TOPEKA, Kan. – Marysville High School Administration and student body, are the 2017 KSHSAA Spirit of Sport Award winners. The award recognizes the values inherent in high school sports beyond winning and losing. KSHSAA Executive Director, Gary Musselman, invited all member high schools to submit the name of an individual, coach or team demonstrating such qualities. Marysville High School was selected from other outstanding nominations submitted by KSHSAA member senior high schools.
Eight Kansas high schools submitted nominations. Nominees included Dalton Michael Childers, student at Santa Fe Trail High School; Steve Lolley, contributor at Jefferson West High School; Administration and students of Marysville High School; Nemaha Central Cheerleaders at Seneca-Nemaha Central High School; Van Rose, teacher/coach at Shawnee Mission Northwest High School; Kelly Kennedy, Swim Coach and Swim Team, at Campus High School in Haysville; Mariah J. Maryman, student at Wichita-South High School; and Winnie Shaw, student at The Independent School in Wichita.
Marysville was nominated for the award by Sabetha High School’s Principal Sheri Harmer. “Marysville and Sabetha, schools 50 miles apart, played each other at the Class 3A State Championship Football game in Hutchinson on November 25, 2017. There are many connections between Marysville and Sabetha that made this day extra special. Unfortunately, on the way home, two of our football players lost their mother, sister and uncle in a tragic car accident. Our school was deeply touched by the caring condolences and many acts of kindness we received from our league schools and schools across the state. Marysville was one of our first scheduled basketball games the very next week after state football, and after they learned about the tragedy, they wanted to do something to support the boys on the football team and our community. Before the game, they created a t-shirt that said, “Faith – Family – Together” with “We Support Sabetha” on it to raise money for the memorial. Marysville took the lead and declared the game against Sabetha as a “blue out” night to show unity and support for our community. The MHS art students made a sign that read, “We Support Sabetha.” They also took a special collection for the family at the door. In addition, their cheer squad reached out to ours by making them bows and inviting them to join together during the national anthem and halftime. Both MHS girls and boys basketball teams gave our players t-shirts to show their support. The most touching moment of the night was after the moment of silence, their band played the Sabetha school fight song and the whole gym joined together by clapping in rhythm to the fight song. Marysville reached out with many acts of kindness and wrapped their arms around our school in support of the Ukele family and Sabetha community.”
The KSHSAA Student Advisory Team participates in the selection of the state of Kansas honoree. “The unique way Kansas selects their state winners is without parallel. No other state association utilizes students as their selection committee,” said Executive Director, Gary Musselman. John Gills, NFHS Associate Director, wrote to the KSHSAA Student Advisory Team, saying, “Thank you for the outstanding work you do to generate Kansas nominations for these NFHS Awards. You play a very important role in recognizing these very deserving individuals at the state and national levels.”
As the state honoree, the Marysville High School Administration and student body will receive a plaque to be displayed at the school. The presentation of the plaque will take place at a KSHSAA tournament or local event that is yet to be determined. Marysville High School’s nomination has been submitted for consideration by the National Federation of State High School Associations. The National Federation initiated the NFHS Spirit of Sport Award in 2008. The NFHS will announce a national honoree at its annual summer meeting in early July.