MVRHS unified track receives sportsmanship award

Team was recognized by MIAA during half-time.


During the halftime of a Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS) unified basketball exhibition game between team Purple and team White, which was the conclusion of the school’s Social Justice Conference on Friday, it was announced that the school’s unified track and field team had been recognized by the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) with the sportsmanship award. MVRHS is one of two teams in the state to receive this award. 

“We’re very proud to be a unified champion school. What that means is that we have three pillars we do well. We have inclusive school sports — unified sports — we have inclusive school leadership, for example Best Buddies, and we have inclusive schoolwide events,” MVRHS unified track head Coach Kevin McGrath said. “We are one of only 16 schools in Massachusetts that is a unified champion school.”

McGrath also told the crowd how the unified track and field team also competed in the shot put this year at the state finals for the first time. 

MIAA associate director Peter Smith was present to share a few words about the award and the unified sports experience.

“Each year, at the state finals of every MIAA-sponsored sport, there is a team sportsmanship award that is presented to a team that has gone above and beyond to show respect for their team, respect for their opponent, respect for officials, and the game itself,” Smith said. “This award is promoted just like a state championship award would be, because there are things you can do on and off the court to treat others with respect that carry so far in your life, and is an incredible life lesson.”

MVRHS unified basketball head Coach Ryan Kent commented on how exciting it was to see the growth of the high school’s unified sports program, and the recognition it has earned from other teams in the state. 

“It’s really, really exciting to be honored with this award. I think it definitely demonstrates the hard work the coaches … the athletes, and the partners have put into the program in the past couple of years,” he said. “We worked really hard.”

The exhibition match ended in a White victory over Purple with a score of 27-25.