FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Feb. 13, 2007
Class C & D Scholar-Athlete Award Scholarship Recipients Announced
EAST LANSING , Mich. - Feb. 13 - Ten student-athletes at Class C and D member schools of the Michigan High School Athletic Association have been selected to receive scholarships through its Scholar-Athlete Award program.
Farm Bureau Insurance, in its 18th year of sponsoring the award, will give a $1,000 college scholarship to 32 individuals who represent their member school in at least one sport in which the Association sponsors a post-season tournament. The first 30 scholarships are awarded proportionately by school classification and the number of student-athletes involved in those classes; and there are two at-large honorees which can come from any classification.
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 24. Commemorative medallions will be given to other finalists in recognition of their accomplishments.
The Class C Scholar-Athlete Award honorees are: Hilary Beauchamp, Iron Mountain; Riley S. Ford, Harbor Springs; Ben Halbower, Holton; Allyson J. Karaba, North Muskegon; Daniel L. Olsen, St. Ignace; and Kayla Jo Thompson, Marlette.
The Class D Scholar-Athlete Award scholarship recipients are: Emily Anne Feldhake, Cedarville; Aaron R. Fletcher, Walkerville; Spencer Andrew McFarland, Mackinaw City; and Brenda Sisung, Fowler.
Overviews of the scholarship recipients of the Class C Scholar-Athlete Award follow. A quote from each recipient's essay is also included:
Hilary Beauchamp, Iron Mountain. Earned four letters in track and two in volleyball and basketball. Second team all-conference basketball and volleyball junior and senior years. Awarded Hometown Lumber athlete of the month. Received all-state track award three years. Participated in Tri-Hi-Y and Publications Club for four years. Member of Key Club freshman, sophomore, and junior years. Four-year Varsity Club member, including treasurer senior year. Received Student Volunteer Award Certificate of Excellence . Four-year altar server and Catholic faith formation class. Plans to continue her education at the University of Michigan and study pre-medicine.
Essay Quote - “Sportsmanship teaches students hard work, dedication, and how to accomplish their goals. Good sportsmanship is taught in educational athletics, but it is used in every aspect of life.”
Riley S. Ford, Harbor Springs. Four-year letterwinner in soccer, and two-year letterwinner in tennis. Recipient of coach’s award junior and senior years in soccer. Soccer first team all-district and first team all-league junior and senior years. Voted team captain senior year in soccer. Soccer team was MHSAA District champion his junior year, and conference champion his senior year. Tennis team was conference and MHSAA Regional champion, and was an MHSAA Finals qualifier his junior year. Member of Michigan Youth in Government, Student Council, and First Presbyterian Senior High Youth Group all four years. Volunteers for Red Cross blood drive and mission trips. Currently undecided on choice of school but plans to study English or political science.
Essay Quote – “People ultimately display sportsmanship in their ability to accept what life throws at them and the methods by which they try to overcome their limits. Whether ‘life’ is the other team, the rest of the application pool or simple, natural circumstances, legitimate obstacles deserve to be faced with legitimate tactics.”
Ben Halbower, Holton. Awarded four letters in baseball, three in football, and two in basketball and powerlifting. Voted captain of football, baseball, basketball, and powerlifting teams as a junior and senior. Received first team all-conference, all-district, and all-region in baseball during sophomore and junior years. Football honorable mention and first team all-area as a senior. Academic All-State in baseball junior year and football senior year. National Honor Society member for two years, class vice president junior year and president senior year. Participated in church youth group for two years, and helped organize a school blood drive junior and senior years. Will continue his education at the University of Pennsylvania and study business.
Essay Quote – “Sportsmanship isn’t walking through lines at the end of games to shake your opponents’ hand and saying good luck. It is walking through that line and meaning what you are saying.”
Allyson J. Karaba, North Muskegon. Awarded four letters in basketball and track, and three in volleyball. Basketball all-conference and all-area junior and senior years. Voted captain of the basketball team junior and senior years. Played for MHSAA Class C championship volleyball team in 2006. Received All-State, all-conference, and all-area volleyball honors her sophomore and junior years. Track All-State high jump freshman, sophomore and junior years, All-State hurdles sophomore year. She was also voted junior and senior MVP in track. Student Council member, vice president as a freshman, secretary as a sophomore, and school-wide council treasurer as a senior. Member of the National Honor Society for two years, with treasurer responsibilities senior year. Active with church youth group and church choir. Plans to attend Harvard or Michigan State University and study biology, foreign studies, or education.
Essay Quote – “Sportsmanship is as much about the person as it is the player. One that can handle the stress of sportsmanship in the competitive limelight will easily transfer these lessons learned to the game of life.”
Daniel L. Olsen, St. Ignace. Received three letters in basketball and baseball, and one in football and cross country. Basketball honorable mention all-conference junior year. Second team all-conference in cross country senior year. Presented with Workhorse Award in cross country his senior year. Student government vice president freshman and sophomore years. National Honor Society member junior and senior years. 3.5 Scholar Award and honor roll for four years. Active member of the community with four years of community service, as well as volunteer coach at basketball camps. Plans to attend Michigan Technological University and study pre-medicine or dentistry.
Essay Quote – “The range of values that make up a sportsman are applicable to all areas of life. Ambition, perseverance, determination, responsibility, optimism, respect, fairness, and honesty don’t simply define someone as a sportsman; they define them as a person.”
Kayla Jo Thompson, Marlette. Four-year letterwinner in basketball, volleyball and softball. Basketball rookie of the year as a freshman, defensive player of the year 2003-2005, and 6th woman award in 2005. Earned volleyball second team all-conference as a junior. Awarded rookie of the year in 2004, first team all-district 2005, MVP in 2006, and all-conference dream team in softball. Student Council treasurer freshman, sophomore, junior and senior years. National Honor Society member sophomore year and president junior, and senior years. Volunteer for American Red Cross Blood Drive junior and senior years. Plans on studying business at Saginaw Valley State University.
Essay Quote – “Sportsmanship is the value that enables one to learn that the greatest lessons in life are those that come with defeat. Real winners in sports are those who know how to persevere and to behave with dignity and poise whether they win or lose.”
Other Class C girls finalists for the Scholar-Athlete Award were: Ciera Stevick, Addison; Cecilia Kovach, Gobles; Megan Boddy, Iron Mountain; Jessica Holmes, Leroy Pine River; Jenna Urban, Saginaw Nouvel; Alyse Gonzales, St. Charles; Tori Beattie, St. Louis; Shelby LaBuhn, Ubly; and Katie Rayl, Unionville-Sebewaing.
Other Class C boys finalists for the Scholar-Athlete Award were: Joshua Fracassi, Athens; Trent Herman, Bronson; Jacob Wimmer, Charlevoix; Ryan Klenke, Clare; Wesley Messing, Deckerville; Joseph Holcomb, Homer; William Birch, Kalamazoo Hackett; Matthew Duckett, Niles Brandywine; and Kristopher Marin, Suttons Bay.
Overviews of the scholarship recipients of the Class D Scholar-Athlete Award follow. A quote from each recipient's essay is also included:
Emily Anne Feldhake, Cedarville. Earned four letters in basketball and track, and two in cross country. Received academic All-State. Basketball all-area dream team, first team all-U.P., first team all-conference, and team MVP. Voted team captain her junior and senior years. Received 1,000-career point award in basketball. Three-year participant in Quiz Bowl, and was Quiz Bowl captain. Member of student council and National Honor Society junior and senior years. Active in church youth group, and served as youth group devotion leader. Volunteer for American Red Cross and Puerto Rico mission trips. Undecided on college choice, but plans to major in elementary education.
Essay Quote – “The opportunity to participate in high school sports is a privilege, not a right. When players, coaches, fans, or officials display poor sportsmanship they are abusing this privilege. Beyond that, they are taking away from the true purpose of educational athletics.”
Aaron R. Fletcher, Walkerville. Awarded four letters in baseball, three in basketball and football, and one in golf. Member of the student council and church youth group for four years. National Honor Society and youth advisory council member sophomore, junior, and senior years. Volunteer for Red Cross blood drive and elementary Easter egg hunt. Undecided on which college to attend as well as his area of study.
Essay Quote – “Learning how to show good sportsmanship helps athletes develop their maturity, and teaches them how to lead respectful lifestyles as adults. Sportsmanship in high school sports is a great way to teach valuable, lifelong lessons to young adults”
Spencer Andrew McFarland, Mackinaw City. Received four letters in cross country and two in baseball. Also participated on a house hockey team for four years. Cross country team was MHSAA Regional champion in sophomore, junior and senior years. Voted cross country team captain senior year. All-academic cross country four years, and all-academic baseball two years. Class vice president freshman, sophomore and junior years. National Honor Society member for three years. Member of Straights Area Community Foundation youth board and concert band. Plans to attend the United States Coast Guard Academy and study engineering.
Essay Quote – “Character is sportsmanship. As a leader, conducting yourself with honesty and integrity consistently is integral in earning the respect of your teammates.”
Brenda Sisung, Fowler. Three-year letterwinner in basketball and softball, and two-year letterwinner in volleyball. Most improved player and league honorable mention in basketball in 2005. Honorable mention all-league in softball in 2005, and all-district in 2006. Class representative freshman and senior year. Member of the National Honor Society junior and senior year. Member of renaissance and prom committees and SADD. Active within the community as a 4-H member, church alter server, American Junior Shorthorn Association member and Michigan Junior Shorthorn Association member. Plans to attend Michigan State University and study animal science or agribusiness management.
Essay Quote – “Sportsmanship is more than just how we act and perceive ourselves to other people. It is the atmosphere we create through our own actions. Sportsmanship is a way of life that teaches kids that good sports are winners.”
Other Class D girls finalists for the Scholar-Athlete Award were: Sabrina Graham, Climax-Scotts; Samantha Danbert, Ellsworth; Kayla Horetski, Kinde-North Huron; Cassie Giacobassi, Litchfield; Elizabeth Sikkenga, Muskegon Western Michigan Christian; and Kala Belson, Pittsford.
Other Class D boys finalists for the Scholar-Athlete Award were: Ryan Boden, Adrian Lenawee Christian; Joseph Rexroat, Lake Leelanau St. Mary; Chase Closs, Mackinaw City; David Kilpela, Painesdale-Jeffers; Reggie Kehoe, Pittsford; and Matthew Boersen, Wyoming Tri-unity Christian.
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.
Farm Bureau Insurance, one of Michigan's major insurers, has a statewide force of 350 agents serving more than 380,000 Michigan policyholders. Besides providing life, home auto, farm, business and retirement insurance, the company also sponsors lifesaving, real-time Doppler weather tracking systems in several Michigan communities.
The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by over 1,800 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 by clicking on the Recognition link on the home page of the MHSAA Web Site, and then clicking on Scholar-Athlete Award. 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 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.
AT&T, Farm Bureau Insurance, Henry Ford Health System and MEEMIC Insurance