University School of Milwaukee’s varsity boys’ hockey team was named the recipient of the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) team sportsmanship award for the 2020 winter state tournament. This is the first time since 2017 that the WIAA, in cooperation with Rural Mutual Insurance, presented the award in boys hockey, and it’s the first time that the program earned the recognition.
According to the WIAA, USM modeled sportsmanship both on and off the ice at the semifinal game of the WIAA Division I Boys Hockey State Tournament in March. Despite jumping out to a 2–0 lead, they fell 5–3 to the top-seeded Tritons of Green Bay Notre Dame, which entered the match as the Division 1 tournament’s top seed and ranked as number one in the state coach’s poll. USM, the defending state champion, was seeded fourth in the tournament.
The Wildcats have now won the WIAA Sportsmanship Award five times: girls hockey co-op (2013), boys tennis (2018), and girls tennis (2006 and 2014).
About the award:
The WIAA/Rural Mutual Insurance Sportsmanship Award is presented to one school and community in each of the State team tournaments that exhibits exemplary sportsmanship. 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 featured. Award winners receive a trophy and banner in recognition of the honor.
Schools receiving honorable mention are acknowledged with a certificate of recognition. The selection process includes contributions and evaluations from contest officials, tournament management, police and security personnel, crowd control and ushers, WIAA staff members, area hotels, and restaurants. Rural Mutual Insurance has been a sponsor of this award since 1965, and their partnership contributes to the promotion of sportsmanship in education-based athletics as a valued corporate partner of the WIAA.