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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 Scholarship Award

At the Fall 2009 general meeting, it was decided to begin a scholarship fund for area athletes. This program, which will award two $500 scholarships each year, began in the Spring of 2010. The scholarships are non-gender specific, and the winners are voted on by the membership. Read more here.

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.

The Walt Lange Sportsmanship Award for the 2021-22 school year went to Michigan Lutheran High School. Congratulations!

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.

The Denny Kniola Sportsmanship Award for the 2021-22 school year went to Berrien Springs Middle School. Congratulations!


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.

The Herb Quade Coaches' Award for the 2021-22 school year went to Bridgman High School Baseball Coach Justin Hahaj. Congratulations!