Wahconah lost game, but emerged as winners
To the editor:
The Wahconah Regional High School (WRHS) hockey team recently faced Easthampton High School (EHS) in the last regular season game for both teams. It ended with controversy.
At game's end an EHS player verbally threatened our coaches and then physically assaulted our players. The punching count rises to seven from a few EHS players, without retaliation, until a player of ours was goaded into defending his teammates with one swing back.
Two of our players receive a two-game suspension from tournament play and the EHS players in effect got nothing since their season is over. "There is no appeal of a coach or student disqualification," per MIAA rules. It refused to overturn this injustice, as did the referees, even with absolving video.
WRHS won its first tournament game but lost the second. Season over. So how can WRHS possibly "win" with all of the above? Here's how:
We must feel sorry for the need for a few EHS players to act in the way they did and hope someday they mature and learn from the error of their ways.
Our players now know what it feels like to be frustrated by a rule and have learned some are in need of change/review. Perhaps they will someday be a part of positive change to rules or processes.
Our players have learned, contrary to the result here, it is OK to admit a mistake and change a previous decision in order to correct an injustice.
Our players have shown a tight bond within our team, stuck together as teammates and friends, didn't back down from adversity and acted in a mature way.
With this injustice our team didn't quit or hang their heads. Instead they persevered to the best of their ability.
Our two suspended players were unjustly stripped of their last opportunity to participate in playoffs in their high school hockey career resulting in first-hand knowledge of the importance of calculating one's every move.
Sports are a wonderful teacher of life and lessons learned transfer to our adult lives. How do we react when dealt with adversity, when a teammate needs our help or when a decision is a mistake in judgment? How do we question authority in a professional way and cope when the result isn't to our liking?
The answers can be debated forever. But regardless, WRHS hockey has "won" in the season ending loss.
Thomas W. Rumbolt, North Adams