‘More important than a win or loss’: Unified track recognized by state for sportsmanship

Jun 6, 2024

For the second year in a row, Dartmouth High School’s unified track and field team has been recognized by the state for its sportsmanship.

Pete Smith, associate director of MIAA and liaison for unified basketball and track and field, said at the end of state finals, the MIAA’s Team Sportsmanship Award is presented to those who were selected based on nominations.

Dartmouth was one of four unified teams recognized of the 120 teams in the state.

Smith said what’s unique about Dartmouth’s win this year is that they were nominated by the New Bedford High School unified track Coach Phil McDevitt. 

He highlighted how it “stands out” when a team is nominated by an opponent. “I think that always says a lot.”

In regard to the Dartmouth coaching staff, he said, “They have done such an incredible job year after year at setting a positive example for others.”

He added, “I think their team goes above and beyond in terms of showing respect for opponents, respect for officials [and] for the competition itself.”

Due to rain, the state finals were postponed and Dartmouth couldn’t make it to the new date, so Smith came down to Dartmouth High School to present the students with their award Thursday, June 6.

Unified Track and Field Head Coach John Breault said, “The partnership we’ve sort of made with [the New Bedford unified track coach] Phil and his team over there is special and I think it speaks volumes for them to feel that we were good sports and that’s really cool.”

In regard to the award, he said, “We’re really excited. It’s always an honor, especially when it's like one of a few select teams in the state.”

Breault added, for him and Coach Wes Lima, “This is more important than a win or a loss. We want these kids to be able to learn, to help each other, support each other and be good sports.”

He said, “This is the epitome of what this year is all about.”