October is sportsmanship month and, while it may not be widely recognized, it couldn't have come at a better time, as sportsmanship in some corners of the Mother Lode athletic scene hits new lows.
We're talking here specifically about the Sept. 15 boy's soccer match between Summerville and Calaveras high schools.
It was a game that witnesses from both teams say was full of bravado and light taunting, typical of high school sports.
It got way uglier, though, according to several witnesses. Lowlights include a group of Calaveras players threatening a Summerville Bear after the game, a Bear player with an injured ankle being called a "gimp," and a Calaveras player calling an opposing player the "N-word."
The episode didn't reflect well on anyone, but particularly not the Calaveras High Soccer program.
So far, only a small handful of people are involved in addressing the issue.
Summerville Principal Dave Urquhart says he has talked with Calaveras High's administrators and feels the situation is being handled. He'd considered complaining to the California Interscholastic Federation, which oversees high school sports statewide, but later decided against it.
Calaveras High Principal Ric Stitt says the school has launched an investigation. The outcome we'll likely never know because it is considered "a student discipline matter," which is private, Stitt said.
Isolating and burying the event are not the ways to prevent a future repeat.
Calaveras High and other schools need to address such hazing like the big deal that it is.