SOUTHINGTON – Glastonbury High School was named the winner of the Michaels Achievement Cup overall award, emblematic of the most outstanding athletic program in the state, on Thursday at the annual CIAC Sportsmanship Conference.
Glastonbury, determined to be the top program in Class LL by a formula that computed values from seven criteria, was chosen from a pool of class recipients that also includes: Simsbury in Class LL; Daniel Hand-Madison, Farmington and East Lyme in Class L; Brookfield and Joel Barlow-Redding in Class MM; Weston and Holy Cross-Waterbury in Class M; Valley Regional-Deep River, Northwest Catholic-West Hartford and Notre Dame-West Haven in Class SS; Shepaug Valley-Washington, East Granby, The Gilbert School-Winsted and St. Bernard-Uncasville in Class S.
The criteria used to maintain the formula are sportsmanship, participation, athletic scholarships, athletic personnel, equity, chemical-free initiatives and athletic achievement. Once the class winners are selected, they are asked to submit further documentation enabling the committee to choose an overall winner.
Fred Balsamo, the CIAC’s Michaels Achievement Cup program director, said, “The program has always emphasized far more than just winning. Schools are places of learning. Sports provide a form for children to learn about the principles of participation, which provide life lessons learned early for the future – sportsmanship, fair play, integrity, teamwork, graciousness and humility.”
The Michaels Achievement Cup was the brainstorm of Roy Michaels, owner of Michaels Jewelers, in 1979. The concept was taken to former Xavier High football coach Larry McHugh, who in turn introduced it to the late Hal Levy of the Connecticut Sports Writers’ Alliance.
The Cups were distributed annually at the CSWA’s Gold Key Dinner through 2008 when the program was placed under the auspices of the CIAC.
Financing is sustained under a perpetual grant from the Michaels Jewelers Foundation. The Foundation also began underwriting awards for Unified Sports, which address special-needs children at the middle school and high school levels.
John Michaels, semi-retired CEO of Michaels Jewelers, joined CIAC executive director Karissa Niehoff in distributing the awards.
“For 135 years Michaels has benefited from our endeavors in the jewelry business. We are honored to be able to give back, and what better way than to recognize excellence in our youth and their participation in athletics, emphasizing sportsmanship and participation,” Michaels said. “It’s our privilege to be able to join CAS-CIAC in motivating and rewarding excellence in athletics thru the CIAC recognition program.”
The Michaels Achievement Cup honors CIAC member schools that provide and sustain exemplary athletic programs.
The criteria used to rate the programs obtained through reports submitted by athletic directors include athletic participation, academic success, equitable opportunities, trained and professional personnel, chemical-free programs and environment, athletic achievement, and a clear sense of sportsmanship marked by high ethical and moral standards.