FALL TOURNAMENTS PRODUCE FIVE TEAM SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD WINNERS
STEVENS POINT, Wis. – The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association, in cooperation with Rural Mutual Insurance Company, has selected the team Sportsmanship Award winners for the 2017 fall State Championships.
The recipients of the sportsmanship awards are Lodi in football, Benton in girls volleyball, Madison West in boys soccer, Amery in girls team tennis and Racine Horlick in boys volleyball.
The WIAA/Rural Insurance Sportsmanship Award is presented to one school program and community–or communities in the case of cooperative programs–in each of the State team tournaments that demonstrates outstanding sportsmanship. Award winners are determined by the conduct and sportsmanship displayed by athletes, coaches, cheer and support groups, mascots, bands and spectators. Additional consideration is given for the effort of school administrators and chaperones to ensure support for their teams are positive and that the highest ideals of sportsmanship are showcased.
Lodi is this year’s recipient of the award for the State football finals. The Blue Devils earn the honor for the first time in the sport and for the fifth time overall. They also received recognition for the 2003 and 2005 team wrestling tournaments, in 2012 for boys basketball and in 2013 for girls basketball. A large contingent of Lodi supporters displayed outstanding sportsmanship, enthusiasm and community support in a 17-10 victory over defending champion St. Croix Central in the Division 4 title game. It was the Blue Devils’ second appearance in the State football championship game. Schools receiving honorable mention are Bangor, Black Hawk and Lake Country Lutheran.
Benton earned its second sportsmanship recognition with its positive support for the Zephyrs at the State Girls Volleyball Tournament. They also claimed the award in boys basketball back in 2009. They advanced to State for the first time in the program’s history. They fell in the semifinals to Lourdes Academy 25-23, 25-20, 25-15 in the Division 4 semifinals. Honorable mention for the award goes to Catholic Memorial, Kimberly, Lake Country Lutheran, Lakeside Lutheran, Merrill, Newman Catholic, Regis, Stratford and Waunakee.
Madison West is the recipient of the Sportsmanship Award in boys soccer, which marks the first time the Regents have received the award in any sport. They made their 15th appearance in the boys soccer State Tournament this season, which resulted in a 2-1 overtime loss to eventual champion Marquette in the Division 1 semifinals. Incidently, Madison West possesses the most State team championships of any school in the membership with 90. Amery, McDonell Central Catholic/Regis, New Richmond and Sturgeon Bay received honorable mention recognition.
Amery is the recipient of the Sportsmanship Award in its first-ever appearance in the girls tennis State Tournament. It marks the second time the school has been bestowed the honor overall, also winning the award in summer baseball back in 1996. The Warriors were eliminated from title contention following a 5-2 setback to Kenosha St. Joseph in the Division 2 semifinal round.
Racine Horlick was evaluated with sportsmanship efforts worthy of receiving the honor at the State Boys Volleyball Tournament. It is the first time in school history the Rebels have been selected for the award in any sport. They lost 25-13, 25-17, 25-15 in the quarterfinals to eventual champion Marquette. It was their eighth appearance in the State Tournament. Honorable mention for the award was extended to Middleton.
Award winners receive a trophy and banner in recognition of the honor. Schools receiving honorable mention are acknowledged with a certificate of recognition. The selection process includes contributions and evaluations from contest officials, tournament management, police and security personnel, crowd control and ushers, WIAA staff members, and area hotels and restaurants on occasion.