NEWPORT–In between the Crusaders' doubleheader with Mid-Vermont Christian Academy, the United Christian Academy was presented with the 2012 Mona Gerome Award.
The winner of the award is determined by basketball referees throughout the state who vote on which school most exemplifies an excellence in sportsmanship throughout the season.
"It means a lot to win this award, and I would like to thank the officials for selecting us" said athletic director Linda Curtis. "Our chant is represent, and I have always been a stickler for represent, I have been a stickler for sportsmanship and I am pleased that all our work paid off."
Alyssa DeLaBruere, who coaches both the boy's soccer team, and now the girls basketball team said, "You know that at UCA the win on the scoreboard is always secondary. Our program is all about playing a competitive game with good sportsmanship.
"First and foremost we are representing God, we're representing our school and we are representing ourselves, so I know we have a great group of kids. They exude sportsmanship and today it’s wonderful that somebody else recognizes it because I have seen it for years."
"This shows what type of school UCA is and what sports mean to them," said senior Hannah Piette. "It is not necessarily about winning, but about doing your best, not putting your teammates down and fighting hard until the end."
Senior Marc Quirion said on winning the award, "It is awesome. I think we have always tried to show good sportsmanship. We have had our ups and downs, but overall this is a great honor."
Coach Tony DeLaBruere was impressed by the honor, and touched on the previous season's accomplishment.
"It is a huge honor. This is not something that happens every year, it is something they (the officials) choose to hand out as they deem appropriate.
"As they said, it is a huge tribute to our athletic director, our program, the school itself and the coaches involved."
He continued, "This is from last year, so Sarah Roy had a large part in this, so it was a group effort obviously, and it is a proud honor to accept this award."
On a side note, Curtis will be stepping down as AD after this season.
Curtis has held the position for the ten last years, and will miss her time serving at the post.
"It has been wonderful, and the best ten years of my life," Curtis said.
A new athletic director has not been named at this time.
Congratulations to UCA for representing the community, as well as the entire Northeast Kingdom, with their exemplary behavior while competing in their athletic