U-9 soccer team receives MYSA sportsmanship win

Published 2:14 pm Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Albert Lea U-9 boys’ summer soccer team was awarded a Sportsmanship Award by the Minnesota Youth Soccer Association (MYSA).

The 2008 Outstanding Ambassadors of Teams Honoring Sportsmanship (OATHS) award is presented by MYSA to one team in each age group, gender, and division. MYSA developed this award as an incentive program to promote good sportsmanship in youth soccer.

At each game, each team is scored by the referee on the supportiveness of the fans, the coaches’ respect of the players, referees, fans and other coaches, and the behavior of the players. After compiling all the data at the conclusion of the summer season the Albert Lea U-9 boys’ team had the highest total score in its division.

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“I am really happy for the boys to receive this award,” said coach Mac Ehrhardt. “It’s especially rewarding because it is something we have worked on as a team. There were certainly moments we showed poor sportsmanship, but we talked about them as a team and used them as learning opportunities.”

The Albert Lea U-9 boys’ summer team started practices at the end of April and had its last game on June 29. Albert Lea finished its season with a record of three wins, seven losses, and two ties against teams from Austin, Hastings, Northfield, Hopkins, Minnetonka, Rochester and Red Wing. Coach Ehrhardt was assisted by Miguel Ortiz, Todd Lange, Steve Brownlow, Leann Dulitz and Jill Johnson.

“The boys chose the name ‘Trece Hermanos’ (Thirteen Brothers) for their team this year,” Ehrhardt said. “Before each game we had a chant we would repeat: ‘Effort: Play Hard! Attitude: Have Fun! Sportsmanship: Show Respect! Trece Hermanos!’”