STEVENS POINT, Wis. – The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association, in partnership with Rural Mutual Insurance Company, has selected the team Sportsmanship Award winners for the 2021 Spring State Team Tournaments.
The winners of the prestigious award are Baldwin-Woodville in softball, Rosholt in baseball, Cedar Grove-Belgium in girls soccer, and Brookfield East and Catholic Memorial in boys tennis.
Baldwin-Woodville demonstrated sportsmanship with respectful and positive enthusiasm in its two games at the State Softball Tournament en route to a runner-up finish in Division 2. It’s the first time the Blackhawks have been chosen as the recipient of the award in softball and the second time they have received it overall. They also received the award in boys tennis in 1999. They advanced to the championship game this season with a 4-1 win over Marinette in the semifinals. They fell in the title game to Catholic Memorial, 5-4. Honorable mention for the award was extended to Beaver Dam, Blair-Taylor, Cedarburg, Chippewa Falls, Juda/Albany, Lomira, Marinette, Mishicot, Oakfield, Pacelli, Peshtigo, Phillips, Seneca and Wilmot Union.
Rosholt is the recipient of the WIAA/Rural Mutual Insurance Sportsmanship Award in baseball for the first time in any sport. The Hornets advanced to the Division 4 championship game with a 6-1 victory over Greenwood, and finished State runner-up following a 4-0 loss to Boyceville in the final. Boyceville, Catholic Memorial, Greenwood, Jefferson, Kenosha St. Joseph, Marathon, Onalaska, Rice Lake, Southwestern and Union Grove all received honorable mention.
Cedar Grove-Belgium received positive evaluations for their team sportsmanship and positive fan support to earn them the honor in girls soccer for the first time. The Rockets were also recipients of the award in boys soccer in 2006. They were edged in the Division 4 championship game by Brookfield Academy with a 4-3 tally in the shootout following a 1-1 tie after the overtime periods. The Rockets advanced to the title game following a 4-0 victory over Assumption in the semifinals. The schools and communities receiving honorable mention include Ashland, Hudson, New Berlin Eisenhower, Oregon and Plymouth.
Making accommodations for the uniqueness of the 2021 State Boys Team Tennis Tournament with continuing COVID-19 pandemic guidelines, a winner was selected for each division or venue instead of the traditional one per tournament. Brookfield East was selected as the award recipient in Division 1 after the Spartans captured the title with a 7-0 win over Marquette in the championship match. It is the third time Brookfield East has been selected for the award. The previous two were in boys volleyball in 2013 and 2018. The Spartans beat Appleton North 7-0 to advance from the quarterfinals to the semifinals, and then defeated Neenah 6-1 in the semifinals. Catholic Memorial was chosen for the award in Division 2. The Crusaders edged Brookfield Academy 4-3 in the championship match to win the title. They advanced to the final with a 7-0 blanking of Aquinas in the semifinals. It was the fourth time Catholic Memorial has been recognized at the Sportsmanship Award winner. The previous three occasions were in boys volleyball in 2005, 2006 and 2011.
The WIAA/Rural Insurance Sportsmanship Award is presented to one school program and community–or communities in the case of cooperative programs–that demonstrates outstanding sportsmanship in WIAA team tournaments. 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.
Rural Mutual Insurance began sponsoring the Sportsmanship Award program back in 1965.
The selection process includes evaluations from contest officials, tournament management, as well as, security personnel, crowd control and ushers, and WIAA staff members.