In the school auditorium each Friday morning at Mount View High School, a collection of student-athletes representing every program sit down to talk sports with athletic director Chuck Carter prior to the start of classes.

But the subject is not the New England Patriots, the Boston Celtics or even the ongoing saga that is the life of Brett Favre. No, this group of students are looking to make a difference in the way high school athletics — and its athletes — at Mount View are perceived. And they are starting from the ground up.

The group of student-athletes are captains from many of the Mustangs’ varsity athletic teams and the meeting every Friday is known as “Captain’s Corner,” where Karter and the rest of the youngsters come together and have been discussing the topic of sportsmanship. From the fans, coaches, parents and to the student-athletes themselves, the group plans to help change the landscape of Mount View athletics and be the building block going forward as they are midway through the second year in their new school.

And that building block comes in the form of their Fans’ Code of Conduct, which reads as such:

“Mount View Schools demand good sportsmanship throughout the entire athletic program. We expect all spectators at our contests to be respectful of athletes, coaches, officials and other spectators. Fans are encouraged to applaud the efforts of all teams and should not engage in any behavior that is critical, distracting or derogatory towards opponents or officials. Mount View schools will not permit any behavior that detracts from the proper conduct of the game or disadvantages an athlete or a team.”

The paragraph reads much the same as many schools’ sportsmanship code throughout the state, but the Mustang student-athletes whittled it down to the fine points they hope both their fans, along with the fans of the opposing teams, will adhere to.

“This came from their words that the unsportsmanlike behavior from fans primarily doesn’t really motivate them to do well,” said Karter. “I think sometimes it embarrasses the players. It’s unnecessary, and I think the athletes heed the burden of that reputation and they feel that’s not fair.”

The Fans’ Code of Conduct will be read prior to every Mount View home sporting event. But rather than have Karter or another Mount View teacher or administrator read the statement, it will come from the mouths of one of the captains, speaking on behalf of the athletes that all those in attendance have come to support.

“We have a hard-working community and a very supportive community,” said Karter. “And I think that sometimes people just need to know what is expected of them. And that’s what we’re trying to do here. So when someone comes into our gym and someone wants to be loud and supportive, absolutely. But it’s got to be positive, not negative. And that’s what we’re going to expect when people come on to our sidelines.”

Karter added that he feels many people “come in, pay their five dollars and just think they can say whatever they want.” But he and the student-athletes are hoping to change that climate into a more positive one, which has not necessarily been synonymous with Mustang athletics in the past.

“You’ve got these parents that expect so much from their kids, but when they don’t like what happens they’ll just walk down and start yelling at the coaches or the refs,” said football captain Sebastian LaForge.

“I know that parents want the best for their kids, but sometimes they say, ‘Go get em’ and things like that but they really don’t know what they’re talking about in the situation,” said Amanda Larrabee, who is a captain on the girls soccer team. “And then you talk to them afterwards and they say, ‘Well we just wanted you to do good.’ But sometimes it can be tough.”

“We’ve never really had a problem with field hockey, but soccer always seems to be more intense because there are a lot more students there,” said captain Channing Murphy. “It has gotten better this year because we don’t have so many outspoken people.”

“We’re trying to establish this as a culture here, and these guys have established it,” added Karter. “All I’m going to do is direct people back to their common goal. Because you can’t take it personal if there is a common goal established. This is the way our athletic department and our student-athletes want fans to act.”

Karter added that the fall sports season as a whole has been a step in the right direction, and feels the team captains are doing their part and taking a proactive role in the process.

“I’ve got great kids,” he said. “And I think that makes a huge different with the climate you’re trying to set, the climate you’re trying to establish or the climate you’re trying to change.”

Many captains are chosen merely because they are seniors, are the team’s best players or have “put their time in,” but the change in the landscape at Mount View includes now that captains are held to a higher standard.

“I think that we were chosen [as captains] because we can relate to the girls and help them through personal issues as well as issues that arise on the soccer field,” said Amanda Larrabee of her and teammate LeeAnn Larrabee.

“It’s not a popularity contest,” said field hockey player Chrissy Larrabee. “It’s not who’s the nicest or who’s been there the longest. We had eight or nine seniors on the [field hockey] team this year and any one of them could have been a captain. Coach [Gloria Hewett] always gives us a good long talk about what a captain is and what she expects them to do.”

“The teams pick captains because [the players] feel they can talk to them,” added field hockey captain Hayleigh Kein. “They’re kind of a middle man between the coach and all the players.”

“Captains are picked because of their attitudes toward teammates or the way they inspire people when they’re playing,” added Chrissy Larrabee. “It helps that you’re a good player, but that’s not necessarily why you get picked.”

It is expected that many student-athletes will read the Fans’ Code of Conduct at least once this upcoming sports season. while the expectation going forward for Karter and the rest of the Mount View student-athletes is clear: Be loud and be proud, but be positive.

“We want to improve the climate at our athletic events,” said Karter. “We want to improve our perception of others in the Kennbec Valley Athletic Conference. We want to improve, and we want people to notice that.”

Village NetMedia Associate Sports Director Mark Haskell can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail at