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Honkers awarded for grid sportsmanship
It's a sport that is violent in nature, but also a sport where games can be won with class, and the Willows High football team is at the top of that class.
The school recently received the Vance Van de Peer Sportsmanship Award, one of just two Northern Section schools that received the highest sportsmanship ratings from the Northern California Football Officials Association (NCOA) throughout the season.
"In a sport where often times the emphasis is placed on winning, it's encouraging to know that your program also values good sportsmanship," said Kimball Shirey, NCOA president in a letter to the school.
"We try to stress sportsmanship," said Willows coach Jim Ward. "It's one of our major goals, to play with class."
The coach added, "It's a reflection on our administration."
Ron Bazan, the athletic director at Willows High could not have been more pleased.
"This feeds into the culture of what we want to do in every sport," he said. "It starts with the coach - when you have somebody throwing things on the sideline the players pick up on that. (Coach Ward's) modeling goes a long way."
Bazan continued, "We are extremely proud of the fact that not only did we have much success winning the D3 championship, but we did it while displaying good sportsmanship. This epitomizes the CIF principle of 'Pursuing Victory with Honor.'"
CONTACT Craig Purcell at 824-1036 or email@example.com.