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Ups and Downs of the Prep Sports Year

Members of The Times Orange County prep sports staff share their memories of the people, events and issues of the past school year. : Not Family Fare

June 17, 1997|STEVE KRESAL

My wife and I were lucky enough to have a child last fall and it led me to start evaluating where I can and can't take him. One place I know he won't be going is the sideline at a high school football game.

I cover a couple of games a week from the sideline because I like the feeling of being that close to the action. Plus, it's a lot easier to get information when a player is hurt or a name is not in the program or a penalty needs explanation.

But it's no place for those with sensitive ears. The cursing, and I can say that after 12 years it seems to be getting worse, is ridiculous. Talk about what comes out of the mouths of babes. It's a little better on the community college level, where I spend most of my time, but it's still no place for children.

Some school and game officials I questioned told me that profanity is the least of their problems. It's a penalty to swear but it's rarely called.

Still, I worked in construction while going to college, yet I was astounded by some of the combinations of swear words put together by frustrated prep players.

Listening to several assistant and head coaches scream out streams of obscenities from one end of Orange County to the other, it's not hard to understand why the kids are doing it. Plus, such language is attacking society on the radio and television 24 hours a day.

After an especially nasty string of expletives from an assistant coach, I asked a school administrator if he had a problem with such talk. He said that it couldn't be heard in the stands, but he wasn't too happy about it. But that's just part of the game, it seems.

I pointed out the three ball boys, all under age 12, near the coach in question and the official told me they were all sons of coaches, so they were used to it.

I hope my son never is.

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