Athletes attend sportsmanship conference at Eastside Baptist Church

Eight athletes attended a sportsmanship conference Nov. 7. It was held at Eastside Baptist Church with 40 schools in attendance.

Rich+Bechard%2C+the+Lee%27s+Summit+District+Athletic+Director%2C+lectures+on+the+stage+at+the+sportsmanship+conference+Nov.+7.+The+conference+was+held+at+East+Side+Baptist+Church.+photo+by+Delaney+Hupke+

Rich Bechard, the Lee’s Summit District Athletic Director, lectures on the stage at the sportsmanship conference Nov. 7. The conference was held at East Side Baptist Church. photo by Delaney Hupke

by Delaney Hupke, Writer

Eight athletes attended a sportsmanship conference Nov. 7 at Eastside Baptist Church in Independence, Missouri. The conference was held to teach teams and athletes how to be more respectful at school sporting events.

Jeff Montgomery, a former Kansas City Royals Pitcher, was a speaker at the event. His lecture was based on the theme of “getting to the next level” in sports, whether that is on a collegiate level or playing a professional sport. He claims that a major quality a player must have to play sports is a good character and being a good sport.

Later, the athletes were separated into groups to discuss what is acceptable and what is unacceptable at school sporting events. Then, they gathered with their school to discuss what changes they could make in their athletics programs to create a more welcoming environment for home and opposing teams.

Junior Addison Coppinger, an athlete who attended the conference, thinks that good sportsmanship is a team effort.

“I learned that in order to make a difference, everyone has to be on the same page and be willing to change,” Coppinger said.