football game, which reportedly involved a small group of coaches and players.

We may never fully know or understand what set off those events, who said what or who threw the first punch, but we do hope the incident has given us all some time to think.

While no one has been fired, it was decided Oak Glen head coach Ian Wittington would not be taking the field for the remainder of the season. Offensive coordinator Jason Kekseo will be leading the squad in the interim.

Coaches of any sport are held to a certain standard in today’s society, where athletics often are an important component of each community. As educators, they are expected to set a positive example for their students, teaching them not only math, science and history, but also right from wrong.

As coaches, they are asked to teach good sportsmanship to the players under their watch.

In this instance, those coaches involved failed to do so, both in preventing the fight among the students and by taking part themselves.

Just as important, we hope the players themselves understand the position they, too, hold within our communities. As athletes, even at a high school level, they often are put in a position where they are expected to perform as leaders and set an example for their fellow students.

While emotions often are high during a game, any issues, anger or problems need to be left on the field the moment that final whistle sounds. Even the biggest and most personal rivalries of this, and any type of game, should end in only one way; with a handshake and well wishes.

We cannot change what happened that Friday night. We can only hope that we all do better in the future.