Rebels’ basketball programs recognized by association for sportsmanship

Published 9:46 am Thursday, June 22, 2023

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By Carey Reeder | Managing Editor

The Thorsby High School basketball program was recognized by the Montgomery Basketball Officials Association for their stellar sportsmanship. Both the Rebels’ varsity girls and boys basketball teams were presented the 2023 Sportsmanship Award by the association at a ceremony on June 14. Thorsby’s varsity boys coach Russell Ricks traveled to the ceremony to accept the award on behalf of both Thorsby basketball programs.

Thorsby, like each high school in Alabama, contracts referees through various official associations through the state. The Rebels receive many of their officials from the Montgomery Basketball Officials Association due to the close proximity to the school.

The officials in the association voted on the school they felt showed the best sportsmanship throughout the year. The votes were tallied up, and a winner was named. This is the first year Thorsby High School has won the award.

“The players and their parents both deserve the credit for us being able to get this for the way they conducted themselves,” Kris Wood, Thorsby varsity girls basketball coach, said. “Parents have to teach their kids that, coaches have to instill that in their players … Officials are people too … Some people think the officials are trying to do things they do not like on purpose, but they are just out there doing the best they can.”

Wood added that there is a referee shortage in Alabama, and he hopes both Thorsby programs have been a bright spot on the schedule for each official that gets assigned to their games.

“I hope they do not mind coming to Thorsby,” Wood said. “The school administration and the coaches here try to tell our players to be respectful and polite, especially to people in authority over us.”