Rivals no more

I have a love-hate relationship with Twitter.

It’s become a necessary tool as part of my job, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it that much.

Here at The Star, we only use Twitter to inform, like tweeting out scores and info from a live sporting event or reporting statistics from an event we were not able to cover.

Not only does that serve as a way to inform our followers, but it also gives our local athletes a chance to share if they have done something noteworthy in athletics.

What we won’t do is tweet about how bad we feel a coaching decision is during a game. We also won’t tweet about how an athlete failed with the game on the line.

That leads to the hate part about Twitter.

Some users believe that their opinion on everything matters. And often they don’t care how nasty they are in presenting it.

Often I look at Twitter and believe I see the worst that humanity has to offer. It’s amazing how obnoxious someone can be in just a couple of sentences.

Honestly, it makes you want to lose faith in people and how horribly they treat one another.

But somehow a ray of sunshine can break through and I got a good reminder of that this week from some people that don’t have a wall full of diplomas telling us how smart they are.

Starting on Feb. 5, football players will be able to sign national letters of intent to attend colleges. (The early signing period took place from Dec. 18-20.) And leading into the NCAA’s official signing day, many of our local athletes are receiving offers from institutions to continue their careers on and off the field.

Obviously to receive an offer is a significant event for an athlete. It’s something to be proud of and many will tweet out that they’ve received an offer (or maybe multiple offers).

It doesn’t come across as a “look at how great I am” boast. The tweets come across as someone showing gratitude to a university that values their prowess.

But, here’s the good part.

You could see that something like this could cause petty jealousy, especially from those that competed against these athletes. Why them and not me?

On Twitter, you see athletes ripping each other all of the time.

But if you follow some of those athletes who have received offers, you’ll see something from locals that actually gives you hope for the future.

During the past week, athletes from several area high schools have either posted they have either received offers or have made a verbal commitment to a university.

Some of the strongest replies of congratulations have come from the same local athletes who were trying to beat their brains out on the fields of competition.

That’s awesome.

It shows that many of our athletes have a strong respect for the talents of their rivals. And that makes sense.

As much as we’d like to believe it, most of us can never truly know what an athlete has gone through to excel at his or her respective sport. But, their peers know. They’ve sweated at the same gyms and practiced in the same heat.

And while some of these athletes play the same position and are hoping to get a chance to play at some of the same schools, they are offering up seemingly heartfelt congratulations within minutes after their competitor achieves those same goals.

Sherando, Handley, Millbrook, James Wood and Clarke County athletes are rooting for each other to do well. The uniform color doesn’t matter after the battle is over and that’s classy.

Given the polarization of some things in our country and state, maybe we could all use a little more of that attitude. Genuine achievement is something to be celebrated — no matter who does it.

So while I hate a lot of things about Twitter — honestly I feel like it’s a good way to lose your job in 280 characters or less — there are some things to love.

We’ve got some area teens showing us why.

— Contact Walt Moody at

wmoody@winchesterstar.com

Follow on Twitter @WinStarSports1

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