Coaches, parents, players and spectators are requested to honor the good sports pledge. The MARPSA Good Sports Award was created to highlight the positive sportsmanship in your community. Each member organization has the opportunity to select 1 coach, 1 youth player, 1 game official and 1 administrator who demonstrated positive sportsmanship in recreation sponsored programs.
If you have any questions about the Mid-Atlantic Recreation and Parks’ Sports Alliance, please contact Mac Slover, President, at 703-746-5407.
2017 MARPSA Good Sports Award Winners
Name of Winner: Nick Damoulakis
"He is always positive with the kids that he coaches. I have been very impressed with his ability to remain calm, upbeat, and positive with his team. One game in particular, the coach of the opposing team was becoming increasingly negative and rude to the point where the kids were starting to break down and call every play unfair and Coach Nick continued to encourage the team to remain positive and have fun.
The refs were being placed under attack and each play was being scrutinized and honestly I felt it was just overkill. We play flag because it embodies the spirt of fun competition and Coach Nick gets that-flag is competitive, but more importantly are the goals of fun and qualities character building. My son enjoys playing for Coach Nick; he wants to do his best for him and loves being part if his team. Coach Nick gives each child a leadership role as captain and he lets them play any position they want to play sometime during the season. We signed up blind-we had no idea who would be our coach and we are soooo glad we have Coach Nick. My husband and I are volunteer coaches (about 15 years so far) and we feel Coach Nick embodies all that we could hope to be as coaches--We think he does a great job!"
-Erin Kelly - Frederick County Parks and Recreation
Name of Winner: Analiese Kennedy
"Analiese is just a godsend as a coach. She is fair and supportive, amazingly considerate of the players' feelings, treats all players as equals, brings techniques and tactics into play, and makes the kids feel special about their participation and performance, win, lose, or draw. This is my daughter's second season with Analiese, and after the end of the first season, after the team had lost 6 games in a row and then all of a sudden they win their last two games, as Analiese was saying goodbye to the players, she started to cry because she was so proud of the progress the kids had made. Coach of the year for sure in my book."
-Carl Ohlke - Frederick County Parks and Recreation
"Analiese comes to each activity with this team prepared to provide guidance around core principles of playing well with others... Respect, empathy and a true genuineness of making these children appreciate one another. She is patient and the message she conveys is not about winning the game but gaining that positive experience of playing together well."
-Vicky Miller - Frederick County Parks and Recreation
Name of Winner: Prince Innis
"Prince was thrown into the role of Head Referee in our NFL Flag football program because our more experienced referees were off doing tackle football. We were hopeful that nothing bad would happen and the games would go off without a hitch. A funny thing happened after the first game of the day, multiple parents came up to compliment the job Prince did as Head Referee. The constant theme was he showed amazing patient with the kids, helped get them in position so they could enjoy the game. Encouraged them after good plays or bad. He communicated well with the coaches and parents and kept the game running smoothly. One parent said it was the best experience they ever had with a referee in our program.
Prince did not receive such glowing compliments after every game this year, but he did routinely receive multiple positive reviews per week. Prince was patient with the new refs and took time to instruct them so that they could learn in a positive environment. By the end of the season, I was scheduling the new refs that needed additional guidance with him. At the end of each year I submit an evaluation of referees to parks and recreation. Prince graded out the best. Frederick County Parks and Recreation referees are not just there to officiate a game. We are mandated to ensure good sportsmanship, communicate with players, coaches and parents to ensure that everyone has a great experience. Prince excelled at this. He has proven to be a great addition."
-John O'Connell - Frederick County Parks and Recreation
Name of Winner: Jordan Specht
"I am confidently nominating Jordan Specht for the Good Sports Player of the Year. Jordan is a Junior at Linganore High School, a multi-sport Varsity athlete, and an Honor Roll student. I have had the pleasure of coaching Jordan in both softball and basketball through LRC since she was in 4th grade. She has always been a stand-out athlete - she truly dedicates herself to improving her skills through focused practice and extra conditioning.
She is the first player to arrive to practice and the last to leave. In all the years I have coached or watched her play I have never once seen her argue a call with a referee or be disrespectful to another player or coach. On the contrary, she provides a tremendous example of sportsmanship to her teammates and her on and off the field conduct makes her coaches, her school, and her rec league proud. In the winter season of 2015 and again this year, Jordan returned to Liberty Rec to play basketball. She was selected as team captain both years, and led her team to a Championship in the U19 Girls division of Monocacy Youth Basketball Association in March.
During this season Jordan is not only looking to repeat as league champions as captain of her team, but she has also volunteered to be the head coach of the very important Under 8 Co-ed Instructional Basketball team for Liberty Rec. So on top of everything else she is accomplishing this year, she is tasked with leading K through 2nd graders, teaching them the basics of basketball, and instilling in them a love of the game. She is the perfect person for the job, and she is an ideal candidate for the Good Sports Player of the Year."
-Rustin Gallagher - Libertytown Recreation Council
Name of Winner: Cheryl Connors
"I can't say enough about what a positive influence Coach Cheryl has been on young athletes at Carroll Manor Recreation Council. She coaches Cross Country and is responsible for kids from as young as 4 years old to as old as 14. It takes a tremendous amount of patience and preparation to keep kids that young engaged and I am continuously amazed at how she manages to keep the entire team engaged over such a large age range. She has put young children on the path to lifetime health and fitness through running and has been a great mentor and teacher to the older runners by getting them involved in assisting with the practices and motivating the younger teammates. I don't know any other coach that does a better job teaching, motivating, and caring for 60+ athletes at one time. Her smile never leaves her face and it is evident that she truly loves teaching these children and loves the sport of running.
Kids often first come to the team completely intimidated by competitive running and sports in general. Cheryl quickly puts their fears at ease. Her focus has always been on developing a lifetime love of running, not solely on winning a race. The kids feel safe and secure and are taught that they don't have to win to be a success. They just have to finish the race and put in their best effort. She hands out "toe tokens" to each runner who shows up to a meet and the kids are super proud to display how many they've acquired (but from my own kids perspectives: they don't show up for the toe tokens, they show up because they love seeing how excited Coach Cheryl gets for each and every one of their races.)
The kids have a deep love and respect for Cheryl and they will get out there and run their hearts out just to see her huge smile as she cheers them on. In return, they acquire a positive attitude about running and team support. If you have ever come to a cross country meet, you most likely saw Cheryl and all the CMRC runners and parents lined up along the course cheering on, not only their own teammates, but all the runners from all the teams. They all understand that distance running is a challenging sport and every runner should get praise just for being out there. I know I'm rambling, but I just can't express in words just how much of a difference Cheryl Connors has made in the lives of these young athletes. She helped build Carroll Manor Cross Country from nothing and we wouldn't even have had a team if she hadn't jumped in and taken it on. There is no one like her and I hope she somehow gets the recognition she deserves (although would never ask for.)"