View From the Press Box: Dion Clisso 2/4

Dion Clisso

By Dion Clisso PrepsKC Managing Editor
Posted: February 7, 2018 - 9:37 AM

Now that we are here in the football offseason it is great to see what athletes are doing in other sports. This time of year, basketball, wrestling and swimming are taking place on both sides of the state line and there have been some great individual and team performances.

While that is another great positive about high school sports we have seen the ugly side come front and center as well.

In two different cases we have seen parents and fans come out of the stands and make contact with officials. One case in Raytown where an official was punched by a fan at a junior varsity girls game and another in Wichita where a father pushed and berated a teenage official at a middle school game.

Let that sink in for a minute.

In the Raytown incident the official was punched so hard he was dropped to the floor. In Wichita a grown man verbally and physically assaulted a minor.

Not great examples of what sports can do for a community. In fact, it is just a continuance of a trend I have seen since I started covering high school sports more than 25 years ago. Parents and fans fell more and more that they are the experts, and everyone is out to screw their kid.

It is basically a selfish attitude that teaches your child the worst way to go through life. I didn’t start because the coach plays favorites. I fouled out of the game because the official is stupid. That just leads to I didn’t get the job because someone else screwed me out of it.

While there are bad coaches, bad officials and bad bosses guess what there are people who didn’t work hard enough or do things the right way.

It’s kind of like the old story of if you go to a poker game and can’t tell who is the sucker than its you. If you are at a high school game yelling at officials and coaches and making an ass out of yourself, they aren’t the problem you are.

I’ve been doing this for a while and there are threats to the survival of almost every high school sport. While concussions, club teams and just overall burnout hurt numbers what will eventually end what we have now is the lack of people willing to officiate and coach the sport.

Every sport struggles to find officials and coaches are getting out younger and younger each year. For an official whatever they are paid to do a game is not worth getting verbally or physically abused. For coaches it’s not worth the time away from their own family to deal with people telling you how dumb you are.

If this sounds like something you may have done or have thought about doing, then it’s time to change your mentality. Take a good long look in the mirror. This crap needs to end now.

Dion Clisso is the Managing Editor of PrepsKC. To reach him send email to