Sportsmanship Spotlight: "A Spirit of Charity"



Good sportsmanship is the most important aspect of the game. Sometimes games will get intense, heated and personal; therefore, sportsmanship must be learned in order to be practiced in sticky situations. If athletes weren’t reprimanded for unfit behavior, there would be no guidelines for others to follow. Of course there’s talent and hard work, which are both very important parts of sports, but without sportsmanship and self-discipline, there would likely be chaos throughout various levels of play.

When athletes go “Beyond the Game,” they look outside of what it takes to win, but decide to be a good teammate, a good opponent and a good person. Everyone may have a tad bit different definition of good sportsmanship, but first-class sportsmanship leads to the same goal of high-level of competition with the outcome of creating champions who excel both on and off the playing fields.

The ability to be a good sport and display good sportsmanship is dependent on whether we possess the human values of self-discipline, responsibility, integrity, respect and courage.

Good sportsmanship begins and ends with you!

2017-18 "Play It Forward" Sportsperson of the Month

Do you know someone that exudes sportsmanship on and/or off the field?  Do you know someone who goes Beyond the Game to empower others through sportsmanship or community service?  If you answered yes to either one of those questions, then it sounds like you know someone who is eligible for Sportsmanship Spotlight!

Congratulations to our 2017-18 Sportsman of the Month winners:

March 2018: The Spirit of Charity - Reviving The Virtues of Giving

The Central High School Lady Wildcats' Softball team made headlines when the more that 20 ball players made the decision, that it was better to give than to receive. Here's how the story went. After a cancelled softball scrimmage the team travelled to a local Chick-fil-A restaurant to have lunch. One of the young ladies spotted a homeless man who looked like he could use a break, or at least a meal. With the $5.00 remaining, the young lady asked the man if she could buy him something to eat. This then led to a trickle-down effect of giving, that in the end totaled tenfold. The Lady Wildcats' random act of kindness and giving should be one we all learn to practice. The LHSAA, WVLA and Gold Star Trophies would like to congratulate The Central High Wildcats' Softball team for their commitment and compassion to sportsmanship. 

February 2018: A Chance To Dance, Helps Special Needs Kids Find The Big Stage

If you think you can't learn about jazz, tap, ballet and hip hop because you've got a frame or a wheelchair, then think again! The Dutchtown Dance Team may vy for National Titles on a regular basis, but they way they love to make a difference is far from the big stage. "It's more than just being a GG, or dance," said sponsor, Glenda Pavageau. "It's about being part of your community and making memories." Head coach Joy Turner and the team connect with their community by offering instruction to special needs kids at one of their summer camps. "It just warms my heart. I have a soft spot for those kids," said Turner. I don't want to leave them out and I want them to participate whenever they can."The LHSAA, WVLA and Gold Star Trophies would like to congratulate The Dutchtown Griffin Girls' Dance team for their commitment and compassion to sportsmanship. Watch Dutchtown's interview here.

December 2017: When Tragedy “Spikes” a Team, Sorrow Follows--No Playbook

No coach game plans for the unexpected death of a student-athlete. There's no playbook that can make the loss easier. For University High, nearly four months after the death of sophomore volleyball player, Brionna Ross, winters’ arrival brings about a glimmer of hope to move beyond the woes of reality. In the midst of Ross’ death, the resilient Cubs have been able to serve on, playing every match dig for dig, spike for spike and ace for ace. Even though the rotation did not include number 12, the Lady Cubs held strong, “Doing It All for Bri!” Her kind spirit and bright smile resonating within the hearts of each player. Despite not having a game plan for deaths’ opponent, the team, coaching staff and community dedicated their efforts to figuring this one out along the way. The U-High Volleyball team was also recently honored by the Capital City Board of Volleyball Officials. The LHSAA, WVLA and Gold Star Trophies would like to congratulate The University High Lady Cubs’ Volleyball team for their commitment and compassion to sportsmanship. Watch UHIGH's interview here.

November 2017: Homecoming King Crowns Unsuspecting Friend                                                                                                                       

"Play It Forward" winners earn recognition for their sportsmanship on the field, but our November winner garnered attention for what he did during football season, off the field. Terrence Gray, a senior defensive end at Ellender High School, decided his Homecoming King crown should go to one of his fellow students with cerebral palsy. Gray crowned Tate Billiot simply because, "I just wanted to do something meaningful and special." It was an unselfish act of kindness. A star football player giving his homecoming crown to an unsuspecting friend. Terrence Gray was elated when he was crowned Homecoming King on Saturday, October 21, 2017. Without thinking, the unexpected happened. He decided to share his blessing with sophomore Tate Billiot. Terrence and some of his teammates lifted Tate's wheelchair on the stage and adorned him with the crown and sash. "To see the smile on his face, it's wonderful," Gray said. "He deserved to be a king too..." Tate's glowing smile is an inspiration for students at Ellender High School. Homecoming Queen, Jaylin Poe, stated, "Terrence Gray's gesture brought everyone to tears." The LHSAA, WVLA and Gold Star Trophies would like to congratulate Terrence Gray for his commitment to sportsmanship. Watch Terrence's interview here.

October 2017: Charity Leads to Perfection
Sometimes its the smallest gestures that can mean the most. That seems to be the attitude by the Hannan Hawks...after the whistle, at least. The motto of Archbishop Hannan High School is "Charity Leads to Perfection." Senior quarterback Chris Rabensteiner lived these words in a recent Hawk football game, offering a hand to help up an opponent after a play. This picture is only a snapshot that speaks a true tetstament of this young man's character. On an off the field Rabensteiner exhibits good will throughout his daily walk. "This picture is who this young man is. You can ask anyone who knows him," states Athletic Director, Joseph Hines. "You truly captured who Chris is as a young man. Thank you for honoring our school, our football program, and most importantly Chris," says Head Football Coach Scott Wattigny. The LHSAA, WVLA and Gold Star Trophies would like to congratulate Chris Rabensteiner for his commitment to sportsmanship. Watch Chris' interview here.

2018 Essay Contest

Each year, the LHSAA Beyond the Game Program sponsors a sportsmanship essay contest. This is an opportunity for students at all of our member schools to get creative and tell us what it means to go "Beyond the Game” in sportsmanship. The guidelines are simple and your entries must be received by May 2, 2018 to be eligible to win. First place will be awarded a prize of ($500.00) and will be recognized on the and various LHSAA media outlets.

The theme of the essay contest should be based on the following: Competitive sports play a large role in many high schools.  “How Has Participation In Competitive Play Contributed To Your Commitment To Sportsmanship As A High School Athlete?” The application can be found here.

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