I was saddened by the events that occurred at the East Lyme versus New London middle school football game on Sept. 7. School sports programs are designed to help students develop their skills at a competitive level and engage athletes in sportsman-like behavior. I am enjoying watching the East Lyme Middle School football games and cheerleading this year. The young adults are motivated and having a good time.
I have spoken to at least 10 different parents who were disturbed at the game between New London and East Lyme middle schoolers. The New London players were unnecessarily aggressive and violent, and the coaches appeared to instigate the behavior. I understand football is a rough sport and the competition may not play nice, but teaching young adults to cause bodily injury to their opponent in the name of winning is wrong.
There were three ambulances called in due to injuries to East Lyme players. The grounds of the middle school were left strewn with garbage, which showed a lack of respect to the host team.
I can only hope this letter will cause the coaches and players to rethink the reasons why sports are an important part in the development of our youth.