2017 Scholar-Athlete Finalists Announced

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor

January 20, 2017

The 120 finalists for the Michigan High School Athletic Association's Scholar-Athlete Awards for the 2016-17 school year, presented by Farm Bureau Insurance, have been announced.

The program, celebrating its 28th anniversary, has recognized student-athletes since the 1989-90 school year and again this winter will honor 32 individuals from MHSAA member schools who participate in at least one sport in which the Association sponsors a postseason tournament.

Farm Bureau Insurance underwrites the Scholar-Athlete Awards and will present a $1,000 scholarship to each recipient. Since the beginning of the program, 704 scholarships have been awarded.

Scholarships will be presented proportionately by school classification, with 12 scholarships to be awarded to Class A student-athletes, six female and six male; eight scholarships will be awarded to Class B student-athletes, four female and four male; six scholarships will be awarded to Class C student-athletes, three female and three male; and four scholarships will be awarded to Class D student-athletes, two female and two male. In addition, two scholarships will be awarded at-large to minority recipients, regardless of school size.

Every MHSAA member high school could submit as many applications as there are scholarships available in its classification, and could have more than one finalist. New Boston Huron has three finalists this year. Seventeen schools each have two finalists: Blissfield, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood, Coldwater, Dearborn Divine Child, Detroit Catholic Central, Edwardsburg, Gladwin, Greenville, Ishpeming, Kalamazoo Hackett Catholic Prep, Midland Dow, Pewamo-Westphalia, Saline, Sault Ste. Marie, Sturgis, Watervliet and Yale.

Multiple-sport participation remains the norm among applicants. The average sport participation rate of the finalists is 2.63, while the average of the application pool was 2.18. There are 72 three-plus sport participants in the finalists field, and all but one of the 28 sports in which the MHSAA sponsors postseason tournaments are represented.

Of 409 schools which submitted applicants, 52 submitted the maximum allowed. This year, 1,515 applications were received. All applicants will be presented with certificates commemorating their achievement. Additional Scholar-Athlete information, including a complete list of scholarship nominees, can be found on the Scholar-Athlete page of the MHSAA Website.

The applications were judged by a 70-member committee of school coaches, counselors, faculty members, administrators and board members from MHSAA member schools. Selection of the 32 scholarship recipients will take place in early February. Class C and D scholarship recipients will be announced Feb. 7, Class B scholarship recipients will be announced Feb. 14 and Class A scholarship recipients will be announced Feb. 21. All announcements will be made on the MHSAA Website.

To honor the 32 Scholar-Athlete Award recipients, a ceremony will take place during halftime of the Class C Boys Basketball Final, March 25, at the Breslin Student Events Center in East Lansing.

To be eligible for the award, students must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.50 (on a 4.0 scale) and previously have won a varsity letter in at least one sport in which the MHSAA sponsors a postseason tournament. Students also were asked to respond to a series of short essay questions, submit two letters of recommendation and a 500-word essay on the importance of sportsmanship in educational athletics.

Farm Bureau Insurance of Michigan was founded in 1949 by Michigan farmers who wanted an insurance company that worked as hard as they did. Those values still guide the company today and are a big reason why it is known as Michigan’s Insurance Company, dedicated to protecting the farms, families, and businesses of this great state. Farm Bureau Insurance agents across Michigan provide a full range of insurance services—life, home, auto, farm, business, retirement, Lake Estate®, and more—protecting nearly 500,000 Michigan policyholders.

The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by more than 1,400 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 more than 1.4 million spectators each year.

2016-17 Scholar-Athlete Award Finalists


Trevor Roznowski, Alpena
Jordan George-Nwogu, Ann Arbor Pioneer
Nathan Jones, Battle Creek Lakeview
Jonah Kamoo, Birmingham Groves
Ben Williams, Birmingham Seaholm
Andrew R Twiford, Byron Center
Eric Bach, Coldwater
Kameron Miller, Coldwater
CJ Baird, Detroit Catholic Central
Jackson Ross, Detroit Catholic Central
Justin Beemer, Fenton
Steven Stine, Fraser
Dominic LaJoie, Gaylord
Drew VanAndel, Grand Haven
Michael Gumbko, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern
Connor K Fischer, Grandville
Michael Visscher, Holland
Tyler Opdycke, Livonia Churchill
Varun R Shanker, Midland Dow
Gary R O'Brien III, Riverview
Aidan Carichner, Saline
Connor Bryant Meehan, Saline
Matthew J Polzin, Sturgis
Andrew Long, White Lake Lakeland 


Kaitlyn Coons, Cedar Springs
Lindsay Duca, East Grand Rapids
Sarah Kurpiers, Farmington Hills Mercy
Jocelyn Prinz, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central
Paige Hallock, Greenville
Landon Kemp, Greenville
Amber Nicole Manitowabi-Huebner, Marquette
Alex Wilkinson, Middleville Thornapple Kellogg
Caroline Szabo, Midland Dow
Jordan Walker, Muskegon Mona Shores
Emma Streveler, New Baltimore Anchor Bay
Alexa Scroggie, New Boston Huron
Elizabeth Stockert, New Boston Huron
Allissa Wight, New Boston Huron
Katelyn Jones, Owosso
Jalynn Byers, Petoskey
Mackenzie Carano, Pinckney
Sydney Asuncion, Rochester
Allyson Faulkner, Rockford
Harmony Groves, Sturgis
Maggie Dutmers, Traverse City Central
Hunter Kehoe, Traverse City West
Nikki Sorgi, Utica Ford
Aubrey Fetzer, Warren Cousino 


Brayden Huddleston, Benzie Central
Tait Morrissey, Big Rapids
Michael Bian, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood
Michael J Gussert, Cadillac
Christopher A Roush, Chelsea
Collin Lieber, Croswell-Lexington
Evan Latham, Dearborn Divine Child
Adam Kozinski, Edwardsburg
Patrick Johns, Marine City
Richard Dominick Reo III, Paw Paw
Brendan Gered Fraser, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep
Ryley Alaspa, Sault Ste. Marie
Ryan Sanderson, Sault Ste. Marie
Josef Hissom, Spring Lake
Andrew D Marten, Tecumseh
Cade Smeznik, Yale 


Emma Nowak, Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard
Michel Faliski, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood
Jasmine Harper, Clare
Madeline Filiatraut, Dearborn Divine Child
Sasha Hartje, Detroit Country Day
Noelle Kraus, Edwardsburg
Peyton Rellinger, Gladwin
Lindsey Shearer, Gladwin
Erika Freyhof, Hamilton
Morgan Colling, Houghton
Haley Heldt, Midland Bullock Creek
Megan Aalberts, Otsego
Raechel K McKiernan, Richmond
Kylie Hutchinson, Shepherd
Kim Anh Nguyen, Wyoming Kelloggsville
Gabrielle Smith, Yale 


Clark Brady, Bad Axe
Spencer Fisher, Blissfield
Jonathan Lutchka, Grass Lake
Sam Bailey, Harbor Springs
Ashok Ravindran, Ishpeming
Joe Rigling, Leroy Pine River
Alexander Dixon, Madison Heights Bishop Foley Catholic
Jacob Shoop, Mason County Central
Bryce J Thelen, Pewamo-Westphalia
Nicholas Hammond, Riverview Gabriel Richard
Tyler Brant, Watervliet
Cameron Rendo, Watervliet 


Kelsey Wyman, Blissfield
Madeline Wu, Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett
Khora Swanson, Ishpeming
Hope Baldwin, Kalamazoo Hackett Catholic Prep
Quinn Epkey, Kalamazoo Hackett Catholic Prep
Keilene Renae Elmer, Lincoln Alcona
Bailey Downs, Munising
Maysa Sitar, Newberry
Mary Hoopes, North Muskegon
Brenna Wirth, Pewamo-Westphalia
Sidney Linck, Ravenna
Madison Bryce, St. Charles 


Jacob Single, Adrian Lenawee Christian
Jacob Martin, Athens
Richard Steffan, Auburn Hills Oakland Christian
Elijah Newton, Central Lake
Jace Feldpausch, Fowler
Brian A Price, Mio
Nicholas Morgenstern, Muskegon Catholic Central
Seth Polfus, Powers North Central 


Rachel Hiveley, Au Gres-Sims
Allyson Richards, Fruitport Calvary Christian
Alexa Destrampe, Lake Linden-Hubbell
Jade Sibley, Marcellus
Mary Leighton, Mendon
Alexis McConnell, Mt. Pleasant Sacred Heart
Grace Alvesteffer, Pentwater
Rhiley Hubert, Rapid River

Performance of the Week: Lake City's MacKenzie Bisballe

September 28, 2023

MacKenzie BisballeMacKenzie Bisballe ♦ Lake City
Senior ♦ Volleyball

Bisballe led Lake City to a key Highland Conference sweep of Manton with 13 kills, 12 assists and 16 digs, and added 40 kills, 57 assists, 43 digs and 12 blocks as Lake City finished last week with a 5-0 run through the Kalkaska Invitational. Lake City is ranked No. 7 in Division 3 this week, and Manton had received an honorable mention in the state coaches poll at the time of their match.

The 6-foot-1 standout made the Division 3 all-state second team last season and has helped Lake City to a 26-5-2 start teaming up in part with senior cousin Alison Bisballe, as the duo share setting and middle responsibilities. Both are likely known even more for basketball; MacKenzie made the Division 3 all-state team in that sport last season as Lake City girls hoops finished 24-2. She’ll continue her basketball career next year at Grand Valley State, where she’ll play with older sister Rylie Bisballe, a redshirt junior for the Lakers, and cousin Macy Bisballe, a redshirt sophomore.

@mhsaasports 🏐POW: Kenzie Bisballe #volleyball #setter #middle #letsgo #lakecity #part1 #highschoolsports #tiktalk #interview #performanceoftheweek #mistudentaid #fyp #MHSAA ♬ original sound - MHSAA

@mhsaasports 🏐POW: Kenzie Bisballe #tiktalk #questiontime #part2 #jordan #sprite #nerdgummyclusters #family #silkpillowcase #cryingemoji #performanceoftheweek #mistudentaid #fyp #MHSAA ♬ original sound - MHSAA

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MHSAA.com's "Performance of the Week" features are powered by MI Student Aid, a part of the Office of Postsecondary Financial Planning located within the Michigan Department of Treasury. MI Student Aid encourages students to pursue postsecondary education by providing access to student financial resources and information. MI Student Aid administers the state’s 529 college savings programs (MET/MESP), as well as scholarship and grant programs that help make college Accessible, Affordable and Attainable for you. Connect with MI Student Aid at www.michigan.gov/mistudentaid and find more information on Facebook and Twitter @mistudentaid.

Past 2023-24 Honorees

Sept. 22: Jhace Massey, Gladwin football - Report
Sept. 15:
Kaylee Draper, Sturgis swimming - Report
Sept. 8:
Owen Jackson, Traverse City St. Francis tennis - Report
Sept. 1:
Rachel Forsyth, Ann Arbor Pioneer cross country - Report

(Top photo courtesy of the Cadillac News.)