What's up? Two little words that will probably define me in Bickleton for years to come and, maybe, rightfully so.
I incurred the wrath of some Bickleton residents this week with my reporting of a volleyball game between the Lady Pirates and the Sunnyside Christian Knights. I won't say I incurred the wrath of all Bickleton residents because I haven't heard from all of them, yet.
During last Friday's volleyball match, when an SCHS player would get ready to serve, a Bickleton player would shout out, "Ball's up."
What I thought I heard time and time again was, "What's up?"
How could I mistake what's up with ball's up?
Well that's a question most people in Bickleton have asked themselves this week.
I don't know, maybe bad acoustics in the SCHS gym. I do know I just didn't make it up to be vicious. I'm not like that. There wasn't any doubt in my mind that I was correct in what I heard, until the phone calls started coming yesterday (Thursday).
My opening paragraph stated, "The Bickleton Pirates came down from the hills last Friday with one thing on their minds, beat Sunnyside Christian in volleyball."
I've gotten flak for the "hills" part, but hey, they did come down from the hills. And I hope they were thinking about winning.
I also said the Lady Pirates were "outclassed" on the court. Okay, maybe I shouldn't have used those words. It had nothing to do with the personality of anyone on the Bickleton volleyball team. I was talking about the game, but looking back, I can see where Bickletonians could feel slighted. I should have said outplayed. That would have been more to the point. Although the Lady Pirates did put up a good fight and pushed the Lady Knights to the hilt in the first two games, they were still outplayed on the court, hence the loss.
What I feel bad about is saying the Bickleton team taunted the Lady Knights when SCHS would serve. I now know, after phone calls and e-mails from Bickleton residents, that wasn't the case. I've been asked why I didn't ask an official or ask Tom Whitmore, the Bickleton coach, why the team was saying "what's up". I did ask the SCHS coach and she said she didn't hear anything, but I chalked that up to her being intensely involved in the match. I know what I heard, so I went with it.
Well, I was wrong. After speaking with the Bickleton School Superintendent, Whitmore and SCHS' coach again, I realize that now.
Jim Cummings, a Bickleton resident, has even offered to show his videotape of the match to the world to prove I've misinformed the public and slandered the fine young women of the Bickleton volleyball team, although I'm not sure the "world" is yet aware of my mistake.
But I am and so is the community of Bickleton, and for that I apologize. I made a mistake and it hurt some people, for that I am truly sorry.
Ilsa Chapple, Phylicia Pearson, Aymie Osborne, Dede Kibby, Typhani Pearson, Alejandra Molina, Jeannette Jarvis, Jessica Cummings, Star Kibby, Morgan McBride, Holly Goodnight, Katelynn Clinton and Johanna Jensen, I'm sorry. I realize now you weren't taunting but employing an acceptable form of communication to get ready for a serve. I hope you don't hold my ignorance against me.
I also apologize to Whitmore and Regan Mulrony, the coaches of the Lady Pirates. Of course my apology wouldn't be complete without adding the parents of the girls, and the whole community of Bickleton. I know I've upset most of you.
But maybe some good will come of this. Why not use "what's up" as a rallying cry for the rest of the season, much like the Mariners used "two outs, so what" in 2001.
There has been some good that has come out of this for me. I've learned a valuable lesson. Always, and I mean always, check the facts, even if I'm already 100 percent sure. If this article would have been a paper I turned in to my Com 295 professor, I would have received an F. Any mistake got that grade.
I hope I do better if I cover a Bickleton team in the future. I know I'll try.