STEVENS POINT, Wis. – The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association, in partnership with Rural Mutual Insurance Company, has selected the team Sportsmanship Award winners for the 2023 Spring State Team Tournaments.
The winners of the prestigious award are Ithaca High School in baseball, Mayville High School in softball, Cedar Grove-Belgium High School in girls soccer, and Brookfield Central High School in boys tennis.
Ithaca demonstrated sportsmanship with its respectful and positive team and spectator support in its drive to win the Division 4 championship at the State Baseball Tournament in June. It’s the second time the Bulldogs have been chosen as the recipient of the award. They also received the honor in baseball in 2018. Ithaca won a thrilling 8-7, come-from-behind victory in the title game against Pecatonica after edging Edgar 4-3 in the semifinals. Honorable mention for the award was extended to Altoona, Denmark, Kiel, McDonell Catholic, Menomonee Falls, Middleton, Pecatonica, Random Lake and St. Croix Falls.
Mayville is the recipient of the WIAA/Rural Mutual Insurance Sportsmanship Award for the first time in any sport, earning the honor in softball. The Cardinals finished runner-up in Division 3 following a valiant 1-0 loss in eight innings to Brodhead in the championship game. They advanced to the title game after defeating Mishicot 6-1 in the semifinals. Assumption, Grantsburg, McDonell Catholic, Menomonee Falls, Mishicot, New London, Pacelli, Sun Prairie East and Superior each received honorable mention.
Cedar Grove-Belgium received positive evaluations for their team and spectator support in girls soccer. It’s the second time the Rockets have been bestowed the honor in girls soccer and the third time overall. They also received the girls soccer award in 2021 and boys soccer honor in 2006. The Rockets finished runner-up in Division 4. They defeated Lodi 3-1 in the semifinals and fell 6-5 in overtime to Kiel in the championship game. The schools and communities receiving honorable mention include Lodi and Sauk Prairie.
Brookfield Central was selected as the award recipient after the Lancers advanced to the State Boys Team Tennis Tournament for a 15th time. It is the second time the Lancers have been selected for the award in boys tennis and the third time overall. The previous recognition in boys tennis came in 2005, and their first award came in boys basketball in 1965. After downing Neenah 5-2 in their Division 1 quarterfinal match-up, the Lancers fell in their semifinal match, 4-3, to eventual champion Marquette.
The WIAA/Rural Insurance Sportsmanship Award is presented to one school program and community–or communities in the case of cooperative programs–that demonstrates outstanding sportsmanship in WIAA team tournaments. 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 showcase the highest ideals of sportsmanship.
The selection process includes evaluations from contest officials, tournament management, as well as, security personnel, crowd control and ushers, and WIAA staff members. Rural Mutual Insurance began sponsoring the Sportsmanship Award program back in 1965.
The WIAA, as defined by its Constitution, is a voluntary, unincorporated, and nonprofit organization. The membership oversees interscholastic athletic programs for 514 senior high schools and 45 junior high/middle level schools in its membership.
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