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Keith, DCHS get sportsmanship honor

HUNTSVILLE — Two area high schools went the entire school year without an ejection or fine and were recognized at the AHSAA’s All-Star Week festivities for the accomplishment.

Dallas County High School in Plantersville and Keith High School in Orrville were two of the 132 schools recognized. Dallas County also won the award last year.

“Our football team has made the playoffs two years in a row and our basketball is on the upswing,” Keith athletic director Tommy Tisdale said. “This shows we’re not only having success, but we’re doing it the right way.”

Dallas County athletic director Willie Moore said it’s not hard to get the recognition, it just requires some discipline.

“The AHSAA has guidelines and you just have to play within them,” Moore said. “The type of kids we have, it’s not hard to win it. We’re a country school, like Keith, so we have a different type of kid than some of the inner city schools. Our kids are pretty low-maintenance.”

Moore said Dallas County talks with its athletes and their parents about being respectful and representing the school in a positive light.

“We have meetings with our kids about being good sports and keeping a good head,” Moore said. “That has made it a lot easier for us to stay within the boundaries.”

In addition to the sportsmanship honor, Keith was also one of 10 schools to receive $2,500 grants given out annually. The school plans to buy a zero turn radius lawn mower to help maintain the football field.

“We’re going to get a lawn mower that we can use for upkeep of the football field 365 days a year,” Tisdale said. “We were planning to get it anyway, but any time you can get $2,500 it is a big help.”

Football coach Harry Crum said the Bermuda grass on the field needs to be cut twice a week, but the school’s maintenance crew is unable to keep up with that demand.

“This will relieve some pressure from them,” Crum said. “You have to explain what you plan to use it for and why you need it, and that was one of the things I said in the application.”

Tisdale said he attended an athletic director’s meeting last year and found out that only 12 schools had applied for the grant.

“I made sure I kept that information with me so we wouldn’t miss out, when it came time to apply,” Tisdale said. “A lot of the schools that got it were 5A and 6A, so for 2A Keith to get it that’s big for us. We had a good argument, and I feel like we deserved it.”