NCS commissioner: Time to take the trash talk out

It was an email NCS commissioner Gil Lemmon sent to one individual Monday but in the perfect world he so earnestly seeks to attain in high school athletics, Lemmon would like his message to El Cerrito principal David Luongo to be read, welcomed and practiced by all in his jurisdiction. Without exception.

Responding to the events that occurred during and after last Friday's NCS semifinal football game between Analy and El Cerrito at DeAnza High School in Richmond, Lemmon outlined for Luongo the conduct he expects to see this Saturday night when El Cerrito plays Marin Catholic for the Division III championship. It's conduct, Lemmon said, he expects out of all his NCS teams, but some references were specific to the events of last Friday.

On the El Cerrito sidelines, Lemmon wrote, only football equipment will be permitted.

"There was a reported baseball bat on the (El Cerrito) sidelines," Lemmon said. "I was told there was a coach hitting the bat into the palm of his hand saying, &‘Let's put a hurtin' on the other team.' That is inappropriate and unacceptable."

Lemmon interviewed the on-site game officials after the game and was convinced inappropriate language was used.

"I wrote they should promote positive coaching on the sidelines," Lemmon said. "There should be no trash-talking, no matter what. There can be no foul-mouth behavior."

Lemmon said that Chris Heller, the Analy principal, told him that he did not see a baseball bat on the El Cerrito sideline.

"It may not be true," Lemmon said, "but I'm not going to take that chance."

Lemmon also wrote to Luongo that he expects good sportsmanship to be practiced, to the extent that a player lend a hand to bring an opposing player to his feet after a play.

"I know that may be pie-in-the-sky," said Lemmon, in his fifth year as NCS commissioner.

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