Four Murphy student-athletes — soccer players Ryan Langhinrichen-Rohling and Sanaz Tafazoli, tennis player Charles Kennedy and softball player Isabella Valdivieso — received Sportsmanship Awards from the Alabama High School Athletic Association this week.
“We are so proud of these young people and what they’ve accomplished on and off the field,” said Murphy Athletic Director Muskingum Barnes. “We’re hoping they continue to do bigger, better things.”
State Sen. Vivian Davis Figures and Blount High Principal Jerome Woods, who was representing the AHSAA, joined Barnes in presenting the awards.
“To be given these awards in sportsmanship, ethics and integrity says so much about who you are and what your character is,” Figures told the honorees. “I’ve always believed that playing a sport, or even doing music in high school, that really gives you the discipline you need for life. You learn how to follow the rules. You learn the art of teamwork and working with your teammates in trying to reach a goal.
“You’ve done that, so I would just like to challenge you to continue to be who you are. Continue to work hard. Continue to believe in yourself. Continue to believe that you can do anything you want to do as long as you are willing to put forth the work ethic.”
The award was created by the AHSAA to honor student-athletes who exhibit good sportsmanship and integrity in athletics. Honorees were nominated by the coaches. Murphy was also presented with awards for several students who have now graduated: John Patterson, Ryan Edwards, Zogora James, Kiley Henry and Chris Dent.
“It’s an honor to get this award. I like to represent my school,” said Tafazoli. “I always make sure to be a good figure for my teammates, and help them.”