Members of the Student Athletic Council (front row left to right): Harper Watson, Lucy Lynch, Lilly Konkle, Keara Eder, Jordyn Bilz, Kennedy Stidham, Clare Wilber, Olivia Spencer, Ruby Jacobs, and Hailey Jenkins. Back row: Neel Mistry, Jack Kelsey, Carter Schutte, Luke Ommen, Matt Ward, Trenton Barnes, Luke Miller, Athletic Director Joe Bronkella, Elias Hanson, Emma Cammack, Alivia Brawner, Morgan Cahall, Brooklyn Cline, Jessie Dyer, Assistant Athletic Director Patric Morrison, Abby Ferguson, Brooklyn Cornelius, Gracie True and Taylor Lynch. (Submitted photo)
Members of the Student Athletic Council (front row left to right): Harper Watson, Lucy Lynch, Lilly Konkle, Keara Eder, Jordyn Bilz, Kennedy Stidham, Clare Wilber, Olivia Spencer, Ruby Jacobs, and Hailey Jenkins. Back row: Neel Mistry, Jack Kelsey, Carter Schutte, Luke Ommen, Matt Ward, Trenton Barnes, Luke Miller, Athletic Director Joe Bronkella, Elias Hanson, Emma Cammack, Alivia Brawner, Morgan Cahall, Brooklyn Cline, Jessie Dyer, Assistant Athletic Director Patric Morrison, Abby Ferguson, Brooklyn Cornelius, Gracie True and Taylor Lynch. (Submitted photo)
Madison High School was just one of 23 schools across the state to earn the esteemed IHSAA Sportsmanship Award for the 2019-20 school year, the school announced on Wednesday.

The award, which is handed out by the IHSAA on an annual basis, rewards schools for sportsmanship on and off the field and tracks the number of ejections by athletes, coaches and administrators across all sports for the entire season.

“This sportsmanship award is a great honor,” said Madison Athletic Director Joe Bronkella. “This is one of those awards that every athletic department in the state would like to earn. This is an incredible honor and really attests to the positive impact that is occurring in our athletic department. The hard work by our athletes and coaches is evident. This type of recognition confirms we have our priorities set the way they should be in regards to our athletic program.”

Along with tracking athlete behavior in game, the Sportsmanship Award also honors schools for its students’ behaviors away from the field of play. Bronkella said much of the credit for the award should go to the Student Athletic Council, which oversaw many of the steps needed for Madison to succeed.

“The SAC is comprised of high school students (sophomore through senior classmen), who choose to apply, understand they will be have references checked and must have a clean disciplinary record in order to be selected to represent their fellow student-athletes,” said Bronkella, who started the SAC in his first year as AD three years ago. “This started as a small group and grows each year and helps to develop student leadership on and off of the playing field. This group is a liaison between their teams, teachers, coaches, and athletics and brings ideas and projects to life to better the student-athlete experience.”

Along with Madison, other schools to receive the honor are: Clay City, Edinburgh, Fremont, Goshen, Harrison (West Lafayette), Highland, Kankakee Valley, Logansport, Columbus North, Mishawaka, Mooresville, Morristown, North Vermillion, Oak Hill, Pendleton Heights, Pioneer, River Forest, Rock Creek, Sheridan, South Bend Riley, Western Boone, and Winamac.