Beyond The Score

Central Vermont Sports Blog

SHS Girls Hockey vs BFA-St. Albans Fans

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The Spaulding girls hockey team was one of my favorite teams this year. Not only were they fun to watch because of their incredible style of play but also because they were classy athletes. They didn’t back down from anyone and always displayed a high level of competitive spirit while showing respect for their opponent. They knew how to have fun and win! They were unlucky during the championship game last Friday at Kreitzberg Arena in Northfield against BFA-St. Albans. They dominated play throughout the game. It was the kind of game that one mistake might win it. BFA scored the only goal on a power play. BFA girls were tough and never backed off even though they did not get many very good chances to score. Their freshman goalie was incredible! She was very aware of everything and quick to anticipate Spaulding’s attacks. It got a little heated toward the end and a couple of players from both teams stopped playing hockey for a bit and let their tempers take over with some shoving and pushing. The refs called it roughing and gave them penalties. It was a great game.

BFA-St. Albans fans on the other hand were anything but classy! They demonstrated some of the worst fan behavior I have seen in sport. They began by chanting in fun and were noisy during the game. They had a lot of enthusiasm and it added to the game until the end. Once the horn blew ending the game the BFA fans started pelting the Spaulding girls hockey team with mardi gras beads they were wearing around their necks. They taunted them with looser comments and general insults.

Why would any group of kids be so out of bounds toward a team that was suffering such a huge loss? Why weren’t they celebrating with their own team that had just won the championship?

I was standing next to some BFA parents, adults and I believe the Athletic Director. I commented on the rude behavior and they just watched smiling. Mixed emotions I’m sure. They were smiling but I’m not sure at what – the win or the behavior. Probably both. I didn’t get a chance to see how the winning coaches reacted but I’m hoping they would have been appalled by it all. I certainly was. It did not reflect the winning teams efforts and great season. It totally changed my attitude toward BFA-St. Albans. I used to take my basketball teams to St. Albans to scrimmage in pre-season. Jim Bashaw was the BFA coach at the time and I have always had a lot of respect for BFA because of him. He is missed-RIP. They need people like Jim to turn their reputation around because right now it stinks!


Written by Roger

March 3, 2010 at 8:25 AM

Posted in Fan Behavior

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  1. UPDATE: A disturbing follow-up. I contacted Asst. Principal Dennis Hill of BFA St Albans with an email congratulating the BFA girls hockey team for winning the Metro Division State Championship. I mentioned how classy they were and how hard they played. I also mentioned the fan behavior thinking he’d like to know if he didn’t already.

    He responded with a very glib one liner, “Are you talking about the game where spaulding manager and team captain giving the finger to our kids at the end of the game?” I was floored for two reasons. One, SHS girls are much better than that and the frustration of loosing and being pelted with beads and insults at the end of the game surely took them to a bad place. No excuse for this behavior! Two, BFA administration deflecting their student behavior for an offensive act by the opponent is irresponsible and childish. At no time In our correspondence did anyone from BFA indicate that they were concerned or had inquired into the bad fan behavior. Instead they pointed their anger at me for bringing it to their attention. I do not live in their town and I’m not connected in anyway with their community, so I guess I should just be quiet and mind my own business.

    VPA has been doing a good job of addressing sportsmanship around the state and many athletic directors are practicing the VPA guidelines with good effect. It’s places like BFA St Albans that need help in this area and I’m not talking just about the kids or fans.


    March 16, 2010 at 11:22 AM

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