STEVENS POINT, Wis. – The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association, in cooperation with Rural Mutual Insurance, has chosen the recipients of the team sportsmanship awards for the 2020 winter State Tournaments.
The winners of the prestigious sportsmanship recognition are University School of Milwaukee in boys hockey, the Xavier Co-op in girls hockey, Prairie du Chien in team wrestling, and Hartford Union in gymnastics. Boys and girls basketball did not receive an award due to the cancellation of those tournaments because of the decision to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
It’s the first time since 2017 the sportsmanship award has been presented in boys hockey, and it’s the first time University School has earned the recognition in boys hockey. The Wildcats’ have now won the award five times across all sports. They won the award with the girls hockey co-op in 2013, boys tennis in 2018, and girls tennis in 2006 and 2014. University School modeled sportsmanship both on and off the ice at the State Tournament. After jumping out to a 2-0 lead in their semifinal game, they fell 5-3 to top-seeded Notre Dame. Northland Pines and Rice Lake received honorable mention.
The Xavier Co-op consisting of 16 schools, including Appleton East, Appleton North, Appleton West, Fox Valley Lutheran, Freedom, Hortonville, Kaukauna, Kimberly, Little Chute, Menasha, Neenah, New London, St. Mary Catholic, Two Rivers, Wrightstown and Xavier, won the award in girls hockey after skating to its second straight State championship. The Stars defeated Hudson 4-2 in the semifinals, and downed the top-seeded Middleton Co-op 5-3 to capture the crown. It’s the first time Xavier has won the sportsmanship award in any sport, whether as a stand-alone program or the lead school in a co-op. The Beloit Memorial Co-op, Hudson and the Middleton Co-op received honorable mention.
The sportsmanship evaluations at the State Team Wrestling Tournament led to the selection of Prairie du Chien as the sportsmanship award winner in 2020. The student-athletes, coaches and the enthusiastic fan support were rewarded for their sportsmanship during the Blackhawks’ semifinal match with Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau. They fell just short of advancing to the title bout by a 34-33 outcome. It’s the first time the school has won the award in any sport. Honorable mention for the award was extended to Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau, Port Washington and Wrightstown.
Hartford Union capped an outstanding gymnastics season by sweeping the team award inventory. Not only did the Orioles win the Division 1 title for the first time in the history of their gymnastics program, they also earned their first sportsmanship award in gymnastics. It’s the second sportsmanship award won by the school overall. The Orioles were also recognized for their sportsmanship in girls soccer in 1997. Hartford Union earned the State championship this season with a team score 144.75 after placing third in the team standings a year ago. Also receiving consideration for the award were Madison Memorial, Marshfield, Medford Co-op, Mount Horeb, Nicolet, River Falls, and Wilmot Union Co-op. Each will receive honorable mention certificates.
The WIAA/Rural Mutual Insurance Sportsmanship Award is presented to one school and community in each of the State team tournaments that exhibits exemplary sportsmanship. The 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 featured. 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, area hotels and restaurants. Rural Mutual Insurance has been a sponsor of this award since 1965, and their partnership contributes to the promotion of sportsmanship in education-based athletics as a valued corporate partner of the WIAA.
# WIAA #