Selma, Keith complete year with no fines or ejections

Published 8:25 pm Friday, July 14, 2017

In the 2016-17 school year, Keith High School and Selma High School were two of the 108 AHSAA schools that completed the year with no fines or ejections across all sports. The two schools will be honored for this achievement at the 2017 AHSAA Sportsmanship Luncheon in Montgomery on July 21.

“It shows a tremendous amount of respect for the culture that we have,” Keith High School athletic director Tommy Tisdale said. “We’re just trying to lead by example. If we as coaches set a good example, then those on the field or court incidents will be taken care of.”

The new athletic director for Selma High School, Melissa White, is proud of the school’s achievement and plans on continuing the effort of displaying good sportsmanship. Only eight other Class 6A schools were able to achieve this accomplishment.

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“My primary objective was to come in and make sure that we were in compliance and not have any fines or penalties,” she said. “That says a lot for our coaches in regards to not having any ejections or player ejections.”

Both directors emphasized the importance of exhibiting good sportsmanship from both the players and coaches.

“You want your kids to be aggressive and competitive, but at the end of the day we want to be a class act,” White said. “Even in your losses, always shows class.”

Keith High School was one of 21 Class 2A schools that completed the year without penalty. Tisdale said that making this list isn’t as simple as not getting tossed from a game.

“Having no ejections is a reflection of having good coaches around us,” he said. “But you can get fined for having the wrong paper on file. So that’s a matter of keeping things intact.”

In fact, the last time Tisdale remembers missing a sportsmanship luncheon over the last eight years was because of a fine for a paperwork error.

This award is unique for Tisdale because unlike championships or MVP honors, this award is for the whole school.

“We take pride in that,” he said. “That’s an honor that you get as an entire program. This award goes to the collective group and that’s what I’m more proud of than anything.”

White is eager to get the banner back to Selma so people can see what their program is about.

“We want to be a model school. We want to be a model athletic program,” she said. “When people see that banner, it’s like, ‘Oh, wow! They’re doing something good.’ We want that to continue.”

In addition to recognizing the school, White says the award also says a lot about the students and her objective is to maintain the good sportsmanship at the school.

“Regardless of what’s around us or what’s going on, we are trying to set a standard of excellence,” she said. “At the end of the day, whether they receive a scholarship or not, we want them to be model students and citizens.