Photo contributed

The Watseka Girls Track and Field team was recently presented with the IHSA Academic Achievement Award. Front row, left to right: Raegan Gooding, Rylie Parsons, Haylee Ketchum, Brianna Osenga, Arika Stanley. Middle row: Coach Rich Dickte, Dolly Murray, Kaitlyn Bell, Carolyn Dickte, Emma Donaldson, Taylor Stillman, Baylor Cluver, Coach Troy Simpson. Back row: Natalie Sapp, Acelyn Gamino Jackie Lynch, Kinzie Parsons, Kourtney Kincade, Jena Horchem, Jena Horchem, Coach Styck.

Recently, the IHSA recognized the Watseka Girls Track and Field team with the IHSA Academic Achievement Team Award.

According to the IHSA website, the IHSA Team Academic Achievement Award "is designed to reward teamwork not online in competition, but in the classroom as well."

The award is given out exclusively to teams that have a minimum team unweighted grade point average of 3.0 out of 4.0 during the semester of their season.

This will mark the eighth consecutive season for the Lady Warriors track team to win the award and tenth out of the last 11 years.

Lady Warriors track and field head coach, Troy Simpson, said one of the teams major focal points each season is taking care of their responsibilities in the classroom.

"As a team, we set a goal each year of taking care of business in the classroom along with on the track and the Academic Team Award is something we want to earn every year. In fact each year, the upperclassmen let the new ones know of the importance of keeping the streak going," he said.

"The ladies exemplify the meaning of what a student-athlete truly means. It is not uncommon to see them working on school work on the bus to meets or asking Coach (Rich) Dickte and I help with school work they may have questions on. As a coaching staff, we are very proud of this accomplishment and the hard work that is required to achieve academic success. We believe it helps set a standard for excellence that will carry on once they graduate and move on to future successes."