The Great American Conference announced its sportsmanship awards for the winter sports of men’s and women’s basketball along with the spring sports of men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s tennis, baseball and softball.
Ouachita captured two of the eight sportsmanship awards -- men’s tennis and softball. The tennis team has earned the nod for the third time in seven years times while the softball squad claimed the distinction for the first time since 2013.
Southwestern Oklahoma State’s women’s golf team scored their sixth-straight sportsmanship honor to extend the longest streak in any GAC sport. In basketball, Southeastern Oklahoma State and East Central garnered the men’s and women’s awards, respectively. Each program won for the second time as the Tigers earned the honor for the second-straight year. The Savage Storm previously received the distinction in 2016.
Henderson State collected its third women’s tennis sportsmanship award; Southern Arkansas tallied its second accolade for men’s golf while Southern Nazarene picked up its first honor in the sport of baseball.
"These awards emphasize the NCAA Division II focus on sportsmanship and game environment,” GAC Commissioner Will Prewitt said. “We could not be prouder of what these programs that have put forth on the field and in ways that aren't necessarily reflected in the outcome.”
In 2012, The GAC’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee initiated a sportsmanship award to be presented for all team sports. The winning school will receive a banner similar to the one presented to GAC tournament championship winners. The goal of the program is for member institutions to promote good sportsmanship among its teams, fans, and all involved with the events.
The winners of the GAC Team Sportsmanship Awards were chosen by league officials and coaches based on a point system.