When it comes to athletics, there is so much more to it than teaching our youth the fundamentals of the game. There is the aspect of sportsmanship and learning to balance all that goes on in a teenager’s life academically, athletically and socially. When parents, coaches and teachers come together to support students in becoming their best, amazing things can happen.
In early November, the Bonners Ferry Boys Soccer team traveled to state and won the 2018 State 3A Soccer Sportsmanship Award. In a letter to Boundary County School Superintendent Gary Pflueger, the assistant director for the Idaho High School Activities Association (IHSAA), Mike Federico, commended the school district and its representatives.
“Sportsmanship is a top priority of the IHSAA. The ideals of sportsmanship permeate virtually every aspect of our culture, and the ethics of fair play may be witnessed in all facets of life,” wrote Federico. “The origins of sportsmanship have been firmly established in education-based activities as a training ground for good citizenship and high behavioral standards.”
In determining who is the most deserving of this prestigious award, an independent committee attended this year’s state tournament and judged all of the tournament’s coaches, participants, administration and spectators—including parents and other representatives.
“Each school was evaluated on important behaviors that are guiding principles of sportsmanship and citizenship, and Bonners Ferry High School was a true example of a positive school culture and a community with pride,” said Federico.
The Idaho High school Activities Association also commended Principal Kevin Dinning for being a positive role model at Bonners Ferry High School, emphasizing that it was his leadership that shined through in the behavior of the coaches, players, school representatives and spectators at this year’s tournament.
In an interview earlier this fall, Head Coach Wayne Wilkerson had high praises for his team. “It’s a fantastic group of young men that all seem to just jive and get along,” he said, citing just one of the many reasons he enjoys coaching this group.
Wilkerson has coached the boys for the last four years but has been part of the program since 1999 as either a head or assistant coach.
Congratulations to the entire team for an outstanding soccer season and being a shining example to others about what it means to display good sportsmanship. And a special thank you to the parents, staff and coaches who serve as role models to these exemplary young men.