Goshen News, Goshen, IN

May 12, 2013

FROM THE SIDELINES: Honoring sports moms on their day

By STU SWARTZ
THE GOSHEN NEWS

GOSHEN — You see them everywhere on the local sports scene.

They are the Moms whom we honor on this special day. Really, every day could be “Mother’s Day” as they are the best friends we will ever have.

These games we play and watch would not be possible without all the Moms of the world.

This spring you see them in the bleachers or in lawn chairs at softball, baseball, track and tennis events.

Or, they might be strolling the course at golf matches.

They’re also in great numbers at our Little League and Youth Soccer fields, nervously watching their little ones learn a game and how to be a good teammate.

Those Moms with boys and girls in multiple activities have grand scheduling challenges, but somehow make it work.

There are uniforms that need washing, transportation to practice or a game and not a very consistent dining schedule.

They want their sons and daughters to perform well, not get hurt and learn to play these games with true sportsmanship. And, they gather clippings from this newspaper.

Even on the college and professional level, you hear the athletes talking about what a great influence their Moms have been on their careers.

Often times during a National Football League game, the camera zooms in on a player on the sideline and he responds with “Hi, Mom.”

Goshen High School athletics lost a “Super Mom” recently with the passing of Janet Swihart, a 1956 GHS graduate.

Janet’s husband Keith, a 1955 GHS alum, played in both the first regular-season game and the first sectional contest at North Side Gym in Elkhart.

They raised three sons — Steve, Rob and David — who became Redskin athletes in multiple sports.

All have contributed greatly to GHS.

Thankfully, Janet lived long enough to see son Steve inducted into the Elkhart County Sports Hall of Fame and granddaughter Aimee become the career scoring leader in GHS girls basketball.

Activities at our house over the years often centered around sports-related events and Mom was our biggest supporter. She still lives in a home which has been in the family 101 years.

My father, Dick, was a boys basketball referee from 1946-63, ran the boys baseball league at Rogers Park in the 1950s, the men’s fast-pitch softball program at Shanklin Park from 1960-73 and the Monday Night Golf League at Maplecrest from 1974-98.

I played baseball in the city park leagues through high school, helped at many GHS events and then started writing for The News while a junior at GHS in 1966.

Sisters Margaret (Class of 1970) and Sandy (Class of 1974) were both in the cheerblock for Redskin boys basketball games and Sarah (Class of 1986) was a cheerleader.

Today, we honor those Moms we are blessed to still have with us and remember those who have departed and blazed the trail for this generation.

Here is one final thought for Mother’s Day 2013 —

Mom may not always be right. But, she is never wrong.