Amsterdam among state award winners

LATHAM — The New York State Public High School Athletic Association recently announced that Amsterdam High School (Section 2), Brockport High School (Section V) and Lisbon Central School (Section X) as its winners of the 2020-21 Sportsmanship Promotion program.

This year marks the 24th year that deserving schools have been recognized by the NYSPHSAA’s Sportsmanship Promotion program.

The award is presented to schools who have developed proactive approaches in keeping sportsmanship in the forefront with their students, coaches, spectators, and communities.  A total of 207 schools submitted the Sportsmanship Promotion Survey to the NYSPHSAA and 38 schools were chosen by their sections as plaque winners. The three schools selected as banner award winners, as chosen by the NYSPHSAA, will have a ceremony to receive their banner at date and time of their choosing.

Amsterdam High School

Amsterdam was awarded a Sportsmanship Promotion Banner for the first time in school history. The school uses a card system that encourages proper spectator behavior and display signs at their athletic venues which clearly outlines expected fan behavior. Amsterdam also uses Sports Safe Zone at all their athletic events, a program that provides safety training to help schools make athletic events safer and more enjoyable.

The school also has developed a ‘Sportsmanship Pride” program that encourages coaches, players and fans to interact with game officials in a positive manner and limit the amount of verbal abuse aimed at officials.

“We are thrilled to find out that Amsterdam is a recipient of a Sportsmanship Promotion Banner,” said Amsterdam athletic director Steve Nolan in a news release. “We are working diligently to change the culture we see in sports where sportsmanship has taken a back seat. When attention is focused on the game/match and not on officials or the ideas of parents, the experience for the kids is much more pleasant. This is and will be a work in progress, but we feel we are making great strides in an attempt to provide the student-athletes, coaches, officials and parents a fun and friendly learning experience.”

Brockport High School

Brockport also was a first-time winner of a Sportsmanship Promotion Banner. At Brockport expectations for student-athletes, coaches and spectators are announced before each contest. A game ball is presented to a visiting team player, who demonstrates and exhibits positive sportsmanship during most contests at Brockport.

“It is an honor for our Brockport student-athletes, coaches, and families to receive this recognition of sportsmanship,” said Todd Hagreen, Brockport High School Athletic Director in the release.  “Collectively, our athletic program will continue to pride itself on competing to the best of our ability while respecting the sport, our opponents, officials, and opposing spectators.”


Lisbon Central School

For the second time in school history and the second consecutive year, Lisbon Central School has been chosen as a Sportsmanship Promotion Banner winner. Lisbon has a code of conduct they enforce for players and parents. If the code of conduct is not followed, the behavior is addressed. The school additionally uses NFHS courses on sportsmanship to reinforce the importance of positive sportsmanship.

“Lisbon is very honored to receive this special recognition from NYSPHSAA,” said Erika Backus, Lisbon Central School Athletic Director in the release. “This past school year was challenging for everyone, but it also provided new ways we could still provide opportunities for student athletes.  We learned patience while we waited for decisions regarding athletics, encouraged our coaches to provide ways to work virtually with our students, found an even greater respect for officials and game workers who stepped up to help make games and contests happen.”

By Paul Wager