OHS/SHS Earn A.F. Bridges Divisional Awards, OHS Named State School of Excellence

Hermitage, TN (2018-11-05) Each year, the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA) recognizes school districts across the state for their sportsmanship.  This year, both Oneida High and Scott High Schools received recognition in East Tennessee.  Oneida High School was also chosen to receive the highest honor, the State Award of Excellence.

Oneida Athletic Director Jimmy May (R) accepts the A.F. Bridges State Award of Excellence for East Tennessee during a presentation on Monday.

The A.F. Bridges Divisional Awards are given to schools that have had no reported unsportsmanlike conduct incidents during the previous school year and have displayed an overall positive effort to teach, expect, and demand a positive atmosphere of sportsmanship at their particular contests.  The schools that received this prestigious award were nominated by local officials’ associations and other member schools.

This year, both the Oneida Indians and Scott Highlanders were recognized in their respective categories.   Oneida joined Grace Baptist Academy and Harriman High School in the A classification in east Tennessee, while Scott High shared AA divisional awards with Grainger High and Meigs County.  In all, 27 schools were chosen at the divisional level—three in each classification (A, AA, and AAA) in the state’s three grand divisions (East, Middle, and West).

In each of the grand divisions, one of the three schools nominated for the divisional awards were awarded the highest award, the A.F. Bridges State Award of Excellence.  In east Tennessee Class A, Oneida High School was chosen.  The State Award of Excellence is bestowed upon a school to honor its overall efforts to promote citizenship and sportsmanship at school and at athletic contests.

The A.F. Bridges Award is given in honor of the TSSAA’s first executive secretary. He served as executive secretary from 1946 until his retirement in 1972. Under his leadership, athletics in the state of Tennessee reached a level of excellence and competence that earned the respect of all people. Mr. Bridges was a person of high principles who displayed firmness and fairness, as well as the high ideals of ethics and integrity, as he and many other school people established the foundation of TSSAA across our state.

In addition to the divisional awards, TSSAA also recognizes 63 of the state’s top contributors to athletics, including the School System Administrator of the Year, Principal of the Year, Athletic Director of the Year, Female Coach of the Year, Male Coach of the Year, Official of the Year, and Contributor of the Year.

“Being recognized for one of these awards as a school or individual should be seen as one of the highest honors in high school athletics in our state,“ said Bernard Childress, Executive Director of the TSSAA.  “Those who receive the awards truly reflect what high school athletics should be about, and that’s good sportsmanship and good citizenship,” he added.

2018 marks the 19th year of the A.F. Bridges Award program.