FAITHFUL FAN | CYC soccer teams, Musial Awards show sportsmanship is alive

When athletes behave badly, the public knows about it. Take, for example, University of Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield who last month taunted and made an obscene gesture toward the University of Kansas team in a game won by Oklahoma 41-3. Reports have detailed similar incidents in the NFL.

But sportsmanship is alive and well in the Archdiocese of St. Louis and across the country.

FAITHFUL FAN | Good sportsmanship requires cultural awareness

The student representatives of 13 schools in the Archdiocesan Athletic Association (AAA) got the message. There's plenty of reasons to play high school sports and, with apologies to Vince Lombardi, winning isn't the only thing — it ranks far down the list. And there's no excuse for racist remarks or gestures, on or off the field, or insults from fans.

Cardinal Ritter grad carries sportsmanship to new level

Sportsmanship comes easy for Rolando Merriweather, who finished four years on the varsity football team at Cardinal Ritter College Preparatory High School last fall.

That quality and other values have been instilled in the captain of Ritter's team by his football coaches — including his father — and others. He'll take those ideals with him to Missouri S&T University in Rolla where he'll play on the defensive line for the football team and study computer science.

CYC players, coaches put sportsmanship, faith first

22 Nov. 2015 -- WEBSTER GROVES, Mo. --  St. Gerard Majella Parish volleyball player Andrew Normington (3) greets Mary Queen of Peace player Andrew Zimmerman (44) before the start of the 2015 CYC South Central District Volleyball Playoff 8th Grade Championship at Holy Redeemer School in Webster Groves, Mo. Sunday, Nov. 22, 2015.

The fifth-grade soccer players from St. Joseph Parish in Manchester had just won a competitive playoff game against a team from Queen of All Saints Parish.

The players from the losing team were visibly upset, and their opponents were not just shaking their hands as they do after each game but also patting them on their backs, giving encouragement and even hugging them.

"I was so proud of them," said Frank Ganninger, coach of the St. Joseph team. "At that point, that was more important than the win."

FAITHFUL FAN | NFL's questionable sportsmanship needs a reversal

Joseph Kenny

The 2013-14 NFL season came to a close with the Seattle Seahawks beating the Denver Broncos 43-8 in the Super Bowl Feb. 2, and with it ended a year of questionable sportsmanship.

A fine line exists between being passionate, aggressive and competitive versus showing integrity for the game and respect for your opponent. That line has been crossed during games and in comments by players.

St. Dominic grad scores with sportsmanship

Brianne Ebenroth, center, leapt in the air to corral a ball during a game for St. Dominic High School in O’Fallon, where she helped the team to two state soccer championships.

Brianne Ebenroth's sense of sportsmanship began as soon as she started playing sports -- a concept taught to her and her sister by her parents.

And now, Ebenroth, a freshman in college, is one of two local recipients of the prestigious Musial Awards given out by the St. Louis Sports Commission and the National Sportsmanship Foundation. Named in honor of the late St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Famer, the awards celebrate the ballplayer's legacy by recognizing the greatest moments and stories of sportsmanship from around the country.

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