The CIF Southern Section is an educational institution committed to utilizing the high school athletic experience to build a foundation for young people to help them be successful in life. We are primarily known for conducting championship playoffs in 24 sports for Boys and Girls and there is certainly a great deal of attention paid to those activities by all of the stakeholders involved with the CIF Southern Section: student-athletes, coaches, administrators, parents, fans, communities, media, etc. However, there is another championship to be won, not only at the end of every sport season, but at the end of each and every day. We award championships in this category as well and they are called Champions for Character. On October 1, 2012 we will celebrate the 9th Annual Jim Staunton Champions for Character Award Ceremony at a banquet on the Queen Mary in Long Beach. This program is named for Dr. Jim Staunton, the 8th Commissioner of the C.I.F. Southern Section, who founded the program and was the driving force behind its growth and expansion.

Who are the Champions for Character? They are student-athletes, coaches, administrators and schools who exemplify the important values and characteristics associated with good sportsmanship, based on the 6 Pillars of Character that have been developed by the Josephson Institute of Ethics. These 6 Pillars are…

  • Trustworthiness
  • Respect
  • Responsibility
  • Fairness
  • Caring
  • Citizenship

We are so proud of the student-athletes, coaches, administrators and schools who will receive Champions for Character Awards this year and we look forward to continuing to honor those who represent what being a champion really means in the years ahead. For the first time in the history of the program, due to the success of our Champions for Character Golf Tournament which is the sole funding source for Champions for Character, we will be awarding $500 scholarships to each of our student-athlete award winners. We hope to build on this tradition year after year as well.

In these challenging economic times, when our athletic programs are fighting for survival, we must never lose focus on what our athletic programs are providing for our student-athletes. We all need to do a better job of highlighting the life’s lessons being taught through high school athletic participation and emphasizing the importance of those lessons. People in positions of leadership, who are in control of budgets, need to be constantly reminded of the benefits that young people derive from being involved in high school athletic programs. In doing so, I believe that our ability to preserve
and protect our programs can only increase. Let the Champions for Character serve as an example of those benefits.

I hope you will join me in congratulating the Champions for Character Award winners for this year and help us continue our commitment in recognizing these champions in the years to come.

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Commissioner’s Messages