Scholarship Recipients Announced
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Feb. 3 - The Michigan High School Athletic Association's Scholar-Athlete Award program has selected its nine scholarship recipients for the 2003 fall sports season.
Farm Bureau Insurance, in its 15th year of sponsoring the award, will give a $1,000 college scholarship to each of the nine fall sports winners, the first of 27 total scholarships to be presented, one for each sport in which the MHSAA sponsors a postseason tournament.
Each of the scholarship recipients will be honored at halftime ceremonies of the Class C Boys Basketball final game at the Breslin Student Events Center in East Lansing on March 27. Commemorative medals will be given to other finalists in recognition of their accomplishments.
The Scholar-Athlete Award honorees for the 2003 fall sports season are: Marie Brenner, Grand Rapids Catholic Central, girls basketball; Ben Smith, Athens, boys cross country; Angela Gaudette, Kingsford, girls cross country; Kyle James Haskell, Charlotte, football; Jake Tornga, Hudsonville, boys golf; Ryan Anderson, Grand Rapids Northview, boys soccer; Rebecca Sornson, Brighton, and Magda Stawikowska, Livonia Churchill, girls swimming & diving; Eleanor Ford, Ann Arbor Greenhills, girls tennis.
Overviews of the scholarship recipients of the fall Scholar-Athlete Award follow. A quote from each recipient's essay is also included:
Essay Quote - “Athletic skill will never match the impression that good sportsmanship can leave on a crowd, a team, or even a person. Good sportsmanship is different for each athlete ranging from not cheating on a golf score card to not trash talking or not taking a cheap shot on the football field.”
Boys Cross Country – Ben Smith, Athens. Awarded four varsity letters in both cross country and track and two in basketball…four-time MVP of cross country team…captain of cross country team senior year…three-time cross country all-conference selection…cross country MHSAA Lower Peninsula Finals qualifier three years…academic All-State in cross country…All-State senior year in cross country…received the Most Dedicated Award for basketball junior year…captain and MVP of track team junior year…all-conference in track junior year…Student Council representative three years…President of Class senior year…four-year Quiz Bowl participant…member of Spanish Club and Boys Varsity Club senior year…volunteered as a mentor at a local day care center senior year…will attend Western Michigan University to study mathematics.
Essay Quote - “Sportsmanship is competing with grace and dignity for your school, for your community, and most importantly for yourself. It is being a good loser and a gracious winner. It is playing fair and following the rules even when no one is watching. Sportsmanship is doing what is right.”
Girls Cross Country – Angela Gaudette, Kingsford. Lettered four years in cross country and track and one year in swimming…cross country Rookie of the Year in 2000…All-State, all-Upper Peninsula, and academic all-state selection for cross country...MVP of cross country team…cross country Dream Team in 2002…captain of cross country team…Historian and Vice President of Drama…Class Representative for Band…four-year member of marching, concert and pep bands…Section and Squad Leader for band in 2003…participated in Forensics and Drama four years…active member of two local 4-H Teen Clubs…volunteer, lector and altar server at church…will attend Grand Valley State University with plans to study either mass communication or pre-law.
Essay Quote - “More now than ever I realize what an impact good sportsmanship has on a person's life. My small, simple offer of admiration from weeks earlier had a very positive outcome in the end. Given and received honestly, the effects of good sportsmanship may change the way we play the game, as well as the way we live our lives.”
Football – Kyle James Haskell, Charlotte. Awarded three varsity letters in track and two in football…two-time academic all-league in football…first team all-area and first team all-conference selection in football…honorable mention All-State in football…captain of football team…member of National Honor Society two years…a one-year member of Rotary Club…awarded Junior Rotarian of the Month…volunteered for three years at an Elementary Reading and Tutoring Program…Junior Oriole volunteer for four years…a three-year Sunday School teacher...will attend Michigan State University with plans to study education.
Essay Quote - “He gives a glare and points at me. I give a smug look in return. I think to myself, how can someone so mean and intense, still have the decency to pick an opponent up off the ground. He has been taught sportsmanship. This allows all the players around him to enjoy the game and the competitiveness of it. I snap the ball and dart off the right end, expecting to score a touchdown, but knowing that if I am stopped short, I will be helped up. It's simple. It's needed. It's sportsmanship.”
Boys Golf – Jake Tornga, Hudsonville. Earned four varsity letters in golf…all-conference and academic all-state as a senior…team captain senior year…Michigan Youth in Government Delegation Leader for three years...Student School Board Representative for National Honor Society junior and senior year…participated in Quiz Bowl competitions…three-year member of the Debate/Forensics Team…four years of volunteer work with God's Kitchen and the elderly…worked with learning and developmentally impaired students at Hudsonville High School…will attend Michigan State University with aspirations of a career in political science and law.
Essay Quote - “Golf provided the opportunity to learn to act in a respectful manner to others, and to see that representing one's school is as important in competition as the score. These actions are what true sportsmanship is all about, and they have carried on into the rest of my life.”
Boys Soccer – Ryan Anderson, Grand Rapids Northview. Lettered three times in soccer and two times in both football and baseball…captain of soccer team junior and senior year…all-conference selection for soccer in 2003… academic all-district, academic all-region and academic all-state for baseball…awarded Defensive Player of the Year by the baseball team…Class President of Student Council three years…member of Students Against Destructive Decisions senior year…recipient of the Meijer Dignity and Respect Award…yearbook editor two years…editor of school newspaper one year…volunteered for a local outreach program called Campus Life four years…youth sports referee…volunteered at youth sports clinics and the church nursery…will attend either Cornerstone University or Taylor University with plans to study sport management.
Essay Quote - “The value of good sportsmanship is immeasurable in every sport. In my experience as an athlete, I have received no greater reward than the satisfaction and fulfillment that comes from upholding personal integrity and sportsmanship. For me, it has been the pinnacle of my interscholastic experience.”
Girls Swimming & Diving (co-recipient) – Rebecca Sornson, Brighton. Four-year varsity letter winner in swimming…all-conference and all-county selection four years…MHSAA Lower Peninsula finals qualifier three years…MHSAA finalist two years…All-State senior year…captain of team senior year…Bible study leader…member of Chamber Choir one year…involved in the high school production of the musical “Oklahoma”…four-year member of church prayer group, church choir and youth group…received the Youth Health, Hope, and Healing award from Wheatridge Ministries…piano teacher…will attend Kalamazoo College or the College of Wooster to study education.
Essay Quote - “Sportsmanship recognizes the good fortune that we have to be able to compete in school sports with great energy and dedication. It recognizes the value of an opponent, and gives honor to competition. It's the stuff of life: living fully, taking chances, losing, winning, trying with all your might, valuing friendship, and reaching out.”
Girls Swimming & Diving (co-recipient) – Magda Stawikowska, Livonia Churchill. Lettered four years in swimming…Most Valuable Swimmer in 2002…captain of team senior year…four-year member of Diversity Club…President of Diversity Club junior year…co-founder of Success Strategies Group...member of Yes I Can Club…two-year member of the National Honor Society…member of the Spanish Club two years…participated in the Livonia PTA Council Youth Making a Difference Program…tutored three years…three-year volunteer swim coach at the Special Olympics…plans to attend the University of Southern California to study biology and eventually pursue graduate studies in genetics.
Essay Quote – “Many of the lessons that students learn through their participation in educational athletics are definitely things that will help them succeed later on in their lives. Although not everybody can be an Olympian or a World Record Holder, everybody will benefit from things enforced by good sportsmanship such as teamwork and respect that are taught by being on an educational sports team.”
Girls Tennis – Eleanor Ford, Ann Arbor Greenhills. Lettered four years in both tennis and soccer and three years in volleyball… captain of all three teams…tennis All-State senior year at Number One singles…named MVP of tennis team…Defensive Player of the Year for volleyball junior year…all-district in soccer…served on the Student Affairs Committee as a member of the student council senior year…Co-Editor-in-Chief of the yearbook for three years…volunteered for the Community Service Board at Greenhills for two years and the Tau Beta Association for three years…currently undecided on a choice of college and major.
Essay Quote - “The lack of sportsmanship that I have witnessed on teams other than my own has proven that to focus on winning at all costs is often detrimental. I generally consider myself goal-oriented; however, through sports I have realized that the process to accomplishing those goals is much more important than the final result.”
Students applying for the Scholar-Athlete Award must be carrying at least a 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale) grade-point average, and have previously won a letter in a varsity sport in which the Michigan High School Athletic Association sponsors a postseason tournament. Other requirements for the applicants were to show active participation in other school and community activities and produce an essay on the importance of sportsmanship in educational athletics.
Winter sport scholarship recipients will be announced on Feb. 10, and spring sports honorees will be announced on Feb. 17.
The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by over 1,200 public and private senior high schools and junior high/middle schools which exists to develop common rules for athletic eligibility and competition. No government funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which was the first such association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament entry fees from schools. Member schools which enforce these rules are permitted to participate in MHSAA tournaments, which attract approximately 1.6 million spectators each year.
MEDIA ADVISORY -- A complete list of scholarship nominees and finalists for the Scholar-Athlete Award can be found on the Services page MHSAA Web Site. Information about scholarship recipients will be posted on the MHSAA Web Site according to the schedule listed in this release, and media in the markets of the scholarship recipients will be notified by fax the day before the public announcement. For more information about Farm Bureau Insurance, contact Luke Schafer, Public Relations Manager, at 517.323.7000. You can download the MHSAA's Scholar-Athlete Award logo from the MHSAA Web Site – click on Forms & Graphics off the home page.