SIDELINE OBSERVATIONS: Good sportsmanship needed at all levels

Published: Tuesday, January 14, 2014 at 02:47 PM.

Running up the score on an outmanned opponent should be considered unsportsmanlike in anyone's book.

Many fans and coaches would argue that they aren't responsible for the other team's inability to score or to keep their team from scoring. The coach might say his or her job is to prepare the team to play and the opposing coach's job is to stop them.

That argument is good at college or professional levels, where teams are supposed to play on a more level playing field. But a high school coach is stuck with the talent on campus unless he or she recruits and breaks the rules.

No high school team will win a state championship by running up the score against an overmatched opponent. Good teams will win their playoff games and march to the state finals.

At the end, it only matters if you win, not by how many points you win.

One of the things I've always admired about Baker School football Coach Matt Brunson is his willingness to take his foot off the gas when a game's in hand.

Yes, Brunson-coached teams have won games by big margins and with a running clock, but it's not because he intentionally ran up the score for the sake of beating a team into submission.

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