2022 Scholar-Athlete Finalists Announced

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor

January 19, 2022

The 120 finalists for the Michigan High School Athletic Association's Scholar-Athlete Awards for the 2021-22 school year, presented by Farm Bureau Insurance, have been announced.

The program, in its 33rd 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 $2,000 scholarship to each recipient. Since the beginning of the program, 864 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 awarded to Class B student-athletes, four female and four male; six scholarships awarded to Class C student-athletes, three female and three male; and four scholarships 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. Brownstown Woodhaven, Freeland and St. Johns have three finalists this year. Nineteen schools have two finalists: Ann Arbor Pioneer, Detroit Catholic Central, Fenton, Fowler, Frankenmuth, Hillsdale Academy, Holland, Holland West Ottawa, Kingsford, Livonia Churchill, Livonia Franklin, McBain Northern Michigan Christian, Montague, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s, Ortonville Brandon, Rochester Hills Stoney Creek, Saline, Traverse City West and White Lake Lakeland.

Multiple-sport participation remains the norm among applicants. The average sport participation rate of the finalists is 2.91. There are 81 three-plus sport participants in the finalists field, and all but two of the 28 sports in which the MHSAA sponsors postseason tournaments are represented.

Of 407 schools which submitted applicants, 26 submitted the maximum allowed. This year, 1,434 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 58-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. 8, Class B scholarship recipients will be announced Feb. 15 and Class A scholarship recipients will be announced Feb. 22. 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.

2021-22 Scholar-Athlete Award Finalists

Cookie Estelleh Baugh, Ann Arbor Pioneer
Amelia Weyhing, Ann Arbor Pioneer
Piper Barnhart, Brownstown Woodhaven
Sophia Lustig, Brownstown Woodhaven
Madison Hissong, Fraser
Brooke Myers, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern
Ana Todesco, Grosse Pointe North
Sonya Konon, Harrison Township L'Anse Creuse
Greta VanZetten, Holland
Elzien Zomer, Holland
Natalie Blake, Holland West Ottawa
Ella Spooner, Holland West Ottawa
Abigail Lueck, Livonia Churchill
Samantha Provenzano, Livonia Franklin
Erica Molnar, Livonia Stevenson
Laura Leiti, Midland Dow
Alexandria Stacy French, Richland Gull Lake
Ella DeGraw, Rochester Hills Stoney Creek
Kiera Hall, Rochester Hills Stoney Creek
Kate Meinecke, Royal Oak
Alexis Maloney, St. Johns
Sara Schermerhorn, Traverse City West
Hannah DiGiovanni, Troy Athens
Maeve Spicer, White Lake Lakeland

Nathan Pawlowicz, Battle Creek Lakeview
Brady Wright, Birmingham Seaholm
Nathan Jerore, Brownstown Woodhaven
Colin Pearson, Caledonia
Joseph Marano, Dearborn Edsel Ford
Conner Bell, Detroit Catholic Central
Neil Zhu, Detroit Catholic Central
Chase Gibson, Fenton
Nick Temple, Fenton
Ben Taylor, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central
Ross VanBlois, Grandville
Owen Swisher, Livonia Churchill
James Oberman, Livonia Franklin
Colin Koot, Mason
Klay Grant, Muskegon Reeths-Puffer
John Bungart, Orchard Lake St Mary's
Thomas Randall, Orchard Lake St Mary's
William Goelz, Petoskey
Blake Coy, Saline
Amod Talekar, Saline
Kaden Keller, St. Johns
Jake Lasceski, St. Johns
Ethan Tennant, Temperance Bedford
Michael T. Schermerhorn, Traverse City West
Caiden Carlson, White Lake Lakeland

Elise Rose Johnson, Benzie Central
Sydni Mudge, Birch Run
Claire Thomson, Clawson
Faith Breinager, Frankenmuth
Emma Kerkau, Frankenmuth
Sophia Argyle, Freeland
Whitney Farrell, Freeland
Haley Zerlaut, Fremont
Maggie Duba, Grand Rapids West Catholic
Magdalaina Menghini, Kingsford
Claire Meacham, Montague
Mallory Moore, Ortonville Brandon
Paige Thwing, Ortonville Brandon
Alina Stanczak, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep
Ashley Bower, Portland
Rylee Tolson, Stockbridge

Zachary Elmouchi, Ada Forest Hills Eastern
Thomas Hamann, Ann Arbor Father Gabriel Richard
Jeff Ren, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood
Jace DeRosia, Chelsea
Jared Hanson, Escanaba
Liam Anderson, Essexville Garber
Alex Duley, Freeland
Jack Rellinger, Grand Rapids Catholic Central
Curtis Knapp, Jonesville
Michael A. Meneguzzo, Kingsford
Seth Thompson, Manistee
Jerome Korten, Marshall
Cale Coppess, Montague
Bennett Blase Hitzelberger, Richmond
Joseph Hayes, Shelby
Derek Distelrath, St. Clair

Haley Anne Newland, Bad Axe
Karly Smith, Beal City
Isabel Contreras-Spencer, Grass Lake
Gillian Kuehnle, Hartford
Gabrielle Carey, Iron Mountain
Jillian Koski, Ishpeming Westwood
Jordan Fox, Lake City
Isabel Henige, New Lothrop
Trinity Kolka, Sanford Meridian
Anna McPherson, Saranac
Ryann Locke, Springport
Korah Honig, St. Louis

Mert Oral, Ann Arbor Greenhills
Dylan David Reisig, Bridgman
Cole Garrison Stone, Carson City-Crystal
Samuel Peterson, Charlevoix
Ryan Doty, Clinton
Jack Davis, Holland Black River
Jack Hollebeek, Grandville Calvin Christian 
Isaac Backman, Kalamazoo Hackett Catholic Prep
Ty Ruddy, Ottawa Lake Whiteford
Joshua M. Fairbanks, Roscommon
Jonah Cerone, Royal Oak Shrine Catholic
Alex Tanner, Whitmore Lake

Ashton Hord, Felch North Dickinson
Mia Riley, Fowler
Tara Townsend, Frankfort
Alaina Roush, Harbor Springs Harbor Light Christian
Anna Roberts, Hillsdale Academy
Meredith VanDerWeide, Hillsdale Academy
Skylar Wiesen, Leland
Megan Bennett, McBain Northern Michigan Christian

Cole Robinson, Bellaire
Jack Matrella, Bessemer
Brayden M. Steenwyk, Ellsworth
Jacob Rademacher, Fowler
Eli Shoup, Mason County Eastern
Jonas P. Lanser, McBain Northern Michigan Christian
Samuel Paga, Petoskey St. Michael Academy
Ashton McNabb, Three Oaks River Valley

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.