Sportsmanship Scholarship Class of 2018: Connor Kingsland

May 9, 2018

The Carl Fricks Sportsmanship Scholarship is presented annually to graduating high school seniors from the St. Louis metro area who embody outstanding sportsmanship.  Administered by the St. Louis Sports Commission Associates – the Sports Commission’s young professionals group – the scholarship recognizes individuals who exemplify honesty, integrity, civility, selflessness, kindness, compassion and class in athletic competition.  Candidates are evaluated strictly on their approach, character and respect for others on the playing field.  Athletic performance (wins and other stats) does not factor in the selection – making the scholarship unique.
The Associates launched the Sportsmanship Scholarship in 2009.  The group raises funds for the program and selects its recipients.  In nine years, the Associates have awarded $92,500 in academic scholarships to 31 college-bound students.  The scholarship program is part of the Sports Commission’s efforts to promote and encourage sportsmanship in the community.
Congratulations the winners of the 2018 Carl Fricks Sportsmanship Scholarship – Catherine Arnold, Imanté Griffin, Madelyn Hubbs, Connor Kingsland, and Mary LaBelle. Help us celebrate sportsmanship by nominating a deserving student who has demonstrated outstanding sportsmanship and character in athletic competition. The submission packet and application for next year’s scholarship will be available in January 2019. For more details, call 314-345-5130 or email
Lindbergh High School
Lindbergh High senior Connor Kingsland was gearing up for the state cross country meet when he made eye contact with Jared Neikirk, a runner from Cape Central whom he had competed against before. Connor went on to describe the unusual, yet life-changing interaction between him and his fellow competitor. “About half way through [the race], he passed me, fast…like it was nothing for him. With 100 meters left in the race, I was trying to give it that last kick when I saw a guy just standing in the middle of the course, almost stumbling, hardly able to move his legs. Without thinking, I ran up to him and grabbed him. I realized then it was Jared. I said quietly to him, ‘Let’s finish this race together.’ When I grabbed him, both he and I got enough strength to finish the state cross country meet.” Connor’s cross country coach, James Petersen, talked about the impact of his grand gesture. “This was a very proud moment for his parents and me as a coach, having an athlete who is considerate and supportive of others all throughout the season and even in the heat of the highest level of competition.” Connor will continue his education at Western State Colorado University.

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