Paul Beasley, far left, discusses focus and a business trip mentality with his wrestling team before the Intermountain Conference Championships last week in Pendleton. The Dalles recently received a prestigious sportsmanship award nomination from the OSAA.

As Andrew Richman, Steven Preston, Austin Greene and JR Scott prepare for 5A state wrestling action next weekend, The Dalles head coach Paul Beasley announced that his program received a prestigious OSAA Sportsmanship Award for their activity, which includes 100 OSAA Cup points for the school.

“It is an outstanding honor, not just for our student-athletes, but for our school as well,” Beasley said. “This is a direct reflection on what’s best about our sport, our kids and our coaching staff.”

Beginning in the spring of 2018, the OSAA Sportsmanship Committee, along with the OAOA, implemented a sportsmanship award aimed at improving the relationship between member schools and athletic officials.

One of the leading causes of the declining number of game officials is poor sportsmanship directed towards them at athletic contests.

This award gives them the opportunity to highlight  positive experiences, which gives them the opportunity to submit a form after every contest and select which team they would like to nominate.

At the end of each season, the committee chooses a winner for each sport.

That program is given a banner to hang in the gym and earns 100 OSAA Cup points for their school.

During the fall, local schools Sherman, South Wasco County, Horizon Christian and Hood River Valley were recognized for their sportsmanship.

At the Don York Invitational on Jan. 5, it was felt that the wrestlers exhibited the top-level qualities that the OSAA looks for in teams, programs, and communities across the state, so associate director Kelly Foster sent an email to Beasley, athletic director Matt Morgan and administrators.

When it comes to the wrestling program, Beasley said that the expectation is that the coaches and athletes have consistently held themselves to a higher standard of behavior, on and off the mat.

“We believe wrestling is more than a sport, it’s a way of life,” Beasley said. “Every wrestler, at every level, has experienced defeat, hardship and sacrifice, and we can all relate to each other. Because of this shared experience, we truly respect the sport and all who have come before us. And it is not just about political correctness. We live it. We demand it from our wrestlers, and to be honest, the young men and women we have had in my 10 years here are the best student athletes and citizens we have to offer in The Dalles.”

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