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HHS honored for sportsmanship

Hudson High School has received high marks from its fellow Big Rivers Conference schools in the 2013 BRC Spring Sportsmanship Poll.

Five of the Raiders' seven spring sports programs were ranked in the top three in the voting, including baseball and both boys and girls track and field, who all earned top spots. Girls' soccer and boys' tennis were also recognized.

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 upheld.

"We are extremely excited about the final standings in the sportsmanship ballot, which comes from opposing team's coaches and administrators," Hudson athletic director Stephanie DeVos said. "Sportsmanship will not develop unless we are all on board. The coaches have worked hard to improve school spirit and sportsmanship and it shows in the final rankings. They, as well as the students, parents and community, are buying into our sportsmanship statement."

While many Raider teams were successful in their respective sports this past spring -- highlighted by a BRC championship for the Raider baseball team -- DeVos said that sportsmanship awards reflect something deeper than just success on the field.

"One of the best opportunities to build students' character, teach ethics and build morality and sportsmanship can be through our high school athletic programs, and at the same time not deny the value of the classroom," she said. "Students know we have extremely high expectations for our teams and coaches on the field and on the floor, as well as how students, parents and community members behave in the stands. Our main job is to challenge the energy of the students in a positive manner, and we're moving forward on that."

DeVos said the bar regarding sportsmanship at Hudson was raised last fall by the enthusiasm surrounding the success of the Raider football team, which won a BRC title and reached the WIAA State semifinals.

"I firmly believe that the success of our football team in the fall had an effect on the entire school year, specifically with our students, coaches and staff," she said. "That led to a level of excitement and interest that made people feel good about being involved."

DeVos also credited the Raider Pride Council's Sportsmanship Committee, a four year-old athletic advisory council consisting of coaches, parents, athletes, administrators and interested citizens -- all volunteers -- with helping to ensure the integrity of Hudson athletics through teamwork, good sportsmanship, leadership development and respect for others.

"They helped build a foundation of sportsmanship expectations that will carry on for many years to come," she said. "School sportsmanship in non-negotiable, and we'll continue to work as hard as we can to build on it."

No other BRC school had more than five of its teams ranked in the final spring sportsmanship poll.

Bob Burrows
Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.
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