Georgiana School wins sportsmanship award

Published 3:05 pm Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) has recognized Georgiana School for its conduct on and off the field of play during the 2016-2017 school year.

The sportsmanship award is bestowed to schools whose athletic programs complete the entire school year without incurring either a fine or an ejection.

This marks the second time in the past four years at Georgiana has been honored for its outstanding sportsmanship.

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Georgiana School joined 107 other schools for the distinction in 2016-2017.

Georgiana athletic director Kirk Norris said that it was a notable achievement for the entire school—not just the athletic department—to be included in such company.

“To be included as one of those is a great accomplishment, and it says a lot about your kids and coaching staff being disciplined,” Norris said. “It’s definitely a feather in the cap, so to speak, for our athletic programs to win a sportsmanship award.

“And it’s also administration. Your principal plays a big role in the athletic department because, as far as the AHSAA, they’re the ones who are really responsible.  If we get a fine, it’s not going to come down on me; it’ll come down to the principal, because the AHSAA say they are ultimately in charge of making sure the athletic program is what it’s supposed to be.”

Norris said that coaches and other adults within the school system bear just as much responsibility as students in ensuring that the school remains fine and ejection-free.

“I feel like our coaches do a good job of portraying a good image for our kids, and they act accordingly,” he said. “We have respectful kids, and they not only have talent, but they’re well-mannered.  We don’t worry about taking our kids somewhere out to eat after a ballgame.”

Norris added that cultivating a reputation as a school that prioritizes sportsmanship affords Georgiana a lot of opportunities that many may not often consider, such as more opportunities to travel and face new opponents during the offseason.

The inverse is also true, as proving oneself as a hospitable school means that opponents are more likely to visit Georgiana for home games.

“And when people come into your place to play, they’re going to feel comfortable in an environment, and that’s definitely what we have here at Georgiana,” Norris said. “We have people who are willing to do things the right way; and that’s not only coaches and administrators, but also our players.”