LA CROSSE, WI (WXOW)—Tuesday, 200 student athletes from the 8 schools in the Mississippi Valley Conference got together at Logan High School for the 17th Annual Sportsmanship and Leadership Conference.
Terry Erickson, League Commissioner said the goal is to help students show a higher level of sportsmanship.
Terra Stuttley, Onalaska Junior, didn't realize the impact she has on the community.
"You're such a role model for everyone else on your team you have to set a good example for the younger ones," Terra said.
Terry Erickson said that can be a challenge for student athletes still learning themselves.
"I think there's a lot of uncertainty in what's expected of a student athlete," Erickson said. "Each year it becomes more complex. This is an effort to identify what the expectations are."
But as they day went on the athletes got it.
"Including everyone and making sure everyone feels a part of the team. That will really help bring us together," Charles Fuchsel, Aquinas High School Senior said.
"Encourage them along the way, always keep a positive attitude and just help them improve any way you can," Kyle Lang, West Salem High School Junior said.
Erickson said taking the time to teach students those lessons makes all the difference in the conference.
"I've seen tangible improvements in the way students interact with other athletes from different schools, the respect factor with officials," Erickson said.
Erickson said in his 19 years as commissioner he's seen a lot of progress with student athletes.
He thinks MVC athletes stand out because they're members of one of the only conferences in the state to hold a leadership event like this one.
Even though no every athlete in the MVC could go to the workshop, Erickson is hopeful they'll still hear the messages.
"My sister is a freshman so I really want to show her the big role on the team and make a positive impact on everyone in the community," Terra said.
No matter what sport or what school they're all walking away inspired to be better people.
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