Congratulations to Pulaski on being presented with the Boys 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. That’s why we’ve proudly sponsored the WIAA/Rural Mutual Insurance Sportsmanship Award for over 55 years. 

We want to congratulate Pulaski High School on receiving the Boys Soccer Sportsmanship Award this year. 

When talking with Head Coach Jeff Schneider, 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. 

To me, this award means that we are developing great people and not just great soccer players in our boy’s program at Pulaski. Knowing that our athletes, staff, and supporters represented Pulaski in such a positive manner at the state tournament is something I appreciate and am proud of. The award is a great reminder that success goes beyond just winning games. We are honored to receive the sportsmanship award. We have a lot of really impressive young men in our program and some exceptional leaders. It’s a great accomplishment for them and all those involved with our program to be recognized for their efforts. The award means that although our team didn’t achieve our goal of winning the state tournament, we achieved something of great value and importance to bring home to Pulaski.   

The Pulaski community has always done an amazing job supporting its student-athletes; this award certainly serves as confirmation. We have a great athletic department at the high school, and sportsmanship is a core value among all our sports teams. But digging even deeper, our kids are exposed to these values at a young age which is an important step in their development. It’s a testament to our school district and youth programs that we are preparing these kids with the tools to have a bright future. The community should be proud to share this award, and our team is very thankful for all the support we received this fall.

Our athletes have created a positive and successful culture in our soccer program. The coaching staff and I provide them with some very specific guidance on how to do so, and from there, much of it stems from the team leaders who routinely make sportsmanship an integral and noticeable part of team behavior. That environment is then passed down each year to the next group, providing very consistent expectations and standards that the team is held to. Sportsmanship, and being a good sport, is not a one-time event. It requires consistency and commitment, and for our players, that means living up to our program’s standard. There were several times this fall that I witnessed examples of our players, both JV, and varsity, showing exceptional sportsmanship, especially when the circumstances may not have been in our favor. Our program has had much success over the years, but we’ve always placed importance on being true to ourselves and our values regardless of situations on the field or the game’s outcome. I’m proud that our student-athletes have made it a priority to show great character, sportsmanship, and maturity even in the most challenging moments. It’s a skill they can apply to other areas of their lives and is another reason sportsmanship is so important in high school sports.

Coach Schneider has coached high school boys’ soccer in Wisconsin for 18 years. He spent five years as a junior varsity coach and the 2022 season was his 13th as a varsity head coach. This was his 8th season as head coach at Pulaski.

Coach Schneider went on to say, “My favorite aspect of coaching is watching the players achieve success as a team. There’s something to be said for a group of high school individuals all from different backgrounds, skill sets, and families coming together every fall and working toward the common goal of making our soccer program successful. Every season is different in some way, and it’s really fun to watch and be part of it. We have so many great traditions, athletes, and people in our soccer program, we’re all lucky to be in such a special place at Pulaski. 

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