TOPEKA, Kan. — Maddy Amsink and Julie Bachard, members of the Cheney High School cross country team, have been selected to receive the KSHSAA Spirit of Sport Award for their selfless act at the regional meet in 2018.
The award recognizes the values inherent in high school sports beyond winning and losing.
KSHSAA Executive Director, Bill Faflick, invited all member high schools to submit the name of an individual, coach or team demonstrating such qualities.
Six Kansas high schools submitted nominations. Nominees included Braelyn M. Falls, student at Southern Coffey County High School; Jackson Webb, student at Lawrence-Free State High School; Volleyball team, Louisburg High School; Jakin Lefto, student at Valley Center High School; Jordan Echer, teacher/coach at Russell High School; Maddy Amsink and Julie Bachard, students at Cheney High School.
At the KSHSAA 3A Regional Cross Country Meet at Lake Afton on October 20, 2018, Julissa Rodriguez, a student athlete from Holcomb High School, went down during the class 3A girls race. Cheney High School runners Maddy Amsink and Julie Bachard were close behind and stopped to assist the competitor. Maddy stayed with Julissa, while Julie went to go get help. After help arrived and Julissa was able to stand, the three girls linked arms for support and continued on the course all the way to the Holcomb team tent.
An act of character but also and act of sacrifice because by rule the act would mean the two Cheney Cardinals had lost their chance to medal and qualify for the 3A State Cross Country Championship Meet. Essentially, the Cheney girls put a competitor’s needs before their own.
The KSHSAA appreciates the regional cross country manager, Tyler Fraizer, for informing the KSHSAA about the actions of these two selfless athletes. It was Fraizer who received a radio call that a girl was down at the far end of the course. Jason Johnson the Holcomb High School Principal verified the following week that the girl began “not feeling well” and “blacked out.” When she regained consciousness, the Cheney athletes were kneeling beside her administering care.
The principals of the two respective schools spoke on the phone and Johnson indicated he would like to send t-shirts with #HornsUp (Horns is the Holcomb High School Mascot) for the girls commemorating them for their character.
“We are very proud of them and not surprised at their action. Empathy is one of the five core values at Cheney High School, and we were glad they were able to demonstrate empathy that day,” said Cheney HS Principal Greg Rosenhagen.
The KSHSAA Student Advisory Team participates in the selection of the state of Kansas honoree.
As the state honoree, Amsink and Bachard will receive a plaque to be displayed at the school. The presentation of the plaque will take place at a KSHSAA tournament or local event that is yet to be determined. The nomination has been submitted for consideration by the National Federation of State High School Associations.
The National Federation initiated the NFHS Spirit of Sport Award in 2008. The NFHS will announce a national honoree at its annual summer meeting in early July.