Every year, the St. Louis Sports Commission Associates presents the Carl Fricks Sportsmanship Scholarship to deserving graduating seniors from schools in the metro area. This scholarship does not use what the student-athletes do on the field or the court, but how they present themselves in competition.
The selection process recognizes individuals who show honesty, integrity, civility, selflessness, kindness, and class. The student-athletes are evaluated on their approach, character, and respect for others on the playing field. This is a one-of-a-kind scholarship.
The Carl Fricks Scholarship was started by the Associates, which is the young professionals’ group of the Sports Commission back in 2009. The group uses its annual golf tournament and trivia night to raise funds for the scholarship. Since the inception of the award, 55 graduating seniors have been awarded $182,500 in scholarship money.
The 2022 Carl Fricks Sportsmanship Scholarship award winners are:
- Gus Tettamble – St. Louis University High School
- Anyi Sun – John Burroughs School
- Taylor Brown – Lift for Life Academy
- Matthew Clark – Collinsville High School
- Chloe Rhine – Rockwood Summit High School
- Ryan Ulm – Fort Zumwalt West High School
- Tyron Woodley, Jr. – De Smet Jesuit High School
When you read the bios of all the winners, the one thing that sticks out for all of them is how they treat not only their teammates but their opponents.
In tennis at the high school level, players not only play but are their own referees. Tettamble has won the St. Louis Sportsmanship Award twice for the Missouri USTA because of how he portrays himself on the court. If a ball is 99 percent out, he will call it out because in his mind, playing the game the right way is more important than the result.
Sun is a two-sport star for the Bombers and has an outstanding reputation among her peers as a class player. She is the first one to congratulate an opponent on a great play or by helping them up when they fall. Plus, she never argues a call by an official, no matter the situation.
Brown was the co-captain for the Lift for Life basketball team this past winter and showed her sportsmanship in many ways and knows how to turn a bad situation into a positive. During a game this past season, she made a steal and was fouled by the opponent where she ended up going into a wall headfirst. Instead of reacting in a negative matter, Brown waited until after the game to discuss with the player that fouled her and after the chat, the two players laughed and hugged. That was a great lesson in how to handle a situation the right way.
Clark was the ultimate teammate for his Collinsville basketball team as he was always the first to help his team in many situations. He was a mentor to many on his team and took it upon himself to help a teammate that would negatively show his emotions at times. Clark also showed his class and sportsmanship as he would always be the first player in the handshake line after every game, win or lose.
Rhine is a perfect example of a player who understands that being a good sport is way more important than the results on the scoreboard. On many occasions, she respected the role of the officials and appreciated all that they do for the student-athletes in this time where officials get yelled at and treated poorly. Rhine also showed her character by working with her teammates on their behavior towards the opposing team.
Ulm is described as a team-first type of player and leads by example by doing the little things during practices and games to help his team be successful. He also is a positive force on the field when dealing with umpires from his catcher’s position. During a game, both Ulm and the home plate umpire were injured on the same foul ball, and instead of worrying about his well-being, he was making sure that the umpire was all right. Today, you just do not see that on a daily basis.
Woodley is also a two-sport athlete that showed how much sportsmanship is bigger than the game. After the Spartans lost in the football state championship two years ago, he was the first to organize his team in congratulating the winning squad. This came after some negative comments were made during the contest. On the wrestling mat, Woodley lost a close match affected his chance to compete in the state tournament. Instead of reacting in a negative manner, he showed his sportsmanship and class by shaking the hand of his opponent and the other coaches following the match.
In a world where all we see is the negative side of sports, these seven student-athletes have shown that sportsmanship and class is the most important thing in high school sports. Congratulations to all of these shining stars and we wish them all the best of luck as they move on to the next chapter of their academic and athletic careers.
Jim Powers has been covering prep sports in the St. Louis area for 15+ years and a part of the Missouri State High School Activities Association Championship Broadcasts for the past 11 years. Powers is also a part of the Fox 2 Verlo Mattress Prep Zone Friday nights at 10:10 during the football and basketball seasons. If you have a prep sports story, please contact Jim at email@example.com. Follow Jim at @hssportscaravan