Mira Mesa High School cheerleaders. Photo by Chris Stone

Five San Diego County high school football teams were honored for exhibiting the highest level of sportsmanship during the 2021 season, two sports organizations announced Friday.

The teams from Borrego Springs, El Camino, Mira Mesa, Monte Vista and Sweetwater high schools received the inaugural CIF/SDCFOA Sportsmanship Awards from the San Diego Section of the California Interscholastic Federation and San Diego County Football Officials Association.

Each school will receive $1,000 for its athletic department, a trophy and a banner to display on school grounds.

The awards went to football teams whose “players, coaches and fans best exhibited the principles of good sportsmanship — including fairness, civility, honesty, unselfishness, respect and responsibility — as voted on by game officials, CIF commissioners and conference presidents,” according to Kevin Haws, the board president of the officials’ association, which provides certified officials for high school and youth football games.

The teams “showed tremendous respect and sportsmanship through the season, both for their opponents and the referees, Haws said.

“Our association is all about ensuring fair play and upholding the integrity of the game we love,” Haws said. “We greatly appreciate the contributions these players and coaches made to play football the right way, with dignity and respect for all.”

Each school’s players and coaches were honored at halftime of last Saturday’s Open Division championship game.

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