CRYSTAL RIVER, Fla. — Crystal River Middle School is the pride of Crystal River, from academics to athletics.
The students there are modeling the way and winning awards in the process.
Recently, the school won its second consecutive Fred E. Rozelle Sportsmanship Award from the Florida High School Athletic Association.
"It's a for a High School Athletic Association, picks one middle school each year, and then they have a runner up that demonstrates sportsmanship and the way they base it is like they have to see the sportsmanship on the field," Principal David Roland said. "That's one qualifying factor, and then they asked what are you doing within your school community to promote sportsmanship and promote this behavior."
Roland said their winning formula is simple.
"We use the big three as our foundation — do what's right, do your best and treat others as you want to be treated," said Roland.
The legendary Lou Holtz, former Notre Dame Head Football Coach, coined the phrase but the Bearcats put it into action.
From the classroom to the courts to the field, everybody plays by these rules.
The students are challenged every day to spread positivity.
Alyssa Mayer is the school's Athletic Director and started the school's new t-shirt award.
"We are going to announce from the other team, the opposing team, a player of their choice, that is showing sportsmanship throughout their week prior to our game, whether it's on the field in the classroom," said Mayer. " And our first game is against the Villages, and I was just talking to their AD over there and he's so excited to see this come through on Tuesday when we play them. But yeah, we are just very excited and just trying to spread the idea and the message of sportsmanship."
And at this rate, a three-peat is already in the works.