I took note of the back and forth between Pima fans and players and the players from Yavapai College in my write-up of Saturday’s game.
I used as an illustration of that a vociferous group of fans that were wearing Declan Fulton shirts. As it turned out, they were Fulton’s family. I picked them out as an illustration of what was going on, and the family took issue with that.
I commented on it because I find the rivalry interesting, and I like including bits about fan culture because it is such an important aspect of the game for me. Looking back over my notes, I could have used other examples, including incidents from Yavapai players and staff, to indicate the emotions at the game. At the very least I could have used these other examples to give a more balanced picture of things.
I didn’t, and I’ve heard from Fulton’s family. The e-mail I received tonight is reprinted below. I plan to also include an apology for singling out the family in my next “Soccer Notes” piece for the Sentinel.
Given all of that, I can still take a positive thing from her e-mail. I very much appreciate the kind words about my writing from Mrs. Fulton. I hope she and her family continue to follow what I’ve been writing about soccer in Southern Arizona.
With reference to the article Pima soccer falls to highly touted Yavapai by Ted Prezelski dated September 16, 2012
I am the mother of Pima Mens Soccer player #8 Declan Fulton and both his father and I take great exception to how we have been portrayed in the article. We DO NOT nor have we ever taunted opposition team players in the 13 years that our boys have been playing competitive soccer. We were singled out due to the fact that we have had shirts printed with Declan’s name and that the people concerned who were doing the taunting were sitting either directly by us or a few feet away. I will say that due to very poor refereeing decisions that we would shout at the referee or linesman but nothing obscene, vulgar or including any swearing. When my younger son and Declan’s girlfriend did start to join in with the taunting, i asked them immediately to stop and even told them that I would make them leave if it continued. They did as I asked, but I will again state that they did make shouts out to the referee and linesman as did many others sitting on the sideline or stands who were not involved in the taunting either. The comment that there was trash-talking on the field is certainly correct as perhaps Mr. Prezelski missed some of the comments directed at our fans and indeed our players from some of the Yavapi players. Coach Cosgrove is indeed correct as this was absolutely nothing compared to what we and our Pima players faced when we played them in the State finals last year.
I appreciate that Mr. Prezelski is a fan as we are, and coming from Britain we are perhaps more vocal than most followers at the college level but again I would stress that we would never taunt players individually, but if we feel a player is committing fouls that the referee is ignoring or not seeing then of course we will voice our displeasure. I am not disagreeing that taunting was taking place and I myself spoke to certain people a few times and asked them to tone it down, but as they are not my family members there is nothing I can do about that. After the game was over, I was one of the first to stand up and clap the Yavapi players which I do at the end of any game for the opposing team.
I appreciate the great write ups that Mr. Prezelski does for Pima Soccer since we tend to get ignored or have one or two lines from the Arizona Star, and he has written very nice things about Declan’s ability as a player and even in this article pointed out he is a sniper but please do not assume that we were involved in something that is to us distasteful, both as fans and as parents, only because our shirts made us identifiable. I feel that by being singled out in this manner, we perhaps have hurt Declan’s or Pima’s reputation and feel that an apology is in order. I hope that Mr.Prezelski continues to write his great articles about the Pima Soccer program.