Sportsmanship initiative shifts focus from field to fans

Miranda Smith, Campus Carrier Sports Editor

Avery Boulware, Campus Carrier Managing Editor

shipwreck in a sea of faces
Fans cheer on the football team last Saturday during their game against Maryville College. Berry won the game 38-5. Photo by Andrea Hill | Campus Carrier

The Berry Athletic Department has begun a new initiative to encourage sportsmanship at all Berry events.

According to Head Baseball Coach and Assistant Athletic Director David Beasley, the focus of sportsmanship is being shifted from the the field to the stands.

“There’s two parts of sportsmanship; there’s on the field or court, and I feel very strongly that we’ve always done a great job about that,” Beasley said. “The other [part] is the fans that come to the game.”

Derek Taylor, who is also serving as assistant athletic director, says sportsmanship can be beneficial even after college.

“I think there are lot of things that athletics does that can carry over to the rest of your life, and sportsmanship is one of those,” Taylor said. “To me, it gets down to how you treat people and how you want to be treated. You want to be around people who will build you up.”

Resident assistants were also encouraged to spread the message of sportsmanship to their residents.

Senior RA Brittni Hoover, who is an athlete as well as a spectator, emphasized the importance of sportsmanship.

“For the most part, I feel that Berry has really stellar athletes,” Hoover said. “There will always be athletes that can over-celebrate and that are over-cocky on the field, you will get that anywhere. However, I’m thankful that Berry is putting good sportsmanship not only on the forefront of our athletes’ minds, but also the students’ and spectators’ minds to foster a mindset of humility both on and off the field.”

According to Beasley, the athletes and the spectators both play a role in how a game can turn out. The initiative starts with discipline because it can help or hurt a team or student body.

“When you have a team that’s very disciplined and can control their emotions, I think they tend to have more success than undisciplined teams,” Beasley said. “On the baseball field, I tell my players ‘no negative emotion.’ Sportsmanship has a lot to do with discipline.”

Beasley describes how discipline and mutual respect can transfer from the field to the future after graduation.

“You have to have that discipline aspect in any part of life,” Beasley said. “I think that athletics does a great job at teaching young men and women commitment and discipline.”

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