Geneseo wins final NCIC All-Sports Trophy
The Geneseo High School?Maple Leafs claimed the final North Central Illinois Conference All-Sports Trophy, winning the honor three out of the last four years.
“The great thing about it is it gave value for each sport you have,” said GHS athletic director Travis Mackey. “For Geneseo it really made the coaches aware of the situation and now they root for each other and take value in how they and the other teams finish.
“Part of the core value is high achievement, not only in academics, fine arts and athletics. We pride ourselves on high achievement. The first measuring stick for any team is with the conference teams.”
About four years ago, the idea of an All-Sports Trophy was proposed to the conference to show people in the community and the conference the importance of every sport in the conference.
A point system was developed and each team is awarded points based on where they finish in the conference. The number of points available depends on the number of schools that have that particular sport (i.e. if a sport has all seven teams, first place receives seven points and so on), said Mackey.
This season the Leafs won six conference titles in girls’ cross country, boys’ soccer, boys’ track, girls’ track, girls’ soccer and boys’ tennis.
The girls’ golf team has also been conference champs, but because there has to be a minimum of six teams in the conference with the sport, it is not counted in for the trophy.
Also, this season the boys’ cross country, football, volleyball, girls’ basketball and softball teams all placed second in the conference, while the girls’ tennis, wrestling and boys’ basketball teams took third.
Geneseo won the All-Sports Trophy the first two years, followed by Sterling last year and the Leafs regained the title this year.
“Geneseo has won it three of the four years, which is special because we are the smallest school in our conference and we are still able to compete at a high level,” said Mackey. “It is great to have the trophy at our place forever. We are just waiting for Sterling to deliver the trophy.
“It goes back to the support we have from the community, the school board and the administration. The work ethic of the coaches and the players and the parents, who instill the hard work ethic we have established at Geneseo.
“It is not always about the conference titles, but doing the best the team can and finishing the best we can. We look to make great strides,” he said.
Mackey said knowledge of the standings for the All-Sports Trophy is probably more within the coaching ranks right now. The coaches know where everyone else is sitting and they email encouragements and go and watch the other sports. It has brought the coaches together.
“I think it does emphasize that our kids are willing to work hard, set goals and one goal is to finish as high as we can,” said Mackey. “It shows we are competitive in a lot of activities and we see schools twice as big in enrollment and we can still be competitive with them. It is a tribute to everybody, the coaches, players, parents and the community. It shows what we value, which is hard work.”
With the switch over to a new conference, Mackey said an All-Sports Trophy will also be established within the new Northern Illinois Big 12 Conference. Geneseo will be a member of the Western Division, which includes Dixon, LaSalle-Peru, Ottawa, Sterling and Streator.
“We want to be able to defend the trophy,” said Mackey. “We want to be able to continue to work and stay on top.”