Haley Dekkinga, seen competing at Northern Illinois, credits her grandfather with helping instill the importance of sportsmanship in her.

MAC names Dekkinga as winner of league-wide sportsmanship award

Jason Wesseldyk

Good sports are winners.
That’s one of the messages the Michigan High School Athletic Association tries to impress upon its participants, even giving away the Good Sports Are Winners Award to student-athletes who display “the highest level of sportsmanship throughout the competition.”
Apparently that message sunk in with 2010 Allegan graduate Haley Dekkinga.
A member of the Northern Illinois women’s tennis team, Dekkinga recently received the Mid-American Conference’s Leann Grimes Davidge Sportsmanship Award.
Dekkinga became the first NIU women’s tennis player to receive the award, which “honors the player who shows the most outstanding sportsmanship among all athletes throughout MAC play.”
The award was unexpected, to say the least.
“I was actually really surprised I received the award,” Dekkinga said. “It was already special just knowing I was awarded this, but I do think it made it that much more special knowing I was the first (NIU) tennis player to win it.”

For full story, pick up a copy of the June 26 issue of The Allegan County News or subscribe to the e-edition.

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