ST. ALBANS — While BFA-St. Albans would love to have been on the field for the Division I championship game, its captains and coaches took the field at UVM’s Virtue Field at halftime June 10 to accept an award of similar value. A unanimous vote from the Vermont Lacrosse Referees Association delivered the Bobwhites the Sportsmanship Award for the 2017 season.

“We just always tried to play the game the right way,” BFA co-captain Mark Howrigan said after receiving the award. “It was a good season, we fought all the way through the end and to be honored by the state and by all the teams is great.”

“I couldn’t be more proud of them and how they acted and how they represented themselves, first of all,” athletic director Dan Marlow said. “But also their community and the school because in real life you’re playing for something bigger than you.”

Players and coaches praised Marlow’s influence on all the programs at BFA, noting that his efforts had plenty to do with the award.

“He set the standard, his bar is high,” BFA coach Mark Capsey said. “We always try to beat his expectations. If you talk to any other ADs in the state, they put Dan on a pedestal. We just try to live up to it.”

Mason Yandow Matt Potter

Mason Yandow of BFA-St. Albans presents flowers to Champlain Valley Union’s Matt Potter before the teams’ lacrosse playoff game in Hinesburg.

“There’s a lot of conversations that we have together about character and attitude,” added assistant coach Mike Konrad.

Bobwhite co-captain Clark Kennedy included the coaches as deserving credit along with Marlow.

“They really are the commanding force,” he said. “We have meetings every year talking about sportsmanship and how we should be regarding the refs and other players, and basically we just want to be a good team.”

Konrad was quick to return the praise to the players. “This is the best group of kids that we’ve had in a long time,” he said.

While the entire season is taken into account for the award, one game stood out. The Bobwhites fell in a June 7 semifinal match at CVU, but received acclaim for a poised effort battling back from a big deficit.

“The other day in the semifinal game we’re down by 10 going into the fourth quarter. That can be a recipe for disaster,” Marlow said. “Because then guys think they’re just going to take out their frustrations. And then all anyone is talking about is how we acted in the fourth quarter — inappropriately. So whatever we did up to that point won’t make any difference because people will remember the last thing that you did.”

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