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Don’t expect pro-style play from amateurs

A few years ago, a good man by the name of Ray Slone was watching a ball game at the Ironton Little League.

The people standing near him were watching the game and complaining about the mistakes the players were making.

“Why doesn’t he throw strikes?”

“Why did he run?”

“Ah, catch the ball!”

Ray surveyed the situation, then calmly turned and agreed with the other adults.

Well, sort of.

“Yeah. Look at them. They’re playing like a bunch of little kids.”

So often fans — mainly adults — tend to forget that the games they are watching are full of kids. They might wear the same uniform, but that doesn’t make them perform, think or act the same way.

Now, that is not to say they aren’t trying to do their best. But they are not professionals. They are going to make mistakes. Even the pros make mistakes.

Fans complain over mistakes such as fumbles, interceptions, missed tackles, etc. It’s only human nature. We are competitive by nature and we like to win.

But if a player fumbles, it’s not because they were trying to fumble. Often it’s because they are just trying to make a play.

Sometimes it’s because someone on the other team makes a big hit. We don’t like to give the other guy any credit.

When you watch high school, junior high or grade school children play, try to remember they are trying their best and to be more understanding. It’s just not right to hurl insults at children.

After all, Ray Slone was right.

Massie Comes Home

Former Ironton native Gary Massie watched his sons play on their home turf against the Ashland Tomcats last season in the Kentucky High School playoffs.

Friday night Massie will come home and watch his sons Clint, a senior, and Kyle, a junior, play the Tomcats once again in the playoffs.

Covington Catholic — a.ka. CovCath — plays at Putnam Stadium, a site familiar to Gary who has seen many Ironton games at Ashland.

Clint has 29 catches this season for 411 yards and five touchdowns. When he was injured for three games this season, Kyle stepped in and played in his place.

If anyone is interested in seeing the Massie brothers, kickoff is 7:30.

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Jim Walker is sports editor of The Ironton Tribune.