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Sports reporter

Steve has won awards during two different stints at The Times. In addition to being the Prep Beat columnist, he covers football, boys basketball and boys track. He is a long-suffering Cubs fan.

The Calumet Region Sportsmanship Dinner has been a staple in Northwest Indiana for generations.

Those who look to the future without first observing the past are doomed to fail.

After some poor sportsmanship was displayed at the 1954 Hammond Sectional at the Civic Center, several business leaders decided to do something about it.

The idea of bringing local teams together for a meal, breaking bread with someone you're going to try and beat in a short time in the sectional, became an inspiration for other areas of Indiana.

On Feb. 19, the 64th Sportsmanship Dinner will take place at The Halls of St. George in Schererville.

I strongly urge leaders in the 30-plus schools that will be attending the event to become a patron, which is $50. It helps pay for the food and the workers that always make this time so special.

While this year's fundraising is done, the future is always around the corner. If you are interested in helping out, please email John Doherty at

Scholarships are also handed out by the Sportsmanship Committee to deserving student athletes from the Region. Since 1971, over $250,000 has been donated to help the college dreams of local athletes to be easier.

This is another reason why this event is so important.

A representative of the IHSAA almost always comes to the dinner. IHSAA Sports Information Director Jason Wille, Crown Point's favorite son, said that the state's sportsmanship numbers are trending in the wrong direction.

At last month's Executive Committee, the group noticed that several categories in the sportsmanship files have ticked up slightly from the same time a year ago. It hasn't been a huge jump, but we all know this can't be tolerated.

There were more Unsporting Reports filed from a year ago at the same time, Aug. 1 through Jan. 18. There have been more ejections, for coaches, players and fans.

We all heard about the fight that occurred in December at a freshmen game between Hammond and Griffith. While reports say no student athletes were a part of this, this can't be allowed to continue to happen.

And this is where the Calumet Region Sportsmanship Dinner comes in.

We needed this 64 years ago. We need it today. And we will likely need it 64 years from now. All of us need to be reminded from time to time about these matters.

Valparaiso University men's basketball coach Matt Lottich will be the guest speaker at the event. This is an awesome selection by the committee.

From my time covering the Crusaders, I know there is a desire to make VU all of Northwest Indiana's Division I team. Not just Porter County.

This is a great opportunity for local fans, coaches and players to hear about a great program that is only 30 minutes away from most of us.

This column solely represents the writer’s opinion. Reach him at