The Student News Site of Center Grove High School


The Student News Site of Center Grove High School


The Student News Site of Center Grove High School


Center Grove wins IHSAA Sportsmanship Award

Center Grove was one of eleven schools to receive the honor of the IHSAA Sportsmanship Award.

On September 3, 2023, Center Grove High School was the recipient of the IHSAA Sportsmanship award for 2023 for exemplary displays across all sports in different categories. 

The onus of this award fell to the Center Grove Athletic Department, which, led by athletic director Joe Bronkella and assistant athletic director Katie Fisher, looked to maintain good sportsmanship on the field.

“On our IHSAA dashboard, there are five parameters we have to fulfill. The first main one is our overall score,” Bronkella said. “So based on our fans, our student athletes, our coaches; in a game situation, if you have anything negative, like a red card in soccer, or ejection, or technical foul, you can get points deducted from that score. If you have exemplary reports like tennis had last week, you can get bonus points. It has to be over a hundred for the sportsmanship award and we were over a 100.” 

Part of maintaining the hundred point total is the community reporting good and bad behavior, which can display a standout impact on communities both home and away, shown by the boys tennis team in their away game at North Central.

“The tennis team got an exemplary report, which means someone somewhere noticed positive things our kids did,” Bronkella said. ”When they do, they file a report at the IHSAA, and we get alerted that we have an exemplary positive report, and they give us a point. Those are not limited to how many you can get in a year, but not a lot of people fill those out unless they see someone really going above and beyond, so that’s why it was important to be recognized for that, too.”

Another requirement to win the award was community involvement, which involved hosting numerous events and connecting with the community through social media.

“We had Trick or Treat with the Trojans [and] First Responders Night,” Bronkella said. [Additionally,] when we do our parent meetings, we talk about sportsmanship. We do sportsmanship posts on our social media all the time. All these different things we put out there, we have to tally it up and write up a report, and then we apply to see if we get [the award].”

This award, along with the intrinsic boost that it provides, can also change the perspective and attitude of other schools and how they view Center Grove sports as a whole.

“I think it lets them know that we have a lot of positivity with our fans,” Bronkella said. “Everyone has a perception of everyone else that’s coming in, knowing them only from past experience, so maybe it’ll help some of the schools that may have a negative thought say ‘Oh man, their community and their kids are working hard, and maybe what I thought before is a little different.’”

Junior Daksh Patel, who was part of the tennis team that displayed good sportsmanship during their delayed game at North Central, also knows that his behavior on the field does not only affect the Trojans in the present, but also the future.

“[It’s about] being really nice to your opponent and doing small things that are not mean. Like giving the ball to your opponent the right way instead of hitting it really far from them, or shaking their hand after the match and not being frustrated after every point,” Patel said. “If I have a good attitude, then the younger kids will definitely look at me and try to copy me, or learn from that. I try to be as good as possible on the court so that the future of high school tennis is better.”

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Gourav Pany
Gourav Pany, Website Editor
Junior Gourav Pany has been on staff for three years. He started his Publications career in his freshman year when writing stories about fantasy football and school features. Pany is a website editor and is currently working on sports and student features for the website, along with weekly sports previews. Pany would like to note that he likes writing, sports (especially soccer) and running.
You can overcome anything, if and only if you love something enough. -Lionel Messi

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