South Bend student athletes get refresher course on sportsmanship

Published: Oct. 22, 2018 at 5:40 PM EDT
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For the last six years Grace College has hosted this event for student athletes in the region, but this is the first time for South Bend schools to attend. Organizers say it's an investment in the students, and those students say anyone can be a leader.

"I never thought of sportsmanship as honoring the game. I thought more of just like, respecting your teammates," Washington High School junior athlete Arieyna Maholmes said.

It was an eye-opening morning for South Bend high schoolers visiting Grace College & Seminary in Winona Lake.

"But understand, your character can impact a lot of people," Grace College Athletic Director Chad Briscoe said.

Briscoe challenged the student athletes to understand that good sportsmanship goes beyond the game.

"If you help two people and they help two people and they help two people, the world becomes a better place," Riley High School senior athlete Andrew Walkowski said.

"It helps us understand that the choices that we make in life there's either a reward or a there's a consequence. But character will carry you a long way," SBCSC District Athletic Director Seabe Gavin added.

The 22 young athletes represent all four secondary schools in South Bend.

Maholmes describes Washington High as a place with a poor reputation that overshadows the sportsmanship that happens there.

"And it just sucks because they don't see the things that our student athletes do do for the school," she said.

Maholmes plays softball, is a cheerleader and a football manager. She said she plans to take what she's learned here and showcase it at school.

"If you can honor and respect and encourage others, no matter what you do, you have sportsmanship and you're a leader," she added.

Former NFL player, and Indianapolis Colts running back, Jermaine Chaney also spoke to students at the Summit. He shared his story of perseverance, and how believing in your goals can lead to success.