Marysville USD 364 Honored With 2017 “KSHSAA Spirit Of Sport Award”


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Marysville High School Administration and student body are the 2017 “KSHSAA Spirit of Sport Award” winners. The award recognizes the values inherent in high school sports beyond winning and losing. KSHSAA Executive Director, Gary Musselman, invited all member high schools to submit the name of an individual, coach, or team demonstrating such qualities. Marysville High School was selected from other outstanding nominations submitted by KSHSAA member senior high schools.

Eight Kansas high schools submitted nominations. Nominees include Dalton Michael Childers, student at Santa Fe Trail High School; Steve Lolley, contributor at Jefferson West High School; Administration and students of Marysville High School; Nemaha Central Cheerleaders, at Seneca-Nemaha Central High School; Van Rose, teacher/coach at Shawnee Mission Northwest High School; Kelly Kennedy, Swim Coach and Swim Team at Campus High School in Haysville; Mariah J. Maryman, student at Wichita-South High School; and Winnie Shaw, student at The Independent School in Wichita.

Marysville was nominated for the award by Sabetha High School’s Principal Sheri Harmer. “Marysville and Sabetha, schools 50 miles apart, played each other at the Class 3A State Championship Football game in Hutchison on November 25, 2017. There are many connections between Marysville and Sabetha that made this day extra special.

Unfortunately, on the way home, two of our football players lost their mother, sister, and uncle in a tragic car accident. Our school was deeply touched by the caring condolences and many acts of kindness we received from our league schools and schools across the state. Marysville was one of our fast scheduled basketball games the very next week after state football, and after they learned about the tragedy, they wanted to do something to support the boys on the football team and our community. Before the game, they created t-shirt that said, “Faith – Family – Together” with “We Support Sabetha” on it to raise money for the memorial. Marysville took the lead and declared the game against Sabetha as a “blue out” night to show unity and support for our community.

The MHS art students made a sign that read, “We Support Sabetha.” They also took a special collection for the family at the door. In addition, their cheer squad reached out to ours by making them bows and inviting them to join together during the national anthem and halftime. Both MHS girls and boys basketball teams gave our players t-shirts to show their support. The most touching moment of the night was after the moment of silence, their band played the Sabetha School Fight Song and the whole gym joined together by clapping in rhythm to the fight song. Marysville reached out with many acts of kindness and wrapped their arms around our school in support of the Ukele family and Sabetha community.”

The KSHSAA Student Advisory Team participates in the selection of the state of Kansas honoree. “The unique way Kansas selects their state winners is without parallel. No other state association utilizes students as their selection committee,” said Executive Director, Gary Musselman. John Gills, NFHS Associate Director wrote to the KSHSAA Student Advisory Team, saying, “Thank you for the outstanding work you do to generate Kansas nominations for these NFHS Awards. You play a very important role in recognizing these very deserving individuals at the state and national levels.”

As the state honoree, the Marysville High School Administration and student body will receive a plaque to be displayed at the school. The presentation of the plaque will take place at a KSHSAA tournament or local event that is yet to be determined. Marysville High School’s nomination has been submitted for consideration by the National Federation of State High School Associations. The National Federation initiated the “NFHS Spirit of Sport Award” in 2008. The NFHS will announce a national honoree at its annual summer meeting in early July.

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Derek Nester
Derek Nesterhttps://sunflowerstateradio.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2020 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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