2021 Scholar-Athlete Finalists Announced

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor

January 19, 2021

The 120 finalists for the Michigan High School Athletic Association's Scholar-Athlete Awards for the 2020-21 school year, presented by Farm Bureau Insurance, have been announced.

The program, in its 32nd year, 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, 832 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. Traverse City Central has four finalists this year while Hillsdale Academy has three. Fifteen schools each have two finalists: Adrian Lenawee Christian, Ann Arbor Greenhills, Bad Axe, Clare, Dollar Bay, Grand Haven, Grosse Pointe North, Grosse Pointe South, Holland West Ottawa, Lapeer, Leland, Montague, Mount Pleasant, Newaygo and Pontiac Notre Dame Prep.

Multiple-sport participation remains the norm among applicants. The average sport participation rate of the finalists is 2.858. There are 74 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 418 schools which submitted applicants, 12 submitted the maximum allowed. This year, 1,356 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 MHSAA Website.

The applications were judged by a 72-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. 9, Class B scholarship recipients will be announced Feb. 16 and Class A scholarship recipients will be announced Feb. 23. All announcements will be made on the MHSAA Website.

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 1,500 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. 

2020-21 Scholar-Athlete Award Finalists

Sadie Freisthler, Ann Arbor Pioneer
Laura O'Brien, Ann Arbor Skyline
Audrey DaDamio, Birmingham Seaholm
Samantha Yamin, Bloomfield Hills
Emily Song, Canton
Sadie Gerlach, Dearborn Edsel Ford
Tatiana Mason, Grand Ledge
Catelyn Gagnier, Grosse Pointe North
Madeline Kohler, Grosse Pointe North
Alexa Downey, Grosse Pointe South
Kennedy Dumas, Holland West Ottawa
Alyssa M. Karner, Holland West Ottawa
Michaela Castle, Ionia
Jane C. Heystek, Kalamazoo Loy Norrix
Charity Dundas, Lapeer
Emma Muir, Lapeer
Addison Bruwer, Lowell
Grace Ann Whipple, Mason
Iris Hwang, Mount Pleasant
Zoe Ziegler, Okemos
Sarah Liederbach, Petoskey
Megan Lorenzo, Rochester
Regina Duerst, Saline
Katherine Potter, South Lyon

Michael Kim, Ann Arbor Huron
Charles Frank, Dearborn
Matthew Kozma, Detroit Catholic Central
Lawrence Gilliam, Detroit U-D Jesuit
Grant Uyl, DeWitt
Thomas MacDonald, Grand Haven
Michael MacDonald, Grand Haven
Jacob Harris, Grosse Pointe South
Kyle Hamlin, Hartland
Kameron Karp, Marquette
Chase R Mahabir, Midland
Caleb Qiu, Midland Dow
Daniel Forsythe, Mount Pleasant
Alex Mooney, Orchard Lake St. Mary's
Aidan Eichman, Portage Central
Jack Eiden, Portage Northern
Liam Smith, Rockford
Troy Pratley, St. Joseph
Brendan Evert, Sterling Heights
Ryan Royston, Traverse City Central
Drew Seabase, Traverse City Central
Ethan Vander Roest, Traverse City Central
Maxwell Werner, Traverse City Central
Jonathan Holland, Walled Lake Western

Katie DeVlaminck, Buchanan
London Eldridge, Central Montcalm
Andrea Kowalski, Chelsea
Riley Schroeder, Clare
Bailey Taylor, Clare
Caitlin Mullen, Grand Rapids Catholic Central
Katelyn Moore, Grayling
Jordyn Disbrow, Kalkaska
Katie Acker, Lake Odessa Lakewood
Allison R. Hall, Montague
Kendall Mathis, Newaygo
Elena Schwegman, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep
Rachel Joslyn, Saginaw Swan Valley
Haleigh Knowles, Sault Ste. Marie
Illyanna Marie Taylor, Three Rivers
Anna Gerardy, Yale

Dillon Dennison, Alma
Dhilan Nagaraju, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood
Ryan Tang, Detroit Country Day
Ryan Atkinson, Dundee
Brock Holek, Durand
Jackson Hoover, Edwardsburg
Wilson Bragg, Gladwin
Stuart Hamilton, Lansing Catholic
Drew Collins, Montague
Hudson Alexander Harkness, Newaygo
Cade M. Vota, Niles
Ian Burke, Ortonville Brandon
Nickolai J. Emde, Plainwell
Cole Bennett, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep
Jack Parker, Spring Lake
Zachary Huitema, Tawas

Makayla Harris, Ann Arbor Greenhills
Avery McNally, Bloomfield Hills Academy of the Sacred Heart
Meagan Lasky, Bronson
Hannah Penfold, Elkton-Pigeon-Bay Port Laker
Reese Martin, Grosse Pointe Woods University Liggett
Elizabeth M. Williams, Ishpeming Westwood
Kenzie Bowers, Kent City
Grace Graham, Laingsburg
Mahrle Siddall, Maple City Glen Lake
Hope Johnson, North Muskegon
Sophia Rayes, Oscoda
Grace Kalb, Petersburg Summerfield

Jameson Chesser, Adrian Lenawee Christian
Brennan Griffith, Adrian Lenawee Christian
Zachary Stephenson, Alcona
Finn Feldeisen, Ann Arbor Greenhills
Nicholas Errer, Bad Axe
Micah Gordon, Bad Axe
Braxton Lamey, Ithaca
Trayton Wenzlaff, Kingston
Caden Kienitz, Munising
Drew Kohlmann, New Lothrop
Jeffrey Vanholla, Norway
David Jahnke, Saginaw Valley Lutheran

Aubrie Sparks, Boyne Falls
Molly Myllyoja, Dollar Bay
Elise Besonen, Ewen-Trout Creek
Kiera Welden, Hillsdale Academy
Mollie Zaleski, Kinde North Huron
Olivia Lowe, Leland
Sophia Stowe, Northport
Josephine Gusa, Ubly

Jacob M. Werner, Bay City All Saints
Connor LeClaire, Dollar Bay
Jack Kaplan, Dryden
Jäeger Griswold, Ellsworth
Quincy Thayer, Frankfort
Christian Gossage, Hillsdale Academy
Nicholas Treloar, Hillsdale Academy
Wyatt Sirrine, Leland

Performance of the Week: Macomb Dakota's Gracie Maloney

May 12, 2023

Gracie MaloneyGracie Maloney ♦ Macomb Dakota
Junior ♦ Softball

Maloney struck out 21 batters – for every one of her team’s outs – in Dakota’s 9-1 victory over Grosse Pointe North on May 1. She gave up only two hits and also hit a home run for the Cougars, who are ranked No. 1 in Division 1 in the latest state coaches association poll. Maloney is one of only 13 pitchers in state softball history to strike out 21 or more hitters during a seven-inning game.

Also a third baseman, Maloney started last season’s Division 1 Final at that position and threw an inning of relief as well as Dakota finished runner-up to Allen Park. She also plays basketball, and has committed to sign to play softball at University of North Texas. She’s considering studying sports management there as she aspires to become a college softball coach.

@mhsaasports 🥎 POW: Gracie Maloney #softball #strikeout #strike #performanceoftheweek #homerun #dakota #macombdakota #cougars #MHSAA #highschoolsports #tiktalk #interview #TikTok#mistudentaid #fyp @gracie ♬ Beat Automotivo Tan Tan Tan Viral - WZ Beat

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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.

2022-23 Honorees

May 4: Braxton Brann, Ann Arbor Huron track & field - Report
April 27:
Owen Patton, Vestaburg track & field - Report
April 20:
Lilly Damm, Millington softball - Report
April 13:
Larissa Huffman, Mackinaw City track & field - Report
April 6:
Darius Acuff, Detroit Cass Tech basketball - Report
March 23:
Regan Finkbeiner, Hemlock basketball - Report
March 16:
Alaina Yaney, Grand Ledge gymnastics - Report
March 9:
Braeden Davis, Dundee wrestling - Report
March 2:
Gabriel Sanchez-Burks, Ann Arbor Pioneer swimming - Report
Feb. 23:
Grace Sobczak, Marquette swimming - Report
Feb. 16:
Kaitlynn Demers, Gibraltar Carlson competitive cheer - Report
Feb. 9:
Indya Davis, West Bloomfield basketball - Report
Feb. 2:
Braydon Sorenson, Onekama skiing - Report
Jan. 26:
Shayna Hruska, Iron Mountain wrestling - Report
Jan. 19:
Kayla Tafanelli, Warren Woods-Tower bowling - Report
Dec. 20:
Brenden Paden, Riverview Gabriel Richard hockey - Report
Dec. 16:
Tuff Scott, Holton bowling - Report
Dec. 9:
Macey Fegan, Standish-Sterling basketball - Report
Dec. 2:
Treyton Siegert, Gladwin football - Report
Nov. 24:
Lily Witte, Dexter diving - Report
Nov. 17:
Navea Gauthier, Shelby volleyball - Report
Nov. 10:
Derek Huisman, Holland Christian soccer - Report
Nov. 3:
Thomas Westphal, New Baltimore Anchor Bay cross country - Report
Oct. 27:
Justin Wickey, Colon football - Report
Oct. 20:
Owen DeMuth, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood tennis - Report
Oct. 13:
Mia Melendez, Ann Arbor Greenhills golf - Report
Oct. 6:
Shawn Foster, Grand Ledge football - Report
Sept. 30:
Hannah Smith, Temperance Bedford swimming - Report
Sept. 22:
Helen Sachs, Holland West Ottawa cross country - Report
Sept. 15:
Nina Horning, Lake Orion volleyball - Report
Sept 8:
Arturo Romero, Muskegon Oakridge soccer - Report
Sept. 1:
Austin King, Midland Dow tennis - Report
Aug. 25:
Olivia Hemmila, Troy Athens golf - Report

PHOTOS courtesy of the Maloney family.