Sportsmanship is defined as ethical, appropriate, polite and fair behavior while participating in a game or athletic event. Examples of poor sportsmanship can be found in just about every sport on every level today from 8-year olds to the pros.

While often the focus is on the field of play there’s plenty of it on the sidelines and in the stands.  It can be dirty play after a whistle is blown or a coach running up the score on an overwhelmed opponent.  I could go on and on.

Of course the exact opposite is good sportsmanship and while often a bit harder to find and notice it’s out there. It can be as subtle as showing respect for the person you are battling or a sincere embrace once a game is over. It’s taking a knee when the outcome has been settled or telling the official that your opponent’s shot was good even though it was called out.

Here’s another example of good sportsmanship.Back in early October I told you about Hannah Donner, a 17-year old student at Central Regional High School and captain of the Golden Eagles volleyball team. Shortly after she was seriously injured in a car accident Central had a match at Donovan Catholic at which the Griffin players, coaches and fans clearly made it known they were rooting for Hannah more than anything else.

This week Hannah’s father Tom reached out to me to say the volleyball fraternity around the shore has continued to show incredible support and while she has a long road to recovery clearly she’s been uplifted by knowing so many are pulling for her.  As a matter of fact Hannah has not only been invited to Saturday’s Shore Volleyball Coaches Association Senior All-Star Game at St. John Vianney High School but has been named captain of the Ocean County squad.

In an email to her Lancers coach Jessica Gadaleta said the entire volleyball community would like to honor and celebrate Hannah and her resiliency for what she has been through during her senior season.

It’s nice to know that when you are down there are many others willing to reach out and lift you up.