Crook County athletes win good-sport award

By Rachael Scarborough King / The Bulletin
Published: November 29. 2006 5:00AM PST

When Crook County High School’s varsity volleyball team won the Class 5A state championship nearly three weeks ago, the players were ecstatic at having defeated their Central Oregon rival, Mountain View, for the first time in three meetings this season.

But taking home the statewide sportsmanship award, head coach Rosie Honl said, was “icing on the cake.”

In the last few weeks, Crook County High School athletes have been honored by referees not only for winning, but also for being good sports whether they win or lose.

The volleyball team won the state championship and statewide sportsmanship award Nov. 11. A few days later, senior J.J. Hamon, co-captain of the boys varsity soccer team, won a $500 scholarship from the Central Oregon Soccer Officials Association for his leadership and sportsmanship during the season.

epartment, along with members of the student council, has been working to make sportsmanship an important part of being a student athlete at Crook County. Porter said that last year some student leaders drew up a good sportsmanship form for players and coaches to sign.

“It’s something we go over at every single contest,” Porter said. “We want to be a class act, win or lose – that’s one of the things we’ve really been pushing.”

He added that winning both sportsmanship awards in one year is a “pretty good accomplishment.”

Porter said that the various coaches talk to their players before each game about listening to the referees and maintaining a good attitude toward opponents. Hamon, the scholarship winner, said that for him sportsmanship means that he “tried to basically play as a good person.”

“I like to think (I won the award) ’cause I show leadership on the field and always try to make everyone feel that they are playing soccer to get better and not just to win the game,” Hamon said.

Honl said her team’s sportsmanship award was based on the behavior of the players, coaches and fans at the state championship, which took place at the University of Portland’s Chiles Center. The referees, ushers and other officials at the game picked Crook County as winners of the sportsmanship award out of the eight teams participating, Honl said.

“My girls are trained not to give dirty looks to each other or to refs; they are always very sportsmanlike,” Honl said. “We cheer for our team, we don’t scream or yell at the other team when they’re serving or that sort of thing, and it was a real positive crowd that we had.”

Boys soccer head coach John Ries said he emphasized sportsmanship to his players over the course of the season this year.

He added that Hamon, 18, epitomizes those values by encouraging his teammates to be polite to the referees, shake hands with their opponents at the end of the game and stop play if someone is injured on the field.

“He’s just been a strong supporter of sportsmanship,” Ries said.

Hamon, who plays center defense, said the $500 award will help him pay for college next year, although he is not sure yet which college he plans to attend.

“It will definitely take off some of the burden,” he said.

The Central Oregon Soccer Officials Association, which is made up of referees who officiate at 10 Central Oregon schools, gives the Gregory Scott Rivers sportsmanship/leadership scholarship to one senior athlete each year, according to a news release from the Crook County School District. The soccer officials also recognized the sportsmanship and leadership of Ries and the program as a whole. Gregory Scott Rivers was a member of the association who died in an accident at the University of Oregon about 11 years ago.

Volleyball team captain Angela Bailey, 17, said that she and her teammates “never brag about what we do.” A senior, Bailey said she has signed to play volleyball at Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho, next year.

“I was more ecstatic about winning state than I was about the sportsmanship award, but it’s a nice feeling to know that we can come home with two trophies instead of just one, and our crowd was amazing,” Bailey said. “We deserved it.”

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