The Kansas State High School Activities Association has announced it is honoring Justin James Volkman from Chapman High School with 2013 “KSHSAA Spirit of Sport Award.” This award recognizes the values inherent in high school sports beyond winning and losing. KSHSAA Executive Director Gary Musselman invited all member high schools of the Association to submit the name of an individual, coach, or team demonstrating such qualities. Justin James Volkmann was selected from ten outstanding nominations submitted by KSHSAA member senior high schools.
Ten Kansas high schools submitted nominations. Other nominees included: Eskridge-Mission Valley High School student Jonathan Higginbottom, Goessel Jr/Sr High School teacher and coach Crysta Kaye Guhr, Fowler High School student Joel Andrew Milford, Olathe-Northwest High School student Cassie Chunyan Wang, Shawnee Mission-North student Dallas C. Carr, Ulysses High School student Jacob Tanner Smith, Leavenworth High School student Elijah Lawrence Keppier, St James Academy parent, Shelley Lewis, St. James Academy senior volleyball player Emily Tripp and the St. James Academy Volleyball Team, Assistant Volleyball Coach Linda Ernst and the Bishop Meige Volleyball Team, St. Thomas Aquinas parent Sherill Tokie and the St. Thomas Aquinas Volleyball Team and Wallace County High School student Ashil Kate Dinkel.
The KSHSAA Student Advisory Team assisted in the selection of the state of Kansas honoree. As the state honorees, Justin James Volkman will receive a plaque to be displayed at his school. The presentation of the plaques will take place at a KSHSAA contest or local event that is yet to be determined. Chapman High School’s winning nomination of Justin James Volkman has submitted for consideration by the National Federation of State High School Associations. The National Federation initiated the “NFHS Spirit of Sport Award” back in 2008. The NFHS will announce a national honoree at its annual summer meeting in early July.
In the spring of 2011, as a 16-year old sophomore at Chapman High School, Justin was involved in many activities like any other normal teenager. Justin was out for track and began to feel pain in his right leg that continued to get worse. An X-Ray and MRI showed a mass on the backside of his right femur. Justin was diagnosed with Periosteal Chondroblastic Osteosarcoma, a rare pediatric bone cancer. A total of 35 weeks were dedicated to this treatment which included 18 chemotherapy treatments, 4 fever admits, 3 surgeries and 5 blood transfusions. He spent 99 days in the hospital and has had 2 more surgeries. Today, Justin continues to give himself a weekly injection that helps boost his immune system. He is winning the fight, and he continues winning each day.
He is Cancer Free and looks forward to the day when he will be called, “cured.” Justin, now a senior, serves as captain on the football team, leader of the basketball student cheering section, part of Select Ensemble singing group, National Honor Society, High Y, and other activities at Chapman High School.
“Kansas was the first state high school association in the nation to develop a state Spirit of Sport Award for the express purpose of recognizing outstanding acts of character, leadership and demonstrating the true spirit of sport in educational athletics, said Executive Director, Gary Musselman. “We believe it is important to focus attention on the many positive acts which occur in our programs every year. Without question, Every Kansas high school has students and faculty who demonstrate the true spirit of amateur sports on a daily basis. Bringing recognition to Justin James Volkman from Chapman High School is in keeping with the mission of the KSHSAA.”