Whittell repeats as NIAA Award of Excellence champions
As the 2014-15 school year came to a close, Whittell High had one more title to celebrate. The Warriors won NIAA’s Award of Excellence championship in Div. IV for the second straight year, an award that rewards success in athletics, academics and citizenship.
Whittell repeated as champions by totaling 1,910 points, the third-most since the award was created in 2001 — it was announced last Thursday. All but one Warriors team competed at the regional level last season, and multiple made it to state — including the state champion girls soccer team and state runner-up baseball team along with boys basketball and football.
Pahranagat Valley (Alamo, Nev.) took second behind Whittell with 1,660 points and Eureka took third by scoring 1,140. Sierra Lutheran, Wells, Jackpot (Nev.), Sage Ridge, Smith Valley, Carlin and Virginia City rounded out the top 10.
Other winners included Bishop Manogue (Reno, Nev.) in Div. I, Faith Lutheran (Las Vegas) in Div. I-A and The Meadows (Las Vegas) in Div. III. Faith Lutheran and The Meadows repeated along with Whittell, while Bishop Manogue won the award for the fourth time in six years.
NIAA began the award program 14 years ago and its scoring system awards points based on varsity performances in the classroom, in athletics and in the Citizenship Through Sports program. Each of the three major categories in high school activities — academics, athletics and sportsmanship — are weighted equally, and boys and girls programs are combined in the standings table.
Spirit and student council/leadership points were added after the conclusion of the winter season. Points were deducted at the conclusion of the spring season for ejections and other acts of unsportsmanlike conduct.
NIAA honors the winning school in each division by presenting it with a championship banner and commemorative trophy. The NIAA office staff, Board of Control members, liaisons and member schools consider the Award of Excellence to be the top overall sports competition.
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