OVC honors Southeast football

Thursday, December 9, 2010
Southeast senior Maurice Lyles runs onto the field for Saturday's playoff game. (KIT DOYLE)

The Southeast Missouri State football team not only had one of the best seasons in program history, the Redhawks evidently beat their opponents with class.

The Ohio Valley Conference announced Wednesday that Southeast is the recipient of the league's 2010-11 Team Sportsmanship Award for football.

The OVC team sportsmanship awards, voted on by the athletes and coaches of the respective sports, are given to the conference squads deemed to have best exhibited the standards of sportsmanship and ethical behavior as outlined by the OVC and NCAA.

Included in the areas for evaluation are the conduct of athletes, coaches, staff, administrators and fans.

"Without sportsmanship, there are truly no meaningful victories," OVC Commissioner Beth DeBauche said in a release. "The recipients of the OVC Team Sportsmanship awards should accept this award with great pride for their fellow competitors have made it clear their teams exemplify the best in intercollegiate athletics.

"In receiving this prestigious honor, other competitors are saying these student-athletes compete with class, respect their opponents and value fair play. That is quite a compliment as those are all traits that will lead to true victories throughout the course of life."

The 2010-11 school year marks the sixth year the team sportsmanship honors have been awarded. This year marks the first time the Southeast football program won the award.

Southeast won its first-ever OVC championship this year, going 7-1 in league play and earning the first playoff berth in program history. The Redhawks went 9-3 to tie the school record for wins.

"It's a great honor to win this award," Southeast coach Tony Samuel said in a release. "Sportsmanship is part of the code.

"I think our student-athletes carry themselves well both on and off the field, and that has played a huge part in our success. We are proud to be the recipient of this prestigious honor."

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