Article by: Maia Paterno
Making the IASAS (Interscholastic Association of Southeast Asian Schools) team for any sport is a big deal, but receiving an All Tournament award on top of making the team and possibly earning a medal is an honor that few people get in high school. The All Tournament award is given for most sports during the closing ceremony to the athlete or athletes who stood out during the three-day tournament. For some, excelling at a sport all season wouldn’t make for such a surprise for them to become an All Tournament player, but for others, being awarded All Tournament comes from playing exceptionally in the games that many people consider to be the most important.
When catching up with Steve Dodd, or “Doddy”, the girls touch rugby coach who has been with ISM for many years and has coached many teams to IASAS victory, he said that All Tournament awards are decided by the coach of the respective team. From an All Tournament awardees perspective, being chosen by the coach as the best at IASAS gives them an overwhelming sense of pride. Berk Genel, senior and captain of the boys basketball team, said that winning All Tournament feels good knowing the coaches voted you the best player on the team for IASAS and that “the respect that is gained from being in the all-tournament team feels great.”
But what does it take to be an All Tournament player? Doddy said that when choosing the awardee, he has to think about the “consistently high level of performance throughout each game of IASAS. Sportsmanship/fair play, excellence and leadership.” Berk says that being an All Tournament player means that you’re the player “who other teams have on their game plans before the game even starts” and is a big part of the team’s success. All Tournament awards, however, differ from Most Valuable Player (MVP) awards as All Tournament is mainly based on the athletes’ performance at IASAS, while MVP is season long and according to Doddy, much harder to select.
When asked about the pressure that comes with being an All Tournament player, Jackie Tan Ho, freshman and gold medalist for IASAS Tennis, said that it definitely adds extra pressure, but having both goals (getting the gold and becoming an All Tournament player) only “increases the pressure to win”. In a way, All Tournament allows coaches to heighten the emphasis on excellence at IASAS, as Doddy likes to do, and for the award to set up role models for other players, especially in sportsmanship, excellence, and leadership. All Tournament caliber players are those who have perseverance and the determination to win, because in the end, the one who wants it the most wins.