STEVENS POINT, Wis. – The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association, in cooperation with Rural Mutual Insurance Company, has selected the team Sportsmanship Award winners for the 2021 Winter State Tournaments.
Making accommodations for the uniqueness of the 2021 winter team championships with different venues for a number of the divisions, a winner was selected for each division or venue instead of the traditional one per tournament.
Arrowhead has been selected as the Division 1 Sportsmanship Award winner in gymnastics, which was held at Wisconsin Rapids High School on Feb. 27. It’s the fourth time the Warhawks have received the award and the first time in gymnastics. Previously, they were selected as the award recipients is boys volleyball in 2004 and 2014, as well as in boys team tennis in 2013. Arrowhead finished runner-up in the Division 1 team standings this season. The Wilmot Union/Union Grove/Williams Bay co-op received honorable mention.
River Falls was the gymnastics recipient of the Sportsmanship Award for the Division 2 championships held in Onalaska in February. The Wildcats win the award on the heels of earning girls volleyball recipient of the Sportsmanship Award in Division 1 in the fall. It’s the 10th time River Falls received the award for their sportsmanship. They have also won the award in gymnastics in 2012, 2013 and 2017; girls hockey in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2014; volleyball in 2020; and in wrestling in 1998. The Wildcats finished fourth in the Division 2 team competition. Medford and Mount Horeb received honorable mention for the award.
The Somerset/St. Croix Falls/Osceola Valley Christian co-op was the one program awarded in boys hockey. The Spartans fell 5-1 in their semifinal match-up against eventual and defending champion St. Mary’s Springs. It’s the second time Somerset has claimed the award. The first time was back in 2002 for football. Both St. Croix Falls and Osceola Valley Christian share the honor for the first time. The Eau Claire North co-op that includes Altoona, Eau Claire Memorial and Fall Creek was the selection in girls hockey. The Huskies earn the award for the first time in girls hockey to go with the awards won in boys basketball in 1985 and in baseball in 2005. Eau Claire Memorial shares the award, which is its 12th overall. Altoona and Fall Creek have earned the recognition for the third time and fourth time, respectively, in various sports.
The two recipients in boys basketball are Kimberly and Lake Mills. The Papermakers earned the honor for the State Tournament games held at the Menominee Nation Arena in Oshkosh, Wis., which hosted Divisions 1 and 3. Kimberly finished runner-up in Division 1, falling to Wauwatosa East 62-44 in the championship game. It’s the second time the Papermakers have been bestowed the award. The first came for their sportsmanship at the baseball State Tournament in 2008. The schools receiving honorable mention are DeForest, Wrightstown, St. Croix Central and River Falls. The L-Cats are the recipients of the Sportsmanship Award for tournament games held at the La Crosse Center, which included Divisions 2, 4 and 5. They had their title hopes dashed with a 65-51 loss at the hands of eventual champion Pewaukee in the semifinals of Division 2. It’s the first time Lake Mills has been given the award in any sport. Honorable mention was given to Green Bay N.E.W. Lutheran, Luther and Wauzeka-Steuben.
The two award winners in girls basketball are Hudson and Fall Creek. The Raiders were judged the winners for the State Tournament games held at the Menominee Nation Arena in Oshkosh, Wis., which hosted Divisions 1 and 3. They finished runner-up in Division 1, falling to Germantown 63-48 in the championship game. It’s the fourth time the Raiders have received the award. They earned the honor in girls soccer in 1996, boys soccer in 1998 and in gymnastics in 2018. The schools receiving honorable mention are Lake Mills and Westfield.
The Crickets are the recipients of the Sportsmanship Award for tournament games held at the La Crosse Center, which included Divisions 2, 4 and 5. They fell 55-30 in the Division 4 semifinals to eventual champion Mishicot. It’s the fourth time the Crickets have received the Sportsmanship Award including this year’s selection in girls hockey as member of the Eau Claire North co-op. Prior to this year, they won the award in girls basketball in both 1986 and 1994. Honorable mention was given to McDonell Catholic.
The schools chosen as the Sportsmanship Award recipients in the three divisions of State Team Wrestling Tournament are Holmen, Winneconne and Coleman. For Holmen, it’s the Vikings’ third award overall. They received the award for softball in 1999 and gymnastics in 2007. The Vikings fell to Slinger 39-32 in the Division 1 quarterfinals held at Kaukauna this year. Winneconne was the Division 2 winner. The Wolves lost their semifinal match 45-27 to Prairie du Chien. It’s the second time Winneconne has been selected. The first came in 2017 in girls soccer. Coleman received positive evaluations for their sportsmanship following a 33-32 loss to Mineral Point in the State finals. It’s the second time the Comets have received the recognition. They also won their first award in team wrestling in 2013.
In the winter of 2021, to accommodate the restructuring of the State Tournaments in midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the WIAA/Rural Insurance Sportsmanship Award is presented to one school program and community–or communities in the case of cooperative programs–in each division or venue of 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 demonstrated.
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.
# WIAA #