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FSHS receives State tourney sportsmanship award

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Fort Scott High School Athletic Director Larry Fink (far left) presents the Kansas State High School Activities Association's State Basketball Tournament Sportsmanship Award to representatives of the FSHS student body Wednesday morning in the high school commons. Representing the student body were senior class members of the boys' basketball team, the cheerleading squad and the band. Receiving the award are (From left): FRONT -- Sami Halsey, Michael Flater (a/k/a "Tigger", the FSHS mascot), Dani Lundberg and Kristin Allen; BACK -- Taylor Grant, Heather Karleskint, Don Savage, Cameron Woodring, Brady Fink and boys' basketball head coach Jeff DeLaTorre. Cheerleader Sophia Martin was unable to attend.
(Scott Nuzum/Tribune)
Fort Scott High School learned recently that it has been awarded one of the Kansas State High School Activities Association's awards for sportsmanship at the Class 4A State Basketball Tournament in Salina, which was held March 7-10.

According to head boys' basketball coach Jeff DeLaTorre, this is the fifth time FSHS has won a plaque. There have been two other times that the school has won a certificate.

Athletic Director Larry Fink explained how award winners are determined.

"You have to play in three games at the State Tournament to be eligible for a plaque," Fink said. "At each game, three people sit anonymously in the crowd and observe the fans, cheerleaders, band and the team."

Fink had a copy of one of the sheets used by the evaluators. There are five areas in which each school is judged. Certificates are given to schools who meet the criteria but are only present for the first day of the State Tournament.

DeLaTorre also noted when FSHS senior cheerleaders, band members and player representatives gathered to accept the award Wednesday morning that it is held in high prestige by the KSHSAA. If no school meets the criteria during the State Tournament, the award will not be given. As an example, the Tribune found when it looked at the KSHSAA website Wednesday afternoon that only certificates were awarded at the Class 6A Girls' State Tournament this year.

More than one school can receive the award. Ottawa High School also received an award for this year's boys' tournament. Holton and Ottawa received the girls' sportsmanship award.

Michael Flater, who dressses in the "Tigger" mascot costume during games, accepted the award on behalf of the student body. The cheerleaders were presented with medals that the KSHSAA presents to spirit squads from schools which receive the award.

Fort Scott won plaques at the 1989, 1990, 2005 and 2007 State tournaments and certificates at the 1996 and 2001 State tournaments. Fort Scott's girls also have won the award in the past.

The Tiger boys' team finished third in this year's State Tournament.

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