Congratulations to Assumption on being presented with the Girls Soccer 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. We’ve proudly sponsored the WIAA/Rural Mutual Insurance Sportsmanship Award for over 55 years. 

We would like to congratulate Assumption on being this year’s recipient of the Girls Soccer Sportsmanship Award. 

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

Having been recognized for this award was so uplifting as it affirms what I have been trying to instill in our players for many seasons. We fell short of our goal of winning the State tournament for two back-to-back seasons now. In fact, we lost both times in the semi-finals at State. We want to be humble in victory and gracious in defeat.

We lost one of our coaches from the team this past Christmas to a sudden heart attack, so this was an emotional season for us all and I was so proud of how the girls persevered and continued to play. Here is a quote from the end-of-season banquet speech I gave to our team, “This season we laughed, we cried, we competed, and we all learned a little bit more about each other and ourselves. You do not need a gold ball to call your season a success. People will forget your record; they will forget the wins, will forget the losses; they will forget the titles, the accolades and even forget all that you accomplished. What they will not forget is how you made them feel or a moment they shared with you. You made a lot of people feel good this season. Step back and think about it for one second. You were able to bring laughter to a moment, and in the same vein, you moved people’s emotions to tears with your compassion and kindness.  That is on you, ladies, that is what you brought to the table this season, that is the impact you have on those around you. That’s the stuff nobody forgets”.

Receiving this award means the world to me as a coach on so many levels, and I could not be prouder of these girls and our fan support from the community. This award has demonstrated to the State what makes the Assumption Royals Soccer team a special team and community.   

Coach Wendels went on to say “I try to teach sportsmanship through open discussion and example. Example by not just coaches, but rather returning players who pay it forward. I think sportsmanship is important as you will always be dealt a defeat in life and how we respond can allow you to overcome defeat or be sucked into a vortex of negativity.  

Coach Wendels has coached for 12 years at Assumption as an assistant and/or head coach. His favorite part is realizing what a positive impact you can make in a person’s life as a coach.

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