Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Gazette Premium Content High school athletes are aware of trash talk on the Internet

By Scott Kaniewski Published: July 29, 2013

Avery Anderson just sits back and watches the tweets scroll by.

The incoming junior on the Pine Creek football team knows Twitter is a great outlet for trash talk. He's seen plenty of tweets but rarely, if ever, jumps into the conversation.

"I have a Twitter so I see it," said Anderson, a defensive back. "... I try to stay neutral. I think it's more fire and I think it gets you more pumped up."

Dylan Clark, a point guard for the Sand Creek boys' basketball team, also watches as the Internet talk heats up.

As with any forum, fans - both students and parents alike - can chime in. Twitter seems to be a great place for rivals to spout off what makes their school better.

"I'm not going to lie, I do (check Twitter)," Clark said recently. "Because every year it's something different. They always come up with something different to get them into the game, to get bigger stakes on it."

It can be extremely fun to watch the war of words waged on Twitter, all the creativity shoehorned into 140 characters or fewer.

Social media may have caused the dissolution of the Palmer Ridge-Lewis-Palmer football rivalry. Back-and-forth bickering online among fans - again not just students - drew so fierce in 2011 that coaches from both sides had to get involved. Less than a year later the game was discontinued.

But that's the far end of the spectrum. Most of the ribbing is good-natured.

For a number of athletes, seeing their friends who don't play post to Twitter is good enough for them.

"It definitely adds to the rivalry," St. Mary's girls' soccer player Alex Sjobakken said. "You get kids who aren't involved in sports ... the whole school builds up the rivalry against these teams."

But all that smack in the ether can't add up to wins or losses.

"They can tweet or Facebook or whatever they want," Anderson said. "But it comes down to the field and what you do out there."

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