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To be part of a sport takes a lot of time and dedication. Whether this dedication is shown with the athlete in action or someone working behind the scenes, the love of the sport is undeniable in these individuals.
At the 33rd annual Simplot Games held at Holt Arena, John and Donna Dye will be presented with the ‘Spirit of the Games’ award in memory of Simplot’s founded J.R. Simplot. The award recognizes those who have showed distinguished commitment to Simplot Games over the years.
John and Donna have taken part in Simplot Games for the past 11 years. Many may wonder, what keeps the Dyes coming back?
“It’s the very best meet to go to in the country,” John says. “We have enjoyed our experiences with our own children, and (now with) the kids we meet every year.”
The Dyes were never very interested in track and field until their son joined the track team near their home in Middletown, Md., in 1995.
A year after their son joined the team, their daughter joined as well.
“I’ve always been a sports fan and statistic nut, so I started keeping my son’s stats,” John says. Then he added his daughter’s stats.
Soon he was keeping stats on five counties in western Maryland. The Dyes’ love of track and field evolved into their website, DyeStat.com.
DyeStat, described as ‘The Internet Home of High School Track & Field,’ provides content that includes meet results, human interest stories, calendars, numerous amounts of photos, and much more.
“A lot of the time, kids will get more publicity on DyeStat than they do in their local paper,” says John.
After developing the website and earning a nationwide following, DyeStat was eventually purchased by StudentSports.com, which was then sold to ESPN in July 2008 to be part of the network’s new RISE program serving all high school sports. (ESPN RISE is a high school sports magazine published monthly during the school year in 25 markets around the United States.)
“Donna and I are surprised and delighted to be honored by Simplot Games as the third recipients of the Spirit of the Games award,” says John. “The Simplot Games are our favorite Games to go to. They run their meets so well. They are so professional.”
Says Rebecca Anderson, Simplot Games Executive Director: “The Dyes’ continued service to the Simplot Games has made them an important aspect to anyone who has been a part of the Simplot Games in the past.
“With their upbeat mentality, their love of the Games has become evident in their many years of service they have provided, making them the perfect recipients of the Spirit of the Games award.”
More than 1,800 athletes came from across the U.S. and Canada to participate in the 33rd annual Simplot Games. Simplot Games remains the nation’s premier high school indoor track and field event. Sponsored by the J.R. Simplot Company since 1979, the Simplot Games are held at Idaho State University’s Holt Arena in Pocatello, Idaho.
Written by: Jodi Merrigan, (208) 339-4076
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