EDITORIAL: Football coach sent wrong message

York Dispatch

High school coaches are supposed to be leaders.

They're supposed to mold young minds and young bodies.

They're supposed to provide lessons that will last a lifetime.

They're not supposed to be whiners and excuse-makers.

Yet, that is exactly how one York-Adams League football coach came off recently after his team suffered a narrow and unexpected loss.

The Biglerville Canners rolled into its game against York Catholic on Oct. 16, with a perfect York-Adams Division III record. They left town with a 27-20 loss.

After the game, however, instead of taking the high road and congratulating the Fighting Irish on their upset victory, Biglerville coach Alex Ramos took the low road and berated the game's officials.

"We knew coming here that we were down 10 points just walking on the field," Ramos told the Gettysburg Times after the game. "We saw they were getting a lot of calls on film. They got calls (in a win) against Delone and a bunch of calls in another game we saw, blatantly bad calls. It was evident again tonight that it was true."

You could excuse Ramos by saying his comments were made in the heat of the moment after a bitter defeat, but that notion is dispelled by the fact that he told his players — before the game — that they would have to be at least 10 points better than the Irish to earn the victory, because he anticipated unfair treatment from the officials.

What kind of lesson is that?

It sounds like a coach preparing a ready-made excuse for losing before the game even begins.

The administrators in the Upper Adams School District certainly shouldn't have been happy when they opened the newspaper the next day only to find Ramos' petulant remarks.

Look, officials make mistakes. There's no denying it. Officiating errors are made in every single high school football game. The officials are human, after all.

But coaches make mistakes, too, and Ramos made a big one when he made his feelings public. His comments deflected attention from an outstanding effort by the York Catholic team. Even worse, he also reportedly exchanged words with a York Catholic assistant after the final whistle.

He sent the exact wrong message to his players. Instead of teaching them about the need to overcome adversity and to congratulate an opponent after a tough loss, he taught them to complain and point fingers.

It's a matter of simple sportsmanship, and Ramos displayed precious little of it after his team's loss to York Catholic.