Anoka youth softball team given sportsmanship award

Sports Reporter
Sam is the sports reporter for ABC Newspapers, covering high school, junior college and community sports in the area. He joined the staff in October 2016.

The Anoka Ramsey 12U Abrahamson softball team was the recipient of the Youth 1st Team Award for its outstanding sportsmanship during the 2017 Down ‘N Dirty Tournament.

The Anoka Ramsey 12U Abrahamson softball team won the Youth 1st Team Award for good sportsmanship in the 2017 Down ‘N Dirty Tournament.Submitted Photo
The Anoka Ramsey 12U Abrahamson softball team won the Youth 1st Team Award for good sportsmanship in the 2017 Down ‘N Dirty Tournament.Submitted Photo

Eagan Fastpitch Softball in partnership with Youth 1st, The Walser Foundation, Federated Insurance, Jostens, Pearson, Cashwise, Bennerotte & Associates and the Minnesota Twins Community Fund selected the winner

The Youth 1st Team Award recognizes positive behavior from players, coaches and everyone associated with the team (parents, fans and spectators).

“We are placing the emphasis on how you play the game, which is ultimately more important than if you win or lose,” Mark Arjes, founder and director of Youth 1st, said in a press release. “It has become increasingly difficult to get coaches and officials for youth sports because of the abuse that they take during games. We believe it is time to model and encourage values-based actions, creating what we call a Conduct 1st environment where the focus is on the kids, competitive energies are kept in check and officials and opponents are respected.”

The award was created by working with the umpires and tournament directors. The umpire provided a team selection vote after each game during the tournament based on the conduct and sportsmanship exhibited by coaches, players and fans. Teams with a positive selection to game ratio of 80 percent or higher are recognized as Youth 1st Teams. Teams are presented with a plaque and certificates plus tickets for all players and coaches to attend and be recognized at an upcoming Minnesota Twins home game at Target Field.

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