LATHAM, NY- The New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) has announced Arlington High School (Section I) as the winner of the Community Service Challenge for winter 2022.
Arlington High School was chosen as the winner by the NYSPHSAA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), which is comprised of two current student-athletes from each of the 11 member sections. This is the second time Arlington has won the award (2014) and the fifth Section I school to win it.
The Arlington wrestling program hosted its second annual Autism Awareness Night on January 25, 2022. The team sold special t-shirts for the event and collected a $5 donation at the door with all proceeds being donated to Autism Speaks of the Greater Hudson Valley.
“Autism Awareness Night is an inclusive way to allow kids and adults alike to enjoy a wrestling match,” said Jack Frustace, Arlington Senior Captain. “We put a ton of effort into it every year and my brother, especially, got to spectate in a safe environment thanks to our coaches.”
The event was also sensory friendly with the pledge of allegiance replacing the playing of the national anthem, the end of period buzzer was eliminated, the normal pre-match music and strobe light warm up was cancelled and a hands-only silent cheer replaced the traditional cheering in the stands.
“We are fortunate to coach a large team in a huge school that’s part of an amazingly supportive community,” said Dave Grafmuller, Arlington Wrestling Coach. “That affords us a platform and an opportunity for education and activism well beyond our wrestling room. Our hope is always to cultivate better human beings in addition to better student-athletes.”
“One of the many focuses of education-based athletics is to help instill the value of service work with our teams and athletes,” said Michael Cring, Arlington Director of Athletics. “We are proud of the many activities our programs take part in. I am grateful for the leadership of our wrestling coaches who along with our parents and wrestlers worked to develop and see through our autism awareness night. It was a very meaningful service activity for our community.”
A total of 124 projects were submitted with 4,504 student-athletes participating in some type of community service project this past winter. In total, $137,285 was raised for charitable causes with 17,246 hours donated by NYSPHSAA student-athletes.
The NYSPHSAA Community Service Challenge submissions are made though the Team Up 4 Community (TU4C) platform. This allows schools to submit their projects online providing sports teams the opportunity to showcase community service projects, demonstrating their commitment and impact in the community.
Previous Community Service Challenge Champions-
2021-22 Fall, Bethpage Senior High School (Section VIII)
Winter, Arlington High School-Wrestling Program (Section I)
2020-21 Fall, Maple Hill Jr./Sr. High School-Girls Soccer Program (Section 2)
Winter, Columbia High School (Section 2)
Spring, John F. Kennedy High School (Section VIII)
2019-20 Fall, Ossining High School-Football Team (Section I)
Winter, Cambridge Central School-Girls Basketball Program (Section 2)
Spring, Smithtown High School West-Football Team (Section XI)
2018-19 Fall, Canandaigua Academy-Girls Volleyball Team (Section V)
Eastport South Manor-Boys Volleyball Team (Section (XI)
Winter, Harrison High School-Athletes in Action (Section I)
Spring, Hewlett High School-Leaders Club (Section VIII)
2018 – Farmingdale High School (Section VIII)
2017 – Akron High School (Section VI)
2016 – Mahopac High School (Section I)
2015 – Kings Park High School (Section XI)
2014 – Arlington High School (Section I)
2013 – Columbia High School (Section 2)
2012 – Ossining High School (Section I)
2011 – Adirondack Central School (Section III)
About NYSPHSAA (Twitter: @NYSPHSAA | Facebook: NYSPHSAA | YouTube: NYSPHSAASports):
The New York State Public High School Athletic Association Inc. is a non-profit, voluntary, educational service organization composed of public, parochial, and private schools dedicated to providing equitable and safe competition for the students of its member schools. The organization conducts 32 championship events and governs the rules and regulations of high school athletics in New York State. Membership is open to secondary schools providing interschool athletic activities for boys and girls in grades 7-12.