Good sportsmanship makes for good people | Editorial

If you’re ever concerned about the state of our youth, just watch a Viking sports game.

Our boys’ and girls’ basketball teams took on Friday Harbor last week in their first game of the district play-offs. As our rival, we expected the Wolverines to bring intensity on their home court.

The Vikings lost both games, but as a family member of two of the athletes, as well as a community member who has watched these kids play for years, I could not have been more proud of our student athletes.

Despite questionable officiating, a staggering number of foul calls and playing on a foreign court, the Vikings played with determination and grace. Senior Lilly Miller earned sportsmanship recognition from the Wolverines and sophomore Jessi Nichols helped an injured Friday Harbor player off the court. After the boy’s game, the Vikings were smiling and looking ahead to the next competition.

Our island communities do an incredible job of offering athletic opportunities to young adults. Viking pride is strong – as evidenced by fans who the watch games, financial support of local businesses and the revitalization of the Booster Club.

Orcas Island proved its dedication to our kids by overwhelming supporting the public school’s maintenance and operation levy and the park and rec district’s levy.

Go Orcas. You have put your money where it really counts.

The M&O levy funds teacher salaries, music programs, athletics, staff training, classified staff salaries, ELL programs, special education, and other vital programs.

The park and rec levy supports offerings like youth baseball, football, wrestling, choir, after-hours activities and drop-in sports and maintaining Buck Park.

The physical, emotional and social benefits of youth sports can last well into adulthood. We are filled with gratitude that our island community recognizes the value of helping our children grow into happier, healthier adults.