Sportsmanship in athletics is a fragile thing. Between players, coaches, parents and fans, disgusting acts showing lack of respect appear almost every day in every level of sports. This week the student-athletes give their views on how they view respect and sportsmanship when they compete.

Sportsmanship in athletics is a fragile thing. Between players, coaches, parents and fans, disgusting acts showing lack of respect appear almost every day in every level of sports. This week the student-athletes give their views on how they view respect and sportsmanship when they compete.

•Philip Diaz (Watterson boys tennis): "Respect is a very important thing to have when you compete. Everyone should be treated equally, no matter what their skill level. Treat everyone with respect and assume you should be treated the same way.

•Zach Boren (Pickerington Central football): "You have to respect your opponent and give them more credit than they deserve because you are playing them and you have to bring your 'A' game. Sportsmanship is huge. There shouldn't be any trash-talking. Just play.

•Emilee Harmon (Pickerington Central girls basketball): "Most athletes don't like to talk about sportsmanship because they think it is a stupid part of the game, but actually it is what makes the game great. Competitiveness is what separates good athletes from bad athletes and sometimes it gets out of control, but no matter what, you should respect your opponent. When you knock an opponent down, help them get back up. Sportsmanship is a huge problem today.

•Alissa Birkhimer (Lakewood softball): "You must always respect your competition because without them you would have no reason to push yourself to succeed."

•Darcy Fishback (Upper Arlington girls swimming): "The golden rule is to treat others the way you would like to be treated. The platinum rule is to treat others the way they would like to be treated. I subscribe to the platinum rule, as I hope my competitors would. A wise man once told me that and I stick to it."

•Aaron Siekmann (Dublin Jerome boys golf): "Sportsmanship and integrity are the foundation of the game of golf. Many times I have learned the importance of sportsmanship the hard way. In the past, I have had to call penalties on myself, many times when no one else knew I committed a penalty. Oftentimes this has resulted in my disqualification or taken me out of an advantageous position. If you are going to play a sport and don't follow the rules or show respect for the game and others, you are only cheating yourself out of the rewards of playing the game."

•Jamie Wood (Pickerington Central football): "I believe there is a certain respect that you give to your opponents. I just go out and play football, there is no need to talk, just play ball and let the game do its talking."

•Rufus Walls (Hartley track and field): "When I compete, respect means congratulating the other athletes on their accomplishments even if they have beaten me. Respect is also believing that I can beat my competition, but not showing it."

•Kate Turvy (Dublin Coffman girls tennis): "Good sportsmanship is critical to sports since cheating takes away from the greatness and the fun of the sport. Sports should be played by the rules and with class in order to maximize the amount of enjoyment and learning you can have through the activity."

Next week the student-athletes pass on advice to younger athletes who may be just beginning the sport in which they themselves excel.

I'll see you at a game.