For the third time in program history, the Stoughton High ice hockey squad won the James F. Mulloy Team Sportsmanship award.
Stoughton, represented by coach Dan Mark, senior captains Josh Potter and Larry Hixon and principal Matt Colantonio, received the award at a special ceremony Sunday on the ice of the TD Garden, prior to the start of the MIAA Division 1A state championship high school hockey game.
Only three teams in Massachusetts received this award—the Hingham boys’ hockey and Hingham girls’ hockey teams were the other two recipients.
Stoughton finished the 2011-2012 season 1-18-1, but maintained a high level of sportsmanship and character throughout the season.
“This award is a very special award. I am very proud of this team. In spite of a losing record, they always conducted themselves in a manner that was recognized by opposing coaches and officials,” coach Mark wrote in an email.
“Often, teams tend to act up when they are not winning, but that was never the case with this team.”
Colantonio added, “As a former coach and as a principal it seems high school athletics can be all about winning.” But, he said sportsmanship is the “spirit of what high school athletics is supposed to be.”
Colantonio credited coach Mark for his leadership and work with the student-athletes.
“They’re better hockey players and better people when they’re done with him,” Colantonio said.
Being recognized for exemplary sportsmanship has become almost commonplace for Stoughton High athletic teams. In fact, the school as a whole has received the Hockomock League Sportsmanship Award for three consecutive school years (08-’09, ‘09’10, ’10-’11) and this past fall, SHS was one of just eight schools statewide honored at the 18th annual MIAA/MSSADA Sportsmanship Summit, held at Gillette Stadium.