NFHS Spirit of Sport Award

The NFHS “National High School Spirit of Sport Award,” seeks to recognize individuals who exemplify the ideals of the positive spirit of sport that represent the core mission of education-based athletics. The award may be given in recognition of a specific act or for an activity of longer duration.

The award can be given to an individual who has gone beyond the normal everyday expectations of assisting others within the school or community. It could also be given to an individual who has overcome some sort of adversity or challenging circumstances.  The recipient can be a coach, athletic administrator, administrator, trainer, student-athlete or any others associated with the school or the school’s athletic program.

In the instance of a student, that student must be in good academic standing within his or her respective high school. Among the qualifying criteria that will be used are the student’s grade-point average, the activities in which he or she is involved, and community involvement. Candidates should also possess similar positive character traits, such as a high level of integrity and ethics.

The NFHS divides the nation into eight geographical sections. The states in Section 4 are Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Nominations for this award are generated through NFHS member state associations and reviewed by the NFHS Spirit of Sport Award Selection Committee composed of state association staff members.

The following have been nominated as Indiana's representatives for the National High School Spirit of Sport Award:

2013-14  Virgil Ferguson, North Posey HS
2012-13  Noah James, Boonville HS 
2011-12  Alysia Bennett, Sullivan HS
2010-11  Whitko and Rochester girls basketball teams 
2009-10  Allison Hostetler, Fairfield HS
2008-09  Columbia City girls soccer team 

February 4, 2014

North Posey’s Virgil Ferguson nominated for National Spirit of Sport Award
North Posey High School athletic director Virgil Ferguson has been nominated by the Indiana High School Athletic Association for the National High School Spirit of Sport Award, an honor sponsored annually by the Indianapolis-based National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).

The award seeks to recognize those individuals who exemplify the ideals of the positive spirit of sport that represent the core mission of education-based athletics.

Whether he’s scheduling or organizing an athletic event, hiring officials, working to improve facilities or the countless hours spent with coaches and student-athletes, Ferguson’s spirit, passion and dedication is on daily display at the school located near Evansville in southwestern Indiana.

Ferguson’s service to the North Posey community and its student-athletes was preceded by 20 years of service to our country.

He enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1972 and worked as a Major General’s enlisted aide at Wright Patterson Air Force Base and was responsible for all classified correspondence of the General’s review. He retired a Master Sergeant in 1993 and was recognized numerous times with awards like the Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal, the Army Commendation medal, the Air Force Achievement Medal, and the Humanitarian Medal to name just a few.

It was also the time that his passion for athletics grew strong as he also served as base athletic director for servicemen overseas and their activities.

It’s also been suggested that Ferguson’s spirit served him well in recovering from a traumatic health complication in which he underwent a liver transplant less than two years ago. He returned to his job and its 10-12 hour routine with renewed vigor and purpose just a few months later.

Even before the approval of his doctors, he was at his self-appointed spot as the welcoming agent for the IHSAA Student Leadership Conference. Ferguson personally greeted more than 1,000 student-athletes from across the Hoosier State as they arrived and departed their buses.

“Personally, it’s incredible to see Virgil back on a daily basis after witnessing the struggles he faced and lived with while waiting for a liver transplant,” said Forest Park athletic director Doug Louden. “Virgil has always been a people-person and a person I’ve admired and looked up to. I can tell by talking with the students at North Posey that he has a great relationship with them. His enthusiasm and energy carries over not only to the student-athletes but to his coaches and community as well.”

His story will be entered into regional competition with those nominees being considered for the national award by the NFHS. The overall national winner will be recognized at the NFHS Summer Meetings in Boston in June.

The IHSAA is proud to join North Posey High School in recognizing the example set by Virgil Ferguson who was selected from the 21 nominations below received by the IHSAA.

Jordan Aubrey Hill Anderson High School
Victoria S. Yagodinski Angola High School
Samantha Kaye Girot Connersville High School
Michael Gaines Fishers High School
Kurt Tippmann Fort Wayne Snider High School
Larry Dafforn Fort Wayne Wayne High School
Tod Boise Guerin Catholic High School
Whitaker Earl Rapp Guerin Catholic High School
Caitlyn Elizabeth Rose Hamilton High school
Kyle Matthew McWilliams Jasper High School
Dusty Duke Minix Knox Community High School
Skyler Payne Booth Lakeland High School
Boys Basketball Team Marquette Catholic High School
Virgil L. Ferguson North Posey High School
Jacqueline Marie Fitzgerald Oldenburg Academy
Jennifer Houln Plymouth High School
Jessica Oliver Plymouth High School
Casey Brooke Yager Rushville Consolidated High School
Jacob D. Covert Sheridan High School
Van Lian Southport High School
Cody Thompson Southridge High School