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The Round Table

Part of The Round Table's multimedia experience

The Round Table

Knights character paves path to states

By Julia Karcewski
Round Table editor

For the rest of his life, Middletown High School quarterback Michael Pritts is going to believe that Knights wide receiver Ben Lewis did in fact catch his 51-yard pass with 43 seconds left in the fourth quarter of the 2A State Championship game. Pritts knows that if the referee hadn’t called it incomplete, the catch could have changed the outcome completely, and made MHS history. Despite what he feels in his heart, Pritts has learned to focus on the positive aspects of the game, an act that calls for character.

The character is obvious among the athletes on the 2010 MHS football team, and it requires them to be not only mature, but confident as well.

“Our character and sportsmanship contributed a lot to our winning season because we turned into a family and didn’t get down on each other,” said Zach Welch, a sophomore kicker/running back/defensive back. “We learned to respect each other and I think our character had a lot to do with that.”

Coach Kevin Lynott says that the players on the team were “raised well and have good backgrounds,” which contributes to the players having good character.

Lynott was very proud of how the boys handled the controversial pass to Lewis at the end of the game.

Lewis’ reaction to the play was to accept the call, and also to focus on what the team had achieved during the season and, more specifically, the game.

 “I strongly believe that because Ben reacted the way he did to the play, the rest of the team carried the same character,” said Lynott.

 “(The controversial pass) isn’t something I can just get over,” said Pritts, “but I was able to deal with it because, rather than dwell on the bad, I focused on the good things of the season. I didn’t let one bad call ruin everything else we had accomplished.”

Lynott and many of the players also feel that the fans are what helped them get their adrenalin pumping, and help them to be motivated to “Finish 14”. Using positive, loud cheers, MHS fans show their character as they rumble the stadium at every game whether home or away. Their character also was demonstrated at the state championship game at M&T Bank Stadium.

Robby Tucker, a senior known for leading cheers at the football games, wouldn’t choose anything over being a Knight fan.

“I was meant to be a Knight since I was born,” says Tucker, “seeing my boys out there on the field really just helps me to get pumped, I try to go all out.”

Lynott says he appreciates the positive encouragement by the fans, as they model good behavior. He said that its good to know that when things “get tough” the fans won’t be yelling vulgar remarks, and show respect and support for the MHS football team.

On Friday before the game, Principal Jay Berno gave a speech on the morning announcements that concentrates on demonstrating good character among all fans, coaches, and players of MHS football. Lynott would say that was another factor of the good character demonstrated by the Middletown community as a whole.

“Having a school climate that values sportsmanship really rubs off on the players,” said Lynott.

MHS was honored for the character shown by both athletes and fans by receiving the John H. Cox Respect the Game Football Award, for good sportsmanship throughout this football season.

The trophy is awarded to the team that shows the best overall sportsmanship during their Maryland state final game. Middletown was chosen out of eight teams.

During the morning announcements on Dec 9,MHS Principal Jay Berno presented the award to MHS. He emphasized that it takes a group effort to win this award, as he acknowledged MHS football players, fans, cheerleaders, marching band/flag squad, students and members of the community; accentuating that Middletown is known for its great character, and that it takes a community effort to be given such an award.

Berno told a reporter that he feels winning this award is “more important than winning a state title”.

 “Reflecting on the whole season, (the reward) is just really deserving,” said Lynott.

“When emotions are at a high state, the boys just keep their head high and support each other by just being there and hugging,” said Lynott, “and its just really great to have the community there supporting as well.”

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Knights character paves path to states