Tyner Academy principal Carol Goss and head football and wrestling coach Wayne Turner say sportsmanship is the key to success in athletics at their local school, and they have a new award backing them up.
The duo recently brought home the A.F. Bridges State Award of Excellence presented to Tyner Academy at the Regional TSSAA meeting in Knoxville.
It is the highest TSSAA award given to a school that promotes citizenship and sportsmanship at school and at athletic games.
"Athletics is about more than winning and losing, it's about developing character," said Goss. "The emphasis we display on sportsmanship is played out. We really have great kids at Tyner. It would mean nothing to me if we were state champions in everything if we did not have sportsmanship."
She said the award is based on sportsmanship and only one school in Divisions A, AA and AAA receives the award.
"I think [winning the award] is a real compliment to all the young people that participate in athletics," said Turner. "The Tyner administration and coaching staff do a good job of instilling sportsmanship in athletes."
Goss said the A.F. Bridges Award means more to her than all previous athletic victories, and there have been many. Since she joined Tyner Academy's administration 12 years ago, the football team has competed in the playoffs every year, according to her. She said the boys basketball team has won regional championships and moved on to the playoffs, and some track stars have also achieved champion status.
Of the 550 students at Tyner Academy approximately 150 are athletes, with many playing multiple sports, Goss said. The school offers football, volleyball, basketball, wrestling, track, baseball and soccer.
"We are pleased with our athletic programs," said Goss. "We tell them they are students first and athletes second. We expect our athletes to be well-behaved, focused and stay up with class work, and that's a daunting task."
For more on Tyner Academy athletics, visit www.tyneracademy.org and check out the upcoming events to the right of the page.