Friday, June 20, 2008

Good Sports

Some much-needed rain is falling in the Charlotte area now and it's time for a SHOUT!

Plenty of Big South fans keep up with what teams have won championships on the fields and courts of play, but do you know what teams have won the greatest respect from their peers when it comes to sportsmanship?

The Big South Conference polls teams in every sport at the conclusion of their competitive seasons to see whom the student-athletes consider the best examples of sportsmanship. An institution lists its top three (not voting for themselves, of course), they get corresponding point values, all the points are added up, and a winner for that sport is announced by the Conference office. At the very end, an overall winner is declared by combining the results of the various Big South sports and determining who got the highest percentage of their possible points. For the last two years, the overall award was earned by the student-athletes of VMI.

Here's how things have been going this year, with several spring sportsmanship awards announced and only baseball left to report...

Liberty (5.5): Men's Cross Country, Volleyball, Women's Indoor Track, Men's Golf, Men's Outdoor Track, Women's Outdoor Track (tie)

Radford (3.5): Men's Indoor Track, Men's Basketball, Women's Tennis, Women's Golf (tie)

VMI (3): Women's Soccer, Men's Soccer, Football

High Point (2.5): Women's Cross Country, Men's Tennis, Women's Outdoor Track (tie)

Charleston Southern (1.5): Women's Basketball, Women's Golf (tie)

Winthrop (1): Softball

No first-place finishes for CCU & UNCA / baseball results still pending.

Of course, don't make the mistake of thinking that fewer of these honors makes a school out to be a collection of poor sports! We think everyone in the Big South does a good job upholding honor and dignity--this award merely thanks the ones who are the best at doing that all year long from the perspective of their fellow student-athletes.

Geographic bonus note: Virginia schools have claimed 12 of the 17 awards issued so far (NC and SC schools 2.5 each).

Have a great weekend, sports fans...

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