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A local school sports program has been singled out as an example of excellence in sportsmanship and has been named a Champion of Character in sports from the Indiana High School Athletic Association.

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Salem High School is one of 19 schools in Indiana to receive the Champions of Character sportsmanship honor for the 2015-16 school year and has been named a 5 Star Leadership School.

SHS Athletic Director Hank Weedin had received word about a week ago that the school had received that along with another honor.

“[Last week] I received my second email from the IHSAA concerning our girls soccer team coached by Tom Scifres and assistant coach Doug Morgan,” said Weedin. “I was notified that we received our 2nd Exemplary Sportsmanship report.  To receive one during the season is great.  To receive 2 during a season (after actually only 3 games!) is awesome.”

Weedin said typically, if a school receives 1 or 2 of these in a year (all sports combined) they are doing well.

An Exemplary Sportsmanship report can be filed by an official, opposing coach, etc. through the IHSAA.

This is done when the person making the recommendation sees great sportsmanship in a team and/or the team’s coach.

“Thank you Coach Scifres and Coach Morgan for your leadership and commitment to great sportsmanship and to the young ladies who carry this commitment out on the playing field,” said Weedin.

Weedin said Salem High School was one of only 53 schools in the IHSAA last year to receive the Sportsmanship Award and will be receiving a banner to display recognizing our effort.  There are over 400 schools in the IHSAA.

In fact, since he received that news, it’s been clarified.

“We just received word from IHSAA that we are actually 1 of only 19 schools to receive Champions of Character sportsmanship honor for the 2015-16 school year.  The number I had originally received (53) meant that 53 schools had reached the first 2 steps. They did not complete the final 3 steps,” explained Weedin.

“I Was proud of our coaches and players when we were only 1 of 53 schools.  I’m even more proud of the fact that there were only 18 other schools out of over 400 to reach this plateau,” he said.

Champions of Character is a process designed to create a character-driven athletics and activities program one student, one parent and one coach at a time.

At a time when sports and society are experiencing increasingly abhorrent behavior, Champions of Character provides the training and resources to help those who work in athletics make character development a priority.

Champions of Character was developed by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, (NAIA), which has been formally teaching character through athletics since 2000.

The program provides the framework for a partnership with the Indiana High School Athletic Association to recognize schools that are dedicated to leadership and character development.

The Champions of Character IHSAA Five-Star Leadership School Award program addresses the essential knowledge and skills needed to develop leaders and a character-driven high school athletic and activities program.

The program introduces a range of topics of interest to athletes, activities participants, parents and coaches who want to be successful.

This program will contribute to a positive high school experience and promote character-driven high school activities.

This Champions of Character presentation includes:

  • Explanation of the five components of the IHSAA program
  • Requirements for reporting to the IHSAA
  • Resources to support IHSAA member schools with the program

 

All IHSAA member schools have the opportunity to earn the Champions of Character IHSAA Five-Star Leadership School Award.

Those schools that complete the requirements will receive a championship banner to hang in their gymnasiums, a digital banner to post on their website, and extensive community recognition.

To earn the award, a school must:

Star 1 — An accumulation of 95 out of 100 points must be achieved by the member school. Each member school begins the year with 100 points. With ejections or violations, points are subtracted. Points may be added with the completion of items below in order to reach the 95-100 total.

 

Star 2 — Develop a Sportsmanship/Leadership/Citizenship message via a committee comprised of student athletes, parents, and staff.

Star 3 — Disseminate your Sportsmanship/Leadership/Citizenship message to your entire community

Star 4 — Require your head coaches to complete the online Champions of Character Character-Driven Coaching course online

Star 5 — Show a minimum of one chapter of the Champions of Character video series to all participating student athletes, parents and coaches.