State Stories


Woodstock North’s Wolfgang Kemp Named Section Winner of NFHS Spirit of Sport Award

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The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) recently announced one National winner and eight Section winners for the 2016 NFHS Spirit of Sport Award.

The Illinois High School Association’s (IHSA) nominee, Woodstock North senior student-athlete Wolfgang Kemp (right with IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson), was named the Section 4 winner. Section 4 includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin. Wolfgang is the fifth IHSA nominee to receive the Section Award, while Lake Park High School's Tori Clark is the lone national winner from Illinois (click here for past nominees).

Wolfgang was chosen as the IHSA’s nominee after high school sports (football, wrestling, track & field) helped him overcome overwhelming adversity in life. Wolfgang and his father became homeless during his freshman year of high school, and amidst the uncertainty, his grades slipped and left him ineligible for sports throughout his sophomore school year. With the assistance of transitional housing and the support of coaches, teammates, and the community, Wolfgang got back on his feet and athletic participation helped keep him on the right path for the remainder of his high school career.

“We are incredibly happy to see Wolfgang receive this well-deserved recognition,” said IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson. “He is a young man who has endured more in his high school career than many will in a lifetime. His story epitomizes the positive impact that high school participation can have on a young person’s life, and his spirit and bravery make him a role model for all high school students.”

Wolfgang was honored by the IHSA on Friday, March 18, 2016 at the Peoria Civic Center’s Carver Arena during halftime of the IHSA Class 4A Boys Basketball semifinals.

For more on Wolfgang’s story, click here.