Warriors named district’s top sports

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 18, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

High school football isn’t always about winning games, scoring touchdowns or breaking rushing records. It’s about learning to work as a team. To do your best against all the odds. To never give up, even when the situation seems hopeless. To accept defeat, and be courteous in victory. It’s something that we as

Suffolk football fans saw last season every time Nansemond River took the fields of Warrior Park.

Email newsletter signup

Yes, the Warrior squad brought home just two victories last season, one of which was a Southeastern District battle. But on Friday night, they could claim to be the district titlists in a much more distinctive regard.

The River boys became the first Suffolk school since the inception of NRHS and Lakeland in the early 1990s to be awarded the 2003 Bill Tucker Memorial Sportsmanship Award, breaking Great Bridge’s eight-year streak of victories. The Warriors became the second Suffolk squad of the season to receive the award, as Nansemond-Suffolk Academy was recognized for its exemplary TCIS sportsmanship last month.

&uot;Unbeknownst to the players and coaches, officials get together in a locker room after every game and rate the sportsmanship of both teams,&uot; said Phil Stenstrum, a past president of the Southeastern Football Official’s Association, which sponsors the award. &uot;It’s not always about winning or losing, but how the team conducts itself on the field.&uot; Though he didn’t know exact figures, Stenstrum said he was told that River had won by a large margin.

&uot;It’s a nice honor to have,&uot; said coach Bryan Maus, who just finished his fourth season of leading the Warriors on the gridiron. &uot;This shows that we have a lot of good kids that never gave up, no matter what the score was. I’m proud that my kids showed sportsmanship and learned some lessons in life.&uot;