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WIAA announces fall sport tournament sportsmanship winners

12/21/2023, 11:15am CST

From the WIAA -- 

The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association, in cooperation with Rural Mutual Insurance Company, has selected the team Sportsmanship Award winners for the 2023 fall State Tournaments.

The recipients of the awards are Lodi in football, St. Mary Catholic in boys soccer, Newman Catholic in girls volleyball, Kimberly in boys volleyball and Altoona in girls team tennis.

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 demonstrated.

Lodi is this year’s recipient of the award for the State Football Finals, which was held at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis., on Nov. 16-17. The Blue Devils earn the honor for the second time in football and for the sixth time overall. In addition to the award earned in football in 2017, they also received recognition for team wrestling in 2003 and 2005, for boys basketball in 2012 and for girls basketball in 2013. A large contingent of Lodi supporters displayed outstanding sportsmanship and community support in a 38-14 victory over Luxemburg-Casco in the Division 4 title game. It was the Blue Devils’ second football State championship and their third appearance in the State football championship game. Schools receiving honorable mention are Badger, Black Hawk/Warren, Ill., Darlington, Edgar, Luxemburg-Casco, Stratford and Wrightstown.

St. Mary Catholic receives the award in boys soccer with its display of sportsmanship both on the field and in the stands during the State Boys Soccer Tournament at Uihlein Soccer Park in Milwaukee on Nov. 2-4.  The Zephyrs fell to Shoreland Lutheran in their championship game, 2-0, after advancing from the semifinals following a 1-0 overtime victory over Washburn/Bayfield. It marks the second time the Zephyrs have received the award. Their first recognition was also in boys soccer back in 2004. Belleville/New Glarus, Marquette, Middleton, Sheboygan Christian/Sheboygan Lutheran and Washburn/Bayfield received honorable mention.

Newman Catholic is the recipient of the award for the State Girls Volleyball Tournament, which was held at the Resch Center in Green Bay on Nov. 2-4. The Fighting Cardinals earned the school’s first Sportsmanship Award in any sport for their sportsmanship and enthusiasm during their 25-21, 25-10, 25-15 win over Prentice in the Division 4 semifinal and their 21-25, 18-25, 25-20, 25-17, 15-8 loss to Wonewoc-Center. Schools receiving honorable mention were Divine Savior Holy Angels, Cuba City, Fall River, Howards Grove, Pewaukee, Prentice, Rice Lake, River Falls, St. Croix Falls, St. Mary Catholic and Waunakee.

Kimberly was the winner of the award for the State Boys Volleyball Tournament held in conjunction with the girls tournament. The Papermakers are recognized for their sportsmanship above the other seven schools participating in the one-division tournament. They advanced to the semifinals following their 23-25, 29-27, 20-25, 29-27, 15-10 win over the Waukesha North/South co-op in the quarterfinals. They fell to eventual-champion Middleton in their semifinal match by scores of 25-23, 25-19, 25-18. It’s the third time Kimberly has been presented with the award. In 2021, they won the honor in boys basketball. The Papermakers were also the recipients of the spring baseball award in 2008. Union Grove received honorable mention.

Altoona is the recipient of the Sportsmanship Award at the State Girls Team Tennis Tournament held Oct. 20-21 at Nielsen Tennis Stadium in Madison. It’s the third time the Railroaders have been bestowed the honor and the second time in girls tennis. The previous selection in girls tennis came in 2001. The other recognition came for girls volleyball in 2015. Altoona fell in their semifinal match against Xavier, 5-2. It was the program’s lone dual match loss of the season.

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.

The WIAA, as defined by its Constitution, is a voluntary, unincorporated, and nonprofit organization. The membership oversees interscholastic athletic programs for 515 senior high schools and 43 junior high/middle level schools in its membership. 

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