Originally created 05/07/02

Lakeside tennis fans behave badly

I'm writing on the subject of sportsmanship, something that deserves the utmost attention in Augusta. I go to Thomas County Central High School where I am a member of the varsity tennis team.

When I was told we were going to get to play our state tennis match in Augusta I was rather excited. We arrived in Augusta April 30 and were scheduled to play Lakeside High School the next day. I knew nothing at all of Lakeside, except that they would probably be a really tough opponent. We showed up the next day to play our match; the Cairo High School girls who were from our region were already playing.

When we arrived at the tennis courts we were greeted by a large gathering of LHS fans. This was unique seeing so many people there to watch tennis. Up until this point I still had no notion of what was to come and the behavior of the Lakeside students. One and two singles and number one doubles were up to play. I play the doubles and when we started play, the crowd was incredibly noisy during the points. I could understand perfectly cheering in between after a good shot but this was ridiculous.

We lost. Lakeside is an impressive tennis team, although their sportsmanship is lacking and this brings me back to my original point. After we got off the court (my partner and I) we watched as the other one and two singles finished up and we all went down and watched the girls play. As they played there was a constant chatter amongst the crowd and quite a few loud outbursts when the Cairo girl went into her backswing. When the Cairo girls and their coach used the cafeteria bathroom, they and were booed by the kids in the cafeteria. This is rude and disrespectful. I wondered where the faculty was.

One of the Cairo girls was even spat on. I'm particularly upset with the LHS coach for not dealing with the crowd. One Lakeside player told one of our tennis moms that "Thomas County Sucks!" This is all poor behavior.

I'm sure there are wonderful students and teachers at LHS; unfortunately not many showed up for the tennis match ...

Patrick Morales, Thomas County, Ga.


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