CHESHIRE, Conn. – Twenty high school athletic programs have been selected as CIAC Michaels Achievement Cup exemplary programs recognizing their outstanding achievement as overall athletics programs for the 2014-15 academic year.
Branford, Canton, Coventry, East Catholic, East Hampton, Fairfield Ludlowe, Fitch, Joel Barlow, Ledyard, Lewis Mills, Lyman Memorial, Lyme-Old Lyme, North Branford, Northwest Catholic, Northwestern, Simsbury, Staples, St. Paul Catholic, Weston, and Wilton are the schools honored as exemplary athletic programs.
The 20 schools represent all six classifications and are selected based on achievement in seven distinct areas which are sportsmanship, participation, athletic scholarship, athletic personnel, equity, chemical free initiatives and athletic achievement.
“These schools deserve every bit of recognition they get for their commitment to interscholastic athletics and for maintaining complete, well-rounded, education-based athletics programs,” said CAS-CIAC Executive Director Karissa Niehoff. “A lot is expected and required of high school athletics programs in this era so it’s important to honor schools that strive to excel and can serve as a model of success.”
All CIAC member schools are asked to submit information via a survey for consideration for recognition, and a mathematical formula is used to analyze the data. Schools that meet a statistical threshold are then asked to submit additional information supporting their potential selection. One hundred ten member schools submitted data this year, and 36 qualified to be considered for selection with additional information. The CIAC Michaels Achievement Cup Committee reviews the statistical data and discusses the merits of each potential award recipient based on its written criteria and CIAC compliance.
“The Committee is thrilled to recognize these schools and the work they have done to build extraordinary athletics programs,” said Fred Balsamo Michael’s Cup Committee Chairperson. “More schools are participating and we had some difficult choices, but we believe these 20 programs are absolutely worthy of the honor.”
Five of the programs were recognized as Michaels Achievement Cup exemplary programs for the first time since the CIAC began administration of the program for the 2008-09 season. Another three schools are receiving the honor for the second time during that time frame. Since the CIAC began its administration of the program, a total of 53 schools have been recognized as exemplary programs.
The 20 schools will be honored at the CIAC Sportsmanship Conference at the AquaTurf in Southington on November 19. The Michaels Achievement Cup program was created in the early 1980s as the brainchild of Roy Michaels, the owner of Michaels Jewelry, in an effort to recognize outstanding athletic programs. The program recognized yearly winners since that time, and then in 2008 transitioned directly to CIAC administration of the program.