Three City/County high school’s efforts to promote sportsmanship have been recognized with the Virginia High School League’s highest honor.
Fort Defiance, Robert E. Lee and Wilson Memorial have earned the Claudia Dodson VHSL Sportsmanship, Ethics and Integrity Award for the 2015-16 school year. The schools, which won the honor for the first time, were presented with banners in October by the VHSL at its monthly meeting in Charlottesville.
“It is a credit to our fans, athletes, and coaches,” Lee High Athletic Director David Tibbs said. Tom Dolan (the VHSL’s assistant director) considers it to be the most prestigious award that they give out because it is the only award the entire school is graded on.”
A total of 39 schools from the 315 in the state were honored. It was the first time that Lee, Fort and Wilson have received the award.
The Dodson award “recognizes VHSL member schools that have established policies and procedures that make sportsmanship a priority and an expectation within the school and school community,” the VHSL said in a release. The judging is based on a self-assessment by the school and peer reviews from three of its rival schools, and looks at the conduct of the coaches and administrators, student-athletes, cheerleaders and families attending games.
There are 50 one-point topics in the assessment. Schools with no player or coach ejections must meet 80 percent of the points on the assessment, those with one ejection must meet 90 percent and schools with two or more ejections are not eligible for the award.
It’s a rigorous standard that Mark Mace, Fort Defiance’s athletic director, is proud his school community met.
“We’re always striving for good sportsmanship,” he said. “What makes this award special is that other schools have input on our program and it tells us that we’re reaching that goal.”
Central-Woodstock, a Region 2A East rival of Wilson’s and Robert E. Lee’s, earned the award for the fourth time, while Lord Botetourt, which is in Region 3A West with Fort Defiance, received it for the first time.