The Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association names 17 schools from across the state as 2012-13 DIAA State Champions in Sportsmanship.

The Delaware Interscholastic Athletic Association (DIAA) has named 17 schools from across the state as 2012-13 DIAA State Champions in Sportsmanship.

DIAA's annual statewide competition in sportsmanship is a competition against a set of 10 standards, not against other schools. The process is demanding and involves the total school community to be involved. Member schools submit an extensive application book that is judged by a committee that evaluates each application to determine if the school has successfully met the standards.

A record number —22 schools -- applied for the award this year. The total number of schools that now have won this award at least once in the 17-year history of the award is 23.This includes this year's first-time recipients – Smyrna School District's Smyrna High School and Colonial School District's Gunning Bedford Middle School. Gunning Bedford is the second middle school ever to have won this prestigious award.

This year's other winners are: private Sanford School (second consecutive win); Seaford School District's Seaford High, Appoquinimink School District's Appoquinimink High and Woodbridge School District's Woodbridge High (all for the third time); Red Clay Consolidated School District's Conrad School of Sciences (fourth straight win); and five-time winnersprivate Caravel Academy, Lake Forest School District's Lake Forest High, Red Clay Consolidated's McKean and AI duPont high schools and Woodbridge School District's Wheatley Middle School. New Castle County Vo-Tech's Hodgson Vo-Tech won its sixth award, while Sussex Technical School District's Sussex Tech and Brandywine School District's Concord High each won for the seventh time.Private Tower Hill School took home its eighth award in as many years.And DIAA is proud to announce that Colonial School District's William Penn High School has earned the title of State Champion in Sportsmanship for the 16th consecutive year.

"All of these schools are led by energetic and innovative committees that continually look for new ways to spread the message of sportsmanship," DIAA Executive Director Kevin Charles said."They truly embody the philosophy that sportsmanship is not just something you talk about, but a way of life demonstrated by your behavior and actions. This belief is an essential component of education based athletics."