Spillane named Honorable Mention in MIAA Student Sportsmanship Essay Contest

Spillane named Honorable Mention in MIAA Student Sportsmanship Essay Contest

Tri-County RVTHS senior Emily Spillane was chosen as an honorable mention in the 14th Annual MIAA Student Sportsmanship Essay/Multimedia Contest.

Spillane, a Varsity cheerleader, track runner, and National Honor Society member, wrote an essay that was featured in a booklet entitled, "Sportsmanship: A Game Plan for Life, Volume XIV." The Franklin resident joined students from across the state in writing an essay with the theme of "Social Media and Sportsmanship: How do they work together?"

"The MIAA looks forward to receiving other great work from students at Tri-County RVT High School next year as we begin to plan for the 15th Annual Student Sportsmanship Essay/Multimedia Contest. Thank you for your school's commitment to sportsmanship and for promoting this contest with your students," said MIAA officials in a letter to Principal Jean Mallon.

Emily's award-winning essay is below:

Sulking over a loss or gloating after a victory, these are things highlighted in the media constantly. Social media spreads news like a wildfire, but why is poor sportsmanship the only thing noticed? Nowadays, people focus on other's flaws rather than the good they contribute to the world. While poor sportsmanship is remembered more often, there is as much, or maybe even more, good sportsmanship circulating through social media. Sportsmanship is defined by playing fair, following the rules, and the ability to take a win or loss in a mannerly way. This not only applies to sports, but to everyday life. Social media is famous for exposing unsportsmanlike behavior, but social media doesn't have to play a negative role in sportsmanship. Social media and sportsmanship work together positively in numerous ways, two examples being promoting team spirit and advertising athletes' favorable actions.

Social media promotes team spirit and pride constantly. Tweets about upcoming sporting events are used to rally supporters and pump up fans. Encouraging support is a way fans can show sportsmanship through social media. When a team knows they have an army rooting for them, they can put their best foot forward, taking on the world as if they are invincible. Team spirit goes both ways, when fans give respect, they deserve respect back. Good sportsmanship is eaten up by Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram when athletes acknowledge those who support them. In most cases, athletes' biggest fan sections are hundreds of miles away and truthfully get very little out of the success of a team they don't even play on, yet they gather every Sunday afternoon to cheer on their favorite football team as if it is their best friend on the field.

Just because one isn't yet a world class athlete, their good sportsmanship doesn't go unnoticed, high school athletes, such as Nicholas Baer, embody the way social media and sportsmanship work together. After a hard fought victory over North Scott High School, Baer tweeted, "Kudos to north scott, they're a great team and have had a great season." Everyone in this world is under a magnifying glass, every move made is analyzed. People receive excessive criticism for the few mistakes they make, but the great things they do often remain concealed. Very similar to the news, fifteen negative comments are shared before the uplifting one. Social media and sportsmanship work in a beautiful way, within seconds, thousands can see the great sportsmanship demonstrated by fans and athletes everywhere. While television, newspaper, and other forms of media often disregard outstanding sportsmanship and character, social media websites are able to send constructive posts around the world in seconds. The social media and sportsmanship work together by allowing good sportsmanship to be spread quickly.