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Pinkerton Receives Spirit Of Sport Award
Despite battling paralyzation of the stomach, the Bonners Ferry student-athlete defied the odds to participate in athletics this year.
Published: 5/30/2019 1:18:51 PM


The Idaho High School Activities Association is pleased to announce the 2019 recipient of the “Spirit of Sport Award”. This year’s winner is Emmaline Pinkerton, a student-athlete from Bonners Ferry High School.

Emmaline Pinkerton just completed her sophomore year at Bonners Ferry High School. She is a three-sport athlete at BFHS as well as being a member of the yearbook staff, National Honor Society and student leadership team. That, in addition to a 4.0 GPA, shows what an exceptional student she is.

However, what makes Emmaline truly remarkable, and this year’s Spirit of Sport recipient, is how she faced what seemed like insurmountable odds only a few years ago.

At the end of her 8th grade year, Emmaline came down with what was thought to be the stomach flu. She lost a tremendous amount of weight and ended up spending a week in the hospital. The doctors performed numerous tests but could not figure out what was wrong with her. For six months, the downward spiral continued. Finally, in December 2017, doctors diagnosed her with gastroparesis, which is a paralyzation of the stomach. This required her to have a feeding tube and prohibited her from going to school full time and doing all the activities she loved.

While Emmaline could have complained and quit, she continued to maintain her positive outlook and stayed active in any way she could. Instead of being a standout on the basketball team, she became the manager. Not one time did she complain, but rather took on the role as supporter and encouraged her team in any way she could. She attended every practice and game that her health would allow. In June 2018, Emmaline traveled to Seattle for a procedure that would finally lead her on the road to recovery.

Emmaline spent the 2018-19 school year working day in, and day out to get back to what she loved – playing sports for Bonners Ferry. She played soccer in the fall and would unplug her feeding tube during practices and games and then plug back in to replenish her system. She worked hard during the basketball season to regain her strength and stamina to a level where she could contribute to her team.

By the time track season rolled around, Emmaline was almost back to her old self - strong, fast and
always smiling.

Emmaline is an inspiration to her teammates, coaches, and fellow students and is a wonderful example of the true “Spirit of Sport”. She will be presented with this award at the IHSAA Hall of Fame banquet held in Boise on July 31st, 2019.

The Spirit of Sport award must be an individual from a high school that is a member of the IHSAA. The recipient must be a current coach or student-athlete involved with the schools’ athletic or activities program. This award seeks to recognize those individuals who exemplify the ideals of the positive spirit of sport that represent the core mission of education-based participation. The award may be given in recognition of a specific act or for an activity of longer duration. It could be given to an individual who has gone beyond the normal everyday expectations of assisting others within the school or community. It could also be given to an individual who has overcome some sort of adversity or challenging circumstances.


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