Hood River Valley High School athletes received a special honor this week as the Oregon Schools Activities Association released the list of winners for its first Sportsmanship Award. One school in each classification — six total — was chosen to receive the newly created award based on a vote within each conference and a final selection by the Sportsmanship Review Committee. The award, which is planned to be given annually, includes recognition throughout the state and a $1,000 gift for each winning school.
Hood River was chosen as the Columbia River Conference’s representative school and was selected as the 5A classification winner. Other winners were 6A Canby High School, 4A McLoughlin High School, 3A Illinois Valley High School, 2A Western Mennonite High School and 1A Imbler High School.
“This award is really cool because it is the culmination of behavior from our kids, our coaches, our administration and our community and fans, both at home and on the road,” said Keith Bassham, HRVHS athletic director. “Sportsmanship is key. We are there to compete and do the best we can, and obviously winning is important, but winning isn’t necessarily just having the best score. Winning is how our athletes and coaches present themselves, and in Hood River we’re first-class.”
Schools, not allowed to vote for themselves, were asked to nominate another school in their district that they felt best fit the spirit of the award and its criteria. The review committee then made the determination for overall classification winners.
For HRVHS, the nomination came from The Dalles-Wahtonka Athletic Director Kyle Rosselle. Bassham explained that once HRVHS was nominated, the rest of the district agreed. From there, the committee chose HRVHS based on the following criteria: Exemplary behavior by the students, coaches, administrators, fans, parents and community at OSAA events; administrators’ ability to enforce the spectator conduct policy; number and type of unsportsmanlike ejections; league feedback; number of nominations submitted for a particular school-within their regular district and outside of their regular district and sportsmanship nomination forms submitted by OAOA.
Bassham said the school wants to do “something special” with the award money.