On Aug. 9 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., Tooele County schools will hold their inaugural Sportsmanship summit.
Organized by Tooele High Athletic Director Catham Beer, the event is free and open to all Tooele County School District high school students. Beer encourages all students to attend but extends a special invitation to student leaders from all county high schools.
“We want kids from Stansbury, Wendover, Tooele, Grantsville, and Dugway,” he said. “Come represent your schools.
“We need kids who are leaders in the county high schools — student body officers, athletes, team captains, club officers, student government class officers — to attend and help improve the sportsmanship in our schools,” he added. “Sportsmanship seems to be on a decline across the state, and we want to do something to educate our students that it is okay to compete, okay to have rivalries, but there is a right way to go about it. In the end after the games and competitions are over, everyone comes off the field or court, and we are all still neighbors, still members of the same community.”
Registration for the event will begin Aug. 9 at 8:30 a.m. at the Tooele High School auditorium. The keynote speaker, Cyler Sanderson, will kick off the day at 9 a.m. Sanderson, a three-time Utah state champion and two-time NCAA Division I All-American who won both Big 12 and Big 10 wrestling titles, is currently the head coach at Sanderson Wrestling Academy. He brings years of competitive experience as a player and coach, and espouses the philosophy: “the true measure of a great wrestler is someone who is great on and off the mat.”
After the keynote session, students will attend three break-out sessions. The first session will focus on leadership in general and how students can lead in their respective spheres of influence. The second session will educate students on what sportsmanship looks like, including the new Utah High School Activities Association (UHSAA) Sportsmanship rules for players, coaches and fans.
New this year, fans will be subject to sportsmanship policies and can receive yellow and red cards for bad sportsmanship and incur penalties that include ejection and suspension from attending future games.
In the third session, student attendees will work to create positive ways to build sportsmanship at their high schools and countywide between the schools.
“We want the students to own their solutions and take them back to their high schools and implement them,” Beer said.
Beer realizes that it takes coaches, players, parents, fans and administrators all working together to keep sporting events positive and fun.
“As the school year starts, we hope to provide a good opportunity to educate students on good sportsmanship and have them be proactive in building better sportsmanship in their schools,” he said. “Some teams will have already competed in their first competitions by the time we hold the summit, but we hope by holding it before school starts that we can get a great turnout and reverse the trend of declining sportsmanship across the state by changing and improving the sportsmanship in all Tooele County high schools.”
Lunch will be served, and there will also be games and prizes provided by local businesses such as Tooele UEC movie theater, Guzzle, Dairy Delight, American Burgers and more.