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Cottage Grove softball teams earn sportsmanship awards

Mark Arjes (in red), the Founder and Director of Youth 1st, spoke to the three Cottage Grove softball teams after each team earned the Youth 1st Team Award. Submitted Photo1 / 2
The Cottage Grove 10U, 12U and 14U softball teams all earned the Youth 1st Team Award recognizing sportsmanship to the highest degree. Submitted Photo2 / 2

The first thing that coaches and sports try to teach younger players is the ways to display good sportsmanship.

In Cottage Grove, that concept of good sportsmanship has spread across all ages and three teams were awarded the Youth 1st Team Award within the Cottage Grove Athletic Association.

The 10U, 12U and 14U teams displayed excellent sportsmanship skills at various tournaments throughout the season and the umpires wanted to recognize their achievements with this type of award.

"The fact that it's three teams within the softball program just shows that our coaches are making sportsmanship is a priority and our players and fans are embracing that philosophy," said Brad Strom, a board member for Cottage Grove Athletic Association and a team manager for the 14U team. "We are just proud of all these girls."

The three teams were recognized at a ceremony on Thursday, July 12. Mark Arjes, the founder and director of Youth 1st, came to the ceremony to congratulate and thank the players and coaches for all their efforts both on and off the field.

The concept of sportsmanship isn't just a skill the coaches teach to their players, it's a rule within the by-laws of the Cottage Grove Athletic Association.

"You not only have great teams, but you have great players and people who understand the importance of sportsmanship," said Derek Lasovich, head coach for the 10U team. "This understanding translates into activities off the field and can help develop them into not just good players, but good people as well."

This award comes towards the end of their season, while they're wrapping up end of the season tournaments and such. The hope for these coaches is to have these players bring that sportsmanship mindset onto other teams throughout the year.

The majority of these players either continue playing softball throughout the year or they play other sports in the fall and winter. The coaches hope this philosophy that these players were taught with their Cottage Grove softball teams continue onto other teams in the community.

"It's great to see this type of sportsmanship in the Cottage Grove community," said Troy Gross, head coach of the 12U team. "I'm so proud of these girls for what they've accomplished and how they've handled themselves."

Brian Mozey

I am the sports writer for the Woodbury Bulletin and South Washington County Bulletin. I'm a graduate from the Greenlee School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Iowa State University and have always had a passion for sports since a young age. Whether it was watching or playing sports, I always knew sports would be in my career. I've been born and raised in the suburbs of Minneapolis and look forward to continuing to learn more about the Woodbury and Cottage Grove area throughout my time in this position. 

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