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WIAA Team Sportsmanship Award Winners Selected

The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association, in partnership with Rural Mutual Insurance Company, has selected the team Sportsmanship Award winners for the 2017 Spring and Summer State Team Tournaments.

The winners of the prestigious award are Laconia in spring baseball, Juda/Albany in softball, Winneconne in girls soccer, Neenah in boys tennis and Kiel in summer baseball.

Laconia is the recipient of the WIAA/Rural Mutual Insurance Sportsmanship Award for the second time and for the first time in spring baseball. They finished runner-up in Division 3, falling 10-0 to Aquinas in the title game after defeating Iola-Scandinavia 5-4 in the semifinals. The Spartans also received the award in boys basketball in 2002.  Schools receiving honorable mention include Aquinas, Athens, Beloit Memorial, Burlington, Cumberland, Iola-Scandinavia, Mosinee, Oakfield, Turner, Waunakee, West Salem.

The Juda/Albany co-op demonstrated sportsmanship and enthusiasm over two games en route to winning the Division 4 championship at the State Softball Tournament. It's the first time the co-op program has been chosen as the recipient of the award. The Panthers downed Phillips 13-4 in the semifinals and edged Pacelli 2-1 in the title game to earn the championship. Albany also received the Sportsmanship Award in 2014 as a co-op program with Evansville in team wrestling. Honorable mention for the award was extended to Bloomer, Kewaskum, Marshall, Menomonee Falls, New London, Pacelli, Phillips, Shiocton, Sun Prairie, Wausaukee, Weyauwega-Fremont.

It is first time Winneconne has been presented with the Sportsmanship Award in any sport. The Wolves were selected among the 20 programs qualifying for the State Girls Soccer Tournament this spring. They advanced to the title game in Division 3 via a 3-1 advantage in the shootout following a 1-1 tie with Edgewood. They finished runner-up with  a 4-0 setback against Catholic Memorial in the championship game. Aquinas, Bay Port, Brookfield Academy, Catholic Memorial, Howards Grove, Oregon, Pulaski, Rice Lake received honorable mention for the award.

Neenah earned the Sportsmanship Award at the State Boys Team Tennis Tournament for the second straight season and for the fourth time in the sport. They also were recognized in boys team tennis in 2002, 2006 and 2016. It's the 10th time the Rockets have received the award overall.  In addition to boys team tennis, they were the recipients of the Sportsmanship Award in girls tennis in 2000 and 2015; boys basketball in 1969, 1975 and 1988; and girls soccer in 2001. The Rockets finished as the State runner-up this year, falling to Marquette 5-2 in the final after defeating Eau Claire Memorial 5-2 in the semifinals and Arrowhead 6-1 in the quarterfinals.

Qualifying for the State Summer Baseball Tournament for the first time since 1967, Kiel was select as the Sportsmanship Award winner this year. The Raiders scored the first run of their semifinal match-up with Marquette, but  would succumb to the Hilltoppers 11-1 in six innings. It is the first time Kiel has been selected for the Sportsmanship Award. West Bend West received honorable mention.

The WIAA/Rural Mutual Insurance Sportsmanship Award is presented to one school and community in each of the State team tournaments. 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 insure support for their teams are positive and that the highest ideals of sportsmanship are upheld. Award winners receive a plaque and banner in recognition of the honor. Schools receiving honorable mention are acknowledged with a certificate of recognition.

Rural Mutual Insurance has sponsored the Sportsmanship Award program for more than 52 years.

The selection process includes evaluations from contest officials, tournament management, as well as, security personnel, crowd control and ushers, and WIAA"staff members.


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