Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

October 11, 2013

HOBSTETTER'S HOT ROUTES: Don't fake the shake

Kyle Hobstetter
The Independent

ASHLAND — I’ll make this simple — if you can’t simply just shake a hand after the game, maybe you shouldn’t be playing it.

After making national news by discouraging postgame handshakes after sporting events, the KHSAA has had to explain itself the past few days.

And while not completely banning handshakes, KHSAA commissioner Julian Tackett said in a directive that postgame pleasantries should be monitored after dozens of violent altercations have happened.

“It is my hope that all schools can provide the proper supervision and accountability to continue these types of activities,” the statement reads. “But if they can’t, then stop doing them.”

In my opinion, it’s sad that we’ve come to the point that the postgame handshake has become such a hot-button topic.

And what’s sadder is that we can’t trust an athlete to put his head down and keep his mouth closed and just touch his opponent’s hand. That’s what handshakes are nowadays, just a simple touch of the hand.

If a player can’t just touch a hand and show some respect, maybe they shouldn’t play the sport at all.

One of the best things about covering athletes from schools in this area is that they are respectful kids overall. They win and lose and then move on.  

Should we ban handshakes? The simple answer is no.

In the end, handshakes teach an athlete sportsmanship as well as how to be a gracious loser along with being a humble winner.

That is what high school sports should be, teaching teenagers how to be better people. If we get rid of the handshake, you’re teaching a teenager to keep that anger with them instead of just getting over it and playing the next game.

And the fact is, playing a sport is supposed to be fun. Sometimes we all forget that.

I get the fact we get angry when we lose, but we all lose sometimes. Have fun out there. That’s the reason most of started playing sports to begin with.  

Game of the Week

Russell at Mason County. Tonight’s game in Maysville could wind up as the Class 3A, District 6 title game.

The Red Devils are on a roll, winning three straight and allowing just 80 points in the first six games of the season.

Mason County is undefeated on the season at 6-0, and is coming off two straight district wins — the Royals outscored East Carter and Lewis County 100-26.

Russell’s schedule may have helped the Red Devils out. After playing Fleming County’s air-raid offense, the Red Devils might be prepared for Mason County.

Royals quarterback Jake O’Mara has thrown for 801 yards and six touchdowns. Match that with a stable of running backs that went for 1,553 yards and Russell will have its toughest defensive test of the year.



-How good is Paintsville? Starting the season at 5-1, the Tigers are off to their best start since 2005 when they went 6-1.

Paintsville is outscoring teams 232-118 and its only loss came against Pikeville, where the Tigers lost 28-21 to a perennial playoff contender.

But tonight Paintsville gets its toughest test of the season when it travels up the road to Westwood to take on Fairview in a district matchup.

In what could be a strange twist of irony, the last timeā€ˆPaintsville beat Fairview was in 2005. Since then the Eagles have dominated the series, going 5-0.

If the Tigers want to prove they’re for real, they have to show they can compete with the Class A state runner-up from last year.

-For the second straight week, Ashland plays a winless opponent. The Tomcats travel to Inez tonight to take on Sheldon Clark, which has struggled to an 0-6 start.

Last week, Ashland defeated Boyd County, which is now 0-7 after losing to the Tomcats 28-6.

The Tomcats, who are ranked No. 10 in Class 4A, are looking for a fifth straight win. With Greenup County coming to Putnam Stadium next week, don’t be shocked to see Ashland heading into its rivalry game with Johnson Central with a six-game winning streak.

-Who stays home and who goes to Highlands? The fourth-place team in Class 4A, District 6 gets the honorable task of going to Fort Thomas to play Highlands, who are the six-time defending state champion.

The way the season is playing out, the trip north will come down to Rowan County, Boyd County or Greenup County. All three teams are 0-6 against Highlands.

Rowan County and Boyd County play tonight, and if Rowan gets the win the Vikings more than likely avoid Highlands. Lose, and give Boyd its first win, then things get a lot trickier.


Into the Airwaves

Tonight’s radio coverage:

Ashland at Sheldon Clark (97.1-FM WBVB); Rowan County at Boyd County (106.1-FM WMOR, wlgcradio.com); Russell at Mason County (105.7-FM WLGC); Johnson Central at Greenup County (98.9 WSIP-FM, wlgcradio.com); Paintsville at Fairview (wlgcradio.com); Lawrence County at Pike County Central (92.3-FM WZAQ); Ironton at St. Charles (1230-AM WIRO); East Carter at Lewis County (100.9-FM WGOH).

Shameless Plug

For area high school scores, updates and news don’t be afraid to follow me on Twitter (@KHobstetter) You can also follow sports editor Aaron Snyder (@DIndependentQB) as he tries to get on the field to add a little hip-hop flavor to the postgame handshake.

KYLE HOBSTETTER can be reached at khobstetter@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2658.