Congratulations to the Ithaca Boys Baseball Team on Being Presented with the Boys Baseball 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 Ithaca High School on being this year’s recipient of the Boys Baseball Sportsmanship Award.   

Ithaca Baseball

We talked with Head Coach Danny Clary and asked him what this award meant to him as a coach, to the team, and the community, along with how they teach their athletes about sportsmanship. 

“When I was notified that our team/community was chosen to receive the sportsmanship award, I was both thrilled and humbled. It is an honor in itself to be able to reach the state tournament. For our team and community to display the heart and determination it took to pull off two come-from-behind walk-off wins was a true testament to what our community and our coaching staff try to instill in our athletes. 
Our coaching staff stresses that we want our players to be ferocious competitors with a huge heart. Other qualities we try to teach are loving your team mates enough to do YOUR job, play for more than just yourself, pick each other up, always be positive, and never give up. These concepts are things that I hope each athlete takes with them on the rest of their life journey. Life is more than just baseball.  We want the guys to grow into amazing co-workers as well as being strong community-minded individuals. 
As far as what this award means to our team, I was very proud of the way our team handled everything while they were at the state tournament. They represented Ithaca’s highest ideals the entire time that they were there.  Our team was able to remain focused and positive while dealing with things like weather delays, practice changes, meal adjustments, as well as falling behind in both the semi-final and championship game. We tip our cap to both Edgar and Pecatonica for their great sportsmanship as well.  Both of those teams and communities have our highest respect.   
This award is definitely something that is going to be celebrated by the entire Ithaca community.  The support that our community gives our team is amazing! When we play, no matter how far we have to travel, our team knows that our fans are going to pack the stands and bring us an abundance of energy.
Some of the things that we do to teach our athletes about sportsmanship are always keep communication positive in practice and in games, always be quick to pick a player up if they make a mistake, and don’t be afraid to give a competitor a compliment if they make a good play. We teach things like this because, frankly, it’s not fun watching teams play that have poor sportsmanship no matter how talented they are. We don’t just want our community to be proud of our team when they play. We want everyone that watches them play to be able to root for them because they exemplify things that everyone can relate to.”