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Red Devils are good sports

Maplesville is used to winning football games. This season, the school’s program won something else.

Maplesville on Nov. 16 was given the Sportsmanship Award by the Central Alabama Football Officials Association.

“We really feel strongly about the award because we’re saying, ‘These teams are exemplifying the qualities encouraged by the state,’” said Ron Crowe with the association.

Maplesville coach Brent Hubbert and assistant coach Tate Leonard accepted the award at the association’s annual banquet at the RSA Tower in Montgomery.

Former Auburn coach Doug Barfield was the banquet’s guest speaker.

“Whether you’re ahead in the game or behind, we talk to [the players] about keeping your cool,” Hubbert said. “We talk about being a humble winner and a graceful loser. And sometimes that’s hard. It’s hard for anybody.

“Our fans have been great, our administration. Our [public address] announcer does a good job of saying things that kind of keeps everybody under control.”

Hubbert mentioned many aspects of the program, and even more aspects are considered by the association when deciding on an award winner.

Officials rate host schools on the behavior of coaches, players, fans and administration and on facility issues, such as parking, security and dressing rooms.

The officials association has contracts with 31 schools, and its 16 crews are all working games most Friday nights.

Maplesville was the winner in the Class 1A-3A division, and Holtville was the winner for the large school division, Class 4A-6A.