The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) and school officials often stress the importance of sportsmanship at athletic events.

To that end, the WIAA, in cooperation with Rural Mutual Insurance, has chosen the recipients of the team sportsmanship awards for the 2019 winter State Tournaments.

The winners of the prestigious sportsmanship recognition are Marshall in girls basketball, New Glarus in boys basketball and Ellsworth in team wrestling. Boys and girls hockey did not have a recipient of the award.

Not only did Marshall win the Division 3 State girls basketball championship for the second straight season, the Cardinals also repeat as recipients of the sportsmanship award. The Cardinals and their community maintained the good sportsmanship they displayed in 2018 en route to winning consecutive awards. Colby, Fall River, Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau and Newman Catholic were also in contention to receive the award and were recognized with honorable mention.

New Glarus displayed outstanding sportsmanship with visible administrative oversight and encouragement in winning the Division 4 championship at the State Boys Basketball Tournament. Bangor, Columbus Catholic, La Crosse Central, McDonell Catholic, Northwestern and Roncalli each received honorable mention for the award.

Ellsworth is also a back-to-back selection, being selected as the award recipient in team wrestling again this year. The evaluations and reports identified the Panthers having exhibited the sportsmanship most worthy of the award at the State team wrestling tournament last month. Arrowhead, Burlington, Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau/Melrose-Mindoro, Holmen, St. Croix Falls, Stoughton and Wisconsin Lutheran were given honorable mention for the award.

Although no recipient was recognized in girls hockey, the D.C. Everest Co-op, which includes D.C. Everest, Marathon, Merrill, Mosinee, Wausau East and Wausau West, and the Sun Prairie Co-op, which includes Sun Prairie, DeForest, Madison East, Madison La Follette and Waunakee received honorable mention for the award. There was no sportsmanship award recognition awarded in boys hockey this year.

The WIAA/Rural Mutual Insurance sportsmanship award is presented to one school and community in each of the State team tournaments that exhibits exemplary sportsmanship. The 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 featured. Award winners receive a trophy and banner in recognition of the honor.

Schools receiving honorable mention are acknowledged with a certificate of recognition. The selection process includes contributions and evaluations from contest officials, tournament management, police and security personnel, crowd control and ushers, WIAA staff members, area hotels and restaurants. 

Rural Mutual Insurance has been a sponsor of this award since 1965.