Wilson High School is one of just 56 schools across New York state to earn the 2019 New York State Public High School Athletic Association 2019-20 Scholar-Athlete School of Distinction Award.
This year, 56 schools earned the School of Distinction Award and 140 schools earned the School of Excellence Award. Both numbers are an increase over the number of state high schools that earned the same honor the year before.
Wilson is among five Section VI high schools to earn the Distinction award. The others are Allegany-Limestone, Clarence, Lancaster and Pioneer. Schools apply for School of Distinction status by having all of its varsity teams earning Scholar-Athlete team awards during their respective sports seasons.
In addition, four more local high schools, Lockport, Niagara-Wheatfield, Royalton-Hartland and Starpoint are among 17 from Western New York that have been named state School of Excellence Award winners.
To earn the School of Excellence Award, 75% of a school’s varsity teams must qualify and receive the Scholar-Athlete team award.
The other section VI high schools earning the Excellence award, alphabetically, are Alden, Amherst, Ellicottville, Fredonia, Holland, Maple Grove, Maryvale, Medina, Portville, West Seneca East, West Seneca West, Williamsville East and Williamsville South.
Chris Watson, NYSPHSAA communications director, said the purpose of the School of Distinction and School of Excellence Awards is to unite varsity coaches in challenging their teams to achieve a state-wide academic honor.
“We are excited once again to see the numbers of schools honored increase and it is a true testament to the kind of student-athletes we were have here in New York State,” said Dr. Robert Zayas, NYSPHSAA executive director.
“We continue to be proud of this program which highlights and celebrates schools that value the importance of academics, as well as athletics. The fact that so many student-athletes thrived in the face of a pandemic this past winter is truly remarkable.”