Cody Shirreffs gets letter from CIF-CS president elect

In this day and age, athletes and teams get recognized for titles and for their play during the game not so much for their actions when the game is over. A different scene unfolded following last Friday’s championship game when Taft football player Cody Shirreffs was recognized for his actions after the game.

After the Wildcats had lost to the Vikings for the second year in a row by a score of 47-16, Shirreffs accepted the runners up plaque. Instead of returning to his teammates, Shirreffs went over to the Kingsburg players to shake their hands. By doing so, CIF-CS President elect Marci Cranford wrote a letter commending Shirreffs on his actions.

The following is the letter that Cranford wrote:

I attended the CIF Central Section Division 4 Football Finals on Friday, December 11th played in Kingsburg, California.  The teams playing were the #1 seeded Kingsburg High Vikings vs. #3 Taft High Wildcats.  The Wildcats were down 34-0 at halftime.  Into the 3rd quarter, it was 41-0.  With the rain continuing to fall, the Wildcats NEVER gave up!  They battled to put 16 points on the scoreboard.

So, with that background information let me get to the purpose of all of this.  I, as a California Interscholastic Federation Central Section representative, along with Ron Hirschler, a Farmers agent and Kingsburg High Principal, Randy Morris, were presenting the plaques to the runner up and winning teams.  We waited until the teams shook hands. Even though the score was not very close the Wildcats and Vikings both were respectful in their meeting at mid-field.

Our plaque presentation was to the runner up Taft Wildcats first.  Accepting the award for the Wildcats was Senior running back, Cody Sherriffs. Sherriffs came into the contest as the 2nd leading rusher in the Central Section.  The Kingsburg defense did everything to stop him.  

Upon his acceptance of the runner up plaque, he shook all of our hands.  Instead of walking back to his sidelines, like some do, he chose to proceed over to the Kingsburg Viking players and shake as many hands as he could— a true display of “Pursuing Victory with Honor”.
 Even the Principal from Kingsburg High commented, ”WOW! That’s impressive!”   Though his plaque was not the ‘winning’ one  that moment was a display of what a winner truly is in the eyes of CIF,  high school sports, and, more importantly,  in life.

Whomever made the decision to choose this young man to represent his team, coaches, teachers, school, and community, selected wisely.  Those that have contributed to the upbringing of this fine person are sure to be proud.

Unfortunately, not everyone gets the opportunity to see young people displaying these types of behavior.  Too often, we use only the “MIS”- behaviors of a few and dwell on those.   I just wanted to take this opportune moment to let you know that I have a young son. My hope is, that one day, even in defeat, he, too, would be able to display that same “winning” attitude…whether anyone was watching, or not. 


Marci Cranford

CIFCS President elect

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