South Summit High School to use $10,000 Powerade award for athletics
South Summit High School students’ pride was apparent a couple weeks ago when representatives from Powerade came to present the school with a $10,000 check. That school spirit, made clear by the students shouting school cheers and applauding their administrators throughout the assembly, is why Powerade selected South Summit for the award.
South Summit High School entered a video contest sponsored by Powerade a couple months ago. The high school was one of 50 schools around the country that received a grand prize of $10,000 to be used for athletic programs. Shad Stevens, the assistant principal and athletic director of the school, said he plans to use the funds for athletic equipment and a new school initiative called Especially for Athletes.
Stevens created the two-minute video showcasing “the traditional nature of our community” and how high school sports play a role in that community. He spent a few days compiling footage from football, volleyball and soccer games, then wrote and recorded a script to explain the importance of athletics.
“The pride and joy of this small town is the high school,” he said.
Stevens said high school athletics are a big part of the school and Kamas, but paying for equipment and transportation to games is expensive. He entered the contest in order to get more funding for the athletic program.
The money will also pay for the school to join Especially for Athletes, a nationwide program that teaches integrity and sportsmanship and helps students prepare for future success in life. Although it is a program that focuses on athletes, Stevens said he hopes to spread the ideals throughout the school.
There is a cost to enroll in the program, since member schools have access to speakers, videos and other materials. Stevens said the money will also go to buy things like t-shirts and banners to remind students of the program’s mantras, such as “Eyes up, do the work.”
He launched the initiative at the start of 2019. Already, several students have signed up and pledged to uphold the Especially for Athletes values, which include leadership, dedication and kindness. Stevens said students are starting to repeat the program’s positive phrases both on the field and in school hallways.
He hopes the students who signed the pledge bring their peers along with them so they change the school culture. He wants the initiative to be student driven.
“Be aware of people around you. Be aware of kids sitting alone at lunch. Be aware of anything you can do to help someone else around you, then have the courage to do it,” he said.
One of the main goals of Especially for Athletes is to teach students to use their temporary spotlight, or “sportlight,” to be an influence for good.
“It’s not just about becoming a small-town hero and then have the limelight fade away, it’s about preparing them for life,” Stevens said.
Stevens arranged for an athlete council to meet monthly to discuss ways to put the Especially for Athletes ideals into practice. The council, made up of 22 student athletes, watches videos about topics like resiliency and goal setting and comes up with ways to improve the school with those topics in mind.
The funding from Powerade will help the school continue to grow the Especially for Athletes program in the school, Stevens said. Ultimately, he hopes to change the school’s culture so students are even more proud to be a wildcat.
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