Keizer Youth Sports Association coaches recently voted to honor all 10 players nominated for demonstrating good sportsmanship on and off the ball field.
“The decision to choose three players – one in each division – was too difficult,” said Bo Lane, a KYSA board member and coach.
“After we received the nominations, the board decided that each and every nominee deserved the award.”
KYSA divisions include Midgets (3rd and 4th grade), Juniors (5th and 6th grade), and Seniors (7th and 8th grade). Each coach nominated a player on his team or another Keizer team they played.
“Perhaps they witnessed a player who displayed a good attitude even after making a bad play or striking out,” he added. “Whatever the case, coaches nominated based on that criteria.”
Receiving sportsmanship awards are Tanen Swing and Mitchell Wort in the midget division; Bradley Fryman, Ben DeVos, Carter Hawley, Julian Herrera in the junior division; and Griffen Hubbard, Milanno Camarena, Isaac Mallory, Mekhi China in the senior division.
“Having worked with Julian Herrera for the past three seasons, I can say that he is one great young man,” Lane said of Herrera, whom he coaches.
“He embodies what it really means to be a good sport, putting others above himself, and always showing respect to everyone.”
Coach Josh DeVos credited Carter Hawley for working hard at every practice, helping with cleanup, and staying positive with other players.
“Isaac joined our team late, but jumped right in with a positive attitude,” Coach Dean Prather said of Isaac Mallory. “Even after getting hit with the ball during his first two games, he hopped back in the box with a smile.”
Other players received accolades from fellow team members, including Bradley Fryman, who agreed he “never complains, never quits, and often encourages his teammates and players from other teams.” And Ben DeVos was credited with a positive attitude that greatly impacted his fellow teammates.
Each nominee will receive a glass trophy on Sunday, June 25 at the Keizer Little League field. KYSA aims to provide a wholesome environment for youth to participate in baseball activities, and to develop in the youth a sense of good sportsmanship through a competitive spirit, Lane said.
“We strive to provide opportunities for personal growth and development of youth activities while also reinforcing positive influences, self-confidence and self-esteem,” Lane said.