? Fruit Belt Officials Association -- Sportsmanship Awards
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FBOA Sportsmanship Awards

As a means of encouraging sportsmanship in the area schools that the Fruit Belt Officials Association serves, we bestow five awards over the course of the school year.

Student Sportsmanship Award

Two of these awards are given to student-athletes. Both a male and female senior athlete are selected for each school year. Nominations come from athletic directors and coaches from our area schools (Berrien, Cass and Van Buren counties). Our sportsmanship committee narrows the nominations to a list of finalists, and winners are voted on by the membership at our spring general meeting. Winners receive a plaque commemorating the achievement and all nominated athletes receive a certificate.

Walt Lange Sportsmanship Award

The Walt Lange Sportsmanship Award is bestowed once annually to a high school and for superior sportsmanship exhibited by athletes, coaches and fans. As with our other sportsmanship awards, all schools in Berrien, Cass and Van Buren counties are considered. This award is named in honor of longtime FBOA member Walt Lange, and nominations come from the general membership and are voted on from the membership as well.

Denny Kniola Sportsmanship Award

The middle school version of our school sportsmanship award was renamed in 2011 in honor of long-time official and athletic director Denny Kniola. Denny was an FBOA member for many years and has been a huge supporter of high school athletics for over five decades. He continues to officiate occasionally when in the area. We salute Denny for his long-time devotion to officiating, high school athletics and good sportsmanship.

 2016-17 School Sportsmanship Awards

Michigan Lutheran MS/HS was honored with the Walt Lange Sportsmanship Award and Brandywine Middle School was honored with the Denny Kniola Sportsmanship Award again for 2016-17. Congratulations to all the student-athletes, coaches and supporters from these two schools whose consistent display of sportsmanship earned them this award.

Herb Quade Coaches' Award

The Herb Quade Coaches' Award is given once annually to an area coach who exemplifies sportsmanship by example to his/her student athletes. This award is named in honor of longtime FBOA member, coach and athletic director Herb Quade. A committee of FBOA members chooses seven candidates from sports the association supports (boys' basketball, girls' basketball, baseball, softball, football, volleyball and wrestling). One of these is chosen by a vote of the membership for "Coach of the Year." Each nominated coach receive a certificate and the winning candidate receives a plaque to commemorate the achievement.

2016-17 Herb Quade Award

Coloma High School Varsity Baseball Coach Kevin Vanpeteghem was recently honored with the Herb Quade Coaches' Award for the 2016-17 school year. Others nominated were Mike Welch, Varsity Softball Coach at Buchanan; Josh Hood, Varsity Girls Basketball Coach at Brandywine; and Mike Vota, Varsity Baseball Coach at Niles. Congratulations to Kevin and all the other nominated coaches.

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