Recently, Dawn Engebretson, coach and teacher at Rockford Area Schools, was recognized for her positive impact on women and girls sporting programs and opportunities with the prestigious “Breaking Barriers Award.”
The school district has seen growth in several of the female programs. Increased participation is helping to improve and strengthen the overall athletic program.
Engebretson shares her thoughts on the program’s spirit and successes:
“One of the great things in Rockford sports is how the students support each other. It’s not unusual to see players from other sports at games cheering on both the girls’ teams as well as the boys’ teams. In fact, that is how our tradition of grilling out after softball games began. A couple of boys strapped a grill into the back of their truck, came up to watch the softball game, and grilled some hot dogs afterwards.
Participation and support have also been helpful. Each of the girls’ sports teams has had success at different times. Some have participated in state tournaments; while others have been dominate in their areas.
Girls get so much out of participating in athletics than just winning and losing. It’s exciting to see how successful girls have become after graduation. Being an amazing softball player probably isn’t going to get you a great job in the future, but knowing how to overcome adversity, or working together with others to accomplish a goal, now that is how to be successful in life.”
Sincerity and enthusiasm may have been nomination criteria for Breaking Barriers. If so, Engebretson was a good call.
Glenn Klaphake, RHS Assistant Principal and Activities Director, was delighted to receive, and excited to relay, Engebretson’s award. He also expressed a commitment to the female sports programs and enthusiasm over their future.
“Rockford High School is proud of our female athletes and the contributions they provide to our school culture. We are also proud of our female coaches and the role modeling they provide for our female participants. Congratulations on a special day for female athletes and coaches throughout the country.”