Coleman Wrestling Awarded WIAA Rural Insurance Sportsmanship Honor
Even though they finished second best at the 2013 state team wrestling tournament on the mats, the Coleman Cougars grapplers and their huge following of fans were a big hit off the mats and selected as winners of the Rural Mutual Insurance sportsmanship award.
Coach Kevin Casper and his troops caught the eye of the WIAA for their positive behavior following a tough 38-21 Division 3 championship match loss to Lancaster. After claiming three straight team titles, the Cougars were going after number four and made their way into the finals following 33-22 semifinal win over Shell Lake.
Receiving the sportsmanship award is an outstanding honor and a tribute to our fans, parents, wrestlers, coaches and administration. I have always said we have the greatest fans, parents and wrestling community in the state that support our wrestlers like no other, Casper said. We try to instill in our wrestlers to win with dignity and when you lose you lose with dignity. To me this honor is to our fans for their knowledge of the sport and how they conduct themselves, as well as our wrestlers for how they conduct themselves on and off the mat.
Receiving honorable mention for the award in wrestling were Badger, Clear Lake and Random Lake.
Joining first-time recipient Coleman as winners of the sportsmanship honor are Little Chute in boys basketball, Lodi in girls basketball, Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln in boys ice hockey, University School Co-op in girls ice hockey and River Falls in gymnastics.
Lodi, winner of the boys basketball sportsmanship award last year, is this years recipient in girls basketball. The Blue Devils earn the honor for the first time in the sport and for the fourth time overall. They also received recognition for the 2003 and 2005 team wrestling tournaments. A large contingent of Lodi supporters displayed outstanding sportsmanship, enthusiasm and community support in a 40-27 loss to two-time champion Kewaunee in the Division 3 semifinals. It was the Blue Devils first State appearance in girls basketball. Schools receiving honorable mention are Barneveld and South Shore.
Little Chute was selected as the Sportsmanship Award winner in boys basketball, its first in any sport. The Mustangs had strong student and community support, as well as engaged supervision during their 61-51 loss to eventual Division 3 champion Aquinas in the state semifinals. Drummond, Elmwood, Green Bay N.E.W. Lutheran, Onalaska and Stoughton received honorable mention.
Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln was chosen as the winner of the boys hockey sportsmanship award for its sportsmanship at the State Tournament. It is the second sportsmanship honor presented in boys hockey, having also been selected in 2006. It is their seventh sportsmanship honor overall. They also received the recognition in football in 2011, boys tennis in 2000 and in team wrestling in 1996, 2004 and 2006. The Red Raiders fell 7-0 to Notre Dame in the State quarterfinals. Honorable mention goes to Eau Claire Memorial.
The University School Co-op, which includes University School, Divine Savior Holy Angels, Homestead, Nicolet, St. Thomas More, Shorewood and Whitefish Bay, won its first sportsmanship award in girls hockey. The Wildcats were on the short end of a 6-2 score in their state semifinal match-up with the Hayward Co-op, which went on to win the championship. The D.C. Everest Co-op received honorable mention recognition.
River Falls receives the Sportsmanship Award for the second straight year i gymnastics. The Wildcats won the Division 2 team title at the WIAA State Gymnastics Championships in March. It is the fifth Sportsmanship Award won by the school across all sports. They received the honor three years in a row as a co-op hockey program from 2009-11, and the were selected as the recipient in team wrestling in 1998. The schools and communities receiving honorable mention include Ashland, Burlington/Badger/Catholic Central/Wilmot, Franklin/Muskego/Oak Creek/Whitnall, Mount Horeb, River Valley, West Bend West and Westby/Bangor.
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 been a sponsor of this award for over forty years, and their participation is essential the mission of the WIAA.
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.
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