The North Country football team was awarded the 2022 North Sportsmanship Award by the Vermont Football Officials Association.
“It was a great surprise and honor for our team to be chosen,” NCU coach Lonnie Wade said.
Wade helped guide the Falcons to a 4-0 start to the season before falling in the first round of playoffs to eventual Division II champion Mt. Anthony.
Wade says he believes his team was chosen for the award because — while the Falcons want to play hard and physically every game — they, at the same time, strive to respect their opponents and the referees.
“We were complimented many times this season by our opponents and officials with how our players interacted and carried themselves,” Wade said. “It’s an emphasis at all times. It doesn’t represent our school, community and families if we don’t act and play respectfully. We also have younger eyes on us and we want them to see how the game should be played.”
A belief and concept that is taught, expected and executed on the field, but something Wade hopes his players will carry off it as well.
“I tell the team a lot that football is similar to life,” he said. “You’re going to face adversity and how you respond to it says a lot about your character. Our team had good character this year. That will always be a focus.”
D-II runner-up Bellows Falls received the award for the South.