Bad news often takes precedence over good news when it comes to stories about athletes. Most athletes perform well at their jobs and conduct their lives in a respectful way, but poor decisions often lead to headlines.

Bad news often takes precedence over good news when it comes to stories about athletes. Most athletes perform well at their jobs and conduct their lives in a respectful way, but poor decisions often lead to headlines.

This week, the high school student-athletes writing in my summer series discuss how they view two elements of the positive side of sports - sportsmanship and respect.

Jake Blankenship, Gahanna, pole vault: "I always try to be as positive as possible and I always remember that I do this sport because I love it and not as if it is my job."

Mary Wells, Westerville Central, bowling: "I view respect and sportsmanship as a bigger part of the game than talent. You don't have to be a friend with everyone, but it is important to get along with everyone."

Faith Washington, Rey-noldsburg, track: "Respect and good sportsmanship are necessities come game time. Whether it was something in your day that upset you or things just aren't going the way you want them to, no one likes to feel disrespected. Sometimes it's going to be about someone else's day, so smile and congratulate them as they would congratulate you."

Napoleon Bell, Hartley, football and wrestling: "Respect in competition is vital. When you are big enough to respect your opponents, you respect yourself and your teammates that much more."

Austin Cuervo, St. Charles, golf: "Respect and sportsmanship are always very valued traits to have as an athlete. In order to respect the game, you must respect your competitors in that game."

Chase Delande, Hilliard Davidson, football and wrestling: "I will make it real simple - respect all, fear none."

Jimmy Gammill, New Albany, football: "In high school games, you have to remember that the guys out there on the field from the other team are just like you. Many of us get to be friends over the years. It is important to represent your school and community well on and off the field."

Michela Paradiso, Upper Arlington, soccer and basketball: "Respect and sportsmanship in competition are very important. I will be the first to say that emotions, sometimes, do get the best of me during games. The important thing is to keep in mind that it is a game and it is nothing to compromise your morals over."

Morgan Ransom, Columbus Academy, golf: "It is never very fun to play with someone who has a bad attitude. Laugh at your good shots and laugh even harder at your bad shots because when you win, you want others to be happy for you."

Next week, the student-athletes will pass on advice to younger students who are beginning to compete in the sports in which these students excel.

I'll see you at a game.

Larry Larson is a former athletics director at Grandview High School. He can be heard as "Mr. High School Sports" on WTVN 610 AM.