In most instances within sports, an opposing player going down with an injury during play is an opportunity to take a big advantage. But at a recent high school football game, one player saw an injured opponent as an opportunity to do something nice.
During a recent high school football game in Iowa between Charles City and New Hampton, wide receiver Mario Hoefer of Charles City was photographed helping out New Hampton’s Carter Steinlage, who’s leg was cramping during the game. The photo has since gone viral.
“I knew exactly how that felt,” Hoefer said, via the GlobeGazette. “My first reaction was, ‘Okay there’s no trainers over here yet.’ So I’m about to help stretch him out. I did that for a bit and waited for the trainers to come over.”
ESPN SportsCenter called what Hoefer did “true sportsmanship” and shared the image. The replies to what he did have been largely positive too:
He went over to help the opponent on the ground that was in pain. True sportsmanship. ❤️
(via Andy Shatley/Facebook) pic.twitter.com/72WQGS8p4d
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 22, 2021
“This is a w,” one Twitter user replied.
“Holy [f-ing] W. This kid is a role model 1000% percent,” wrote another.
“Major w,” a third fan wrote.
Hoefer said afterwards that he wasn’t looking for any kind of reaction. He was impressed to see it blow up the way it has.
“I did not expect any reaction,” Hoefer said. “I saw the photo and I was like, ‘Oh yeah, that’s pretty cool.’ But I wasn’t expecting it to blow up the way it did.”
Now that’s great sportsmanship.