Congratulations to the Albany Girls Basketball Team on Being Presented with the Girls Basketball Sportsmanship Award

We believe there’s something more important than just winning or losing a tournament. We believe that the team, school, and fans who support their athletes with dignity and class are the true champions. That’s why we’ve proudly sponsored the WIAA/Rural Mutual Insurance Sportsmanship Award for over 55 years. 

We want to congratulate Albany High School on being this year’s recipient of the Girls’ Basketball Sportsmanship Award. 

When talking with Head Coach Derik Doescher, we asked him what this award meant to the team, the community, and him as a coach, along with how they teach their athletes about sportsmanship.

“Albany High School and our community is very humbled to be the recipients of the WIAA/Rural Mutual Sportsmanship Award. As a head coach and AD for the district, I’m very proud of our student athletes, coaches, and spectators for their positive support and sportsmanship. 

As the head Girls’ Basketball coach and athletic director at Albany HS, I’m very proud of our school and community for being named the 2023 WIAA/Rural Mutual Sportsmanship Award for Girls’ Basketball. Our coaches constantly preach to our players to show character, integrity, and determination on the basketball court. The award is a true testament to our players collectively competing at the highest level while making sportsmanship a priority.   
For our team, it solidifies the fact that we had a really solid group of young ladies that played the game the right way with character and sportsmanship being focal points. Our team played the game at an intense pace, both offensively and defensively, while always showing respect for our opponent. This award validates that when you compete by doing things the right way, it will be noticed by others.  

For the community of Albany, it was an unforgettable journey that will forever be remembered. It was the FIRST time in school history for our Girls’ Basketball team to make it to the state tournament. Whether it be through attendance at games, making signs/banners on local businesses, or the constant verbal support, it was a big deal for our small community. We are a very small community of 1,000 people, but we have a great deal of PRIDE in our town of Albany. Our community deserved and earned this distinguished honor, and we are COMET PROUD for earning it!

Coach Doescher said, “Each opportunity on the basketball floor is an opportunity to teach valuable lessons. Whether it be a practice, game, or a camp with the youth, our coaches promote sportsmanship and playing the game discipline while respecting the officials, coaches, teammates, and opponents. Whether it be through winning or losing, sportsmanship shows that players are ready for their everyday lives outside of organized athletics. In the future, players will need to work with integrity within their family lifestyles, workplace, and other aspects of life.”’

Coach Doescher has been a head basketball coach at Albany HS for 18 years. “I was the Varsity Boys’ Basketball coach for 12 years and recently just finished my 6th season as the Varsity Girls’ Basketball coach. I am a 1998 Albany HS graduate, and my wife and I work for the district. My family resides in Albany & I couldn’t be prouder of our COMET FAMILY!

Congratulations again on a great season and winning the WIAA/Rural Mutual Sportsmanship Award. This is a great achievement for the Albany community.