The Ritzville Adams County Journal - Eastern Adams County's Only Independent Voice Since 1887

By Jeremy Burnham

Athletic director to parents and athletes: don't abuse referees


Last updated 8/28/2019 at 9:23pm

Sportsmanship was the message of the day at the first Lind-Ritzville/Sprague athlete and parent meeting of the year.

“Great sportsmanship takes a great team,” LRS athletic director Greg Whitmore said at the meeting. “Everything in my life is based around a team. I don’t care if its marriage, I don’t care if it’s a coaching staff or a teaching staff. I look at everything as a team. Once you start not being a team, things don’t go well.”

Whitmore said it takes a team to make athletics an enjoyable experience for the students, but that there’s one part of the team that often gets forgotten: the officials.

“We often think of officials as the enemy,” Whitmore said. “We have to treat officials like they are part of our team. Because everything we do is for the kids. If you’re a parent, you want a great experience for your kids. If you’re a coach, you want a great experience for your kids. I guarantee you, the officials want a great experience for your kids.”

He hit home the point several more times.

“Officials are our teammates,” Whitmore said. “They have their role just like everyone else, and that is to call the plays as they see them. And just like us coaches, they aren’t perfect. They make mistakes but they try their best just like the coaches.”

Whitmore encouraged parents to not blame losses on referees in front of their children, because doing so would teach the students that it is OK.

He also urged parents not to criticize coaches to their kids, and instead reach out to the coach with any concerns they may have.


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