PATEROS The Pateros High School volleyball team received a first during a special assembly Tuesday.
All the players received a sportsmanship medal from Washington Interscholastic Activities Association.
“I do want to say congratulations to the Pateros volleyball team for their success at state a couple weeks ago,” WIAA Assistant Executive Director Cindy Adsit said.
The Nannies finished fifth in the 1B volleyball tournament, the highest trophy ever for the school in that sport.
Pateros coach Gene Dowers said the awards and praise from the WIAA were “humbling.”
“It’s rare enough and special enough that these kids get one of these at the end of every match at the state championship,” Dowers said. “To have a whole team get it is amazing.”
In a special assembly that was filmed, Adsit, WIAA Athletic Director Mike Ottis and sportsmanship mascot Sporty handed out a sportsmanship medal to each team member and presented the team with its fifth-place trophy.
“We had a very hard time picking who should get the award, because everyone is so outstanding,” Adsit said, so everyone received a medal.
“It’s something that makes me very proud of our team, and I personally think it’s very deserving for us and how hard we’ve worked,” player Jessi Dowers said. “Over the years it’s been progressively getting better. My freshman year, we didn’t always get along with each other … but now, everybody is a team and we all work together. I’m so happy.”
When explaining what sportsmanship means to her, Dowers referred to the team’s jubilance when a point is scored.
“We don’t cheer for the point that we got from their mistakes; we cheer for the point that we make,” she said. “We don’t flaunt it or go, ‘Ha!’ We rejoice in how well we play and respect everyone else’s game.”
“This is a good place. It’s a very positive house,” Gene Dowers said. “The teachers and the staff and administrators work real hard to reinforce positive relationships and respect, and it trickles down from them.
“It’s a very good place to be good people, and that’s what shows on the court.”
The coach also gave credit to the students’ families in instilling those values.
“It’s Mom and Dad and aunts and uncles and grandmas and grandpas that build that, and then the teachers add to it, the staff, the administrators all add to it,” he said.
“This is a school success, not just a volleyball success.”
Players Ashton Steggall and EmmaLee Luft were called up first to represent the team. Adsit said they had received two awards, and asked the girls to select a fellow student from the audience to receive the second award.
They chose Keira Moore, a junior on the junior varsity.
At state after receiving a sportsmanship medal, Steggall said, “We can have really good sportsmanship and be respectful.”
Speaking to all the students, Superintendent Lois Davies said, “You as a whole have a good reputation. The fact that they (WIAA) took the time to recognize Pateros schools is a big deal.”
“You can see a lot of community pride, especially once you get into the city limits,” Adsit said.