Four Selected for MHSAA Bush Awards

June 14, 2012

Four athletic administrators who additionally have made significant contributions at the league, state and MHSAA tournament levels – Robin Dilday of Utica, Robert Dowd of Troy, Curt Ellis of Saline and Greg Lattig of Mason – have been named the recipients of the Michigan High School Athletic Association's Allen W. Bush Award for 2012.

Al Bush served as executive director of the MHSAA for 10 years. The award honors individuals for past and continuing service to prep athletics as a coach, administrator, official, trainer, doctor or member of the media. The award was developed to bring recognition to men and women who are giving and serving without a lot of attention. This is the 21st year of the award, with the selections being made by the MHSAA's Representative Council.

Dilday has been a leader not only in his home school district of Utica, but as a voice throughout Macomb Country. A graduate of Utica High School, Dilday has worked in education 38 years and for Utica Community Schools for the last 28, including the past 18 as District Athletic Director.

He’s taken a leadership role in numerous projects starting with the expansion of athletic program offerings and the development of a coaches handbook and student-athlete code of conduct for his schools. He’s also worked at the forefront of efforts to construct gymnasiums, stadiums and other athletic venues, hosted various MHSAA tournaments and served on several MHSAA committees.

Dilday is in his 18th year as president of the Macomb County Athletic Directors Association and also works with the Macomb County Special Olympics and as community fundraising chair for his district’s middle school sports programs. He was named to the Utica High School Hall of Fame in 2011. Dilday earned his bachelor’s degree in radio and television communications from Michigan State, received teaching certification in social studies from Central Michigan University and then his master’s degree in educational leadership from Wayne State University.

“Robin Dilday has provided stable leadership through the changes and challenges high school athletics have faced during his nearly four decades of service,” said John E. “Jack” Roberts, executive director of the MHSAA. “He has experienced high school athletics from a variety of perspectives – athlete, coach and administrator – and worked to provide the best for those in every position. He has done so while managing multiple schools in a large district. We are pleased to honor Robin Dilday with the Bush Award.”

Dowd might be known best in Oakland County for his contributions to lacrosse dating back more than two decades. But as an assistant principal and the athletic director at Troy Athens High School the past 16 years, Dowd also has hosted MHSAA Finals in five sports and a variety of tournaments at the District, Regional and Semifinal levels.

He served as president of the Michigan Scholastic Lacrosse Association from 1990-94 and then as executive director from 1996-2004. Dowd was named the Michigan High School Lacrosse Coaches Association Man of the Year in 2006 and was selected for the MHSLCA Hall of Fame in 2011.

Dowd has served on the MHSAA’s lacrosse committee, as well as those for soccer officials, gymnastics, tennis and hockey. He’s the committee chair for the Oakland Activities Association boys and girls lacrosse committee and previously served as chair of the football and soccer committees. He was named Oakland County Athletic Director of the Year in 2009. Dowd earned his bachelor’s degree in secondary social studies and a master’s in history from the State University of New York at Cortland. He also earned a master’s in K-12 administration from Michigan State University.

“Robert Dowd’s contributions – particularly as a Finals host – have been invaluable to the MHSAA,” Roberts said. “He is a passionate supporter of high school athletics. That is evident in how he is always a reliable source both of input and assistance. All make him a worthy recipient of the Bush Award.”

Ellis served as an athletic administrator in Michigan for 16 years, including the last eight at Novi High School before leaving the district in the fall to become Executive Director of Human Resources for Saline Area Schools. His Novi athletic program was a recipient of the Exemplary Athletic Program Award from the Michigan Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association.

He’s served as a tournament manager for multiple MHSAA ice hockey and soccer Finals over the last decade and for more than 125 District and Regional tournaments since 1997. He’s also served on the ice hockey, volleyball, officials and site selection committees, among others.

Additionally, Ellis has served in various leadership roles statewide. He was president of the Oakland County Athletic Administrators Association in 2002-03 and joined the MIAAA executive board in 2008. He was named OCAAA Athletic Director of the Year in 2007 and MIAAA Region 11 Athletic Director of the Year in 2007, and is a regular speaker at the MIAAA’s Mid-Winter Conference. Ellis earned his bachelor’s degree in organizational communication from Eastern Michigan University and is pursuing his master’s in educational leadership also at EMU.

“Curt Ellis has been a consistent source of leadership and a true advocate of high school athletics,” Roberts said. “He has brought great perspective to those working with him both locally and through the MIAAA, and been of great assistance in his work as an MHSAA tournament host. We’re pleased to honor him with the Bush Award.”

Lattig has served four school districts – Mason, Eaton Rapids, Leslie and Lansing Christian – as a coach or administrator. Also a host of numerous MHSAA tournaments and member of various committees, Lattig twice served as president of the Capital Area Activities Conference and previously was secretary of the Capital Circuit league.

A Certified Master Athletic Administrator, Lattig also has served on various MIAAA committees —including as co-chair of the scholarship committee – and as a regional representative to that body. He has guided the athletic department at Mason the last four years after nine at Eaton Rapids. He coached varsity track at Leslie and middle school basketball at Lansing Christian.

Lattig earned his bachelor’s degree in sports management and communications from the University of Michigan and his master’s in athletic administration from Michigan State University.

“Greg Lattig has provided a significant voice during the evolution of the Capital Area Activities Conference over the last decade, and is a helpful source of input both to the MIAAA and MHSAA,” Roberts said. “His understanding of the complex lives of students and desire to help them achieve are admirable traits that make him an excellent choice for the Bush Award.” 

Finalists Announced for 2022-23 MHSAA-Farm Bureau Insurance Scholar-Athlete Awards

By Geoff Kimmerly senior editor

January 18, 2023

The 120 finalists for the Michigan High School Athletic Association's Scholar-Athlete Awards for the 2022-23 school year, presented by Farm Bureau Insurance, have been announced.

The program, in its 34th 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, 896 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. Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood has four finalists and Kalamazoo Loy Norrix and Midland Dow have three finalists this year. Twelve schools have two finalists: Ada Forest Hills Eastern, Cass City, Fenton, Hillsdale Academy, Holland, Holland Christian, Milford, Negaunee, Northville, Saginaw Michigan Lutheran Seminary, South Lyon East, and Tecumseh.

Multiple-sport participation remains the norm among applicants. The average sport participation rate of the finalists is 2.88. There are 74 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 421 schools which submitted applicants, 25 submitted the maximum allowed. This year, 1,440 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. 

The applications were judged by a 65-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 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 1.3 million spectators each year. 

2022-23 Scholar-Athlete Award Finalists

Daria Igonin, Belleville
Ella Blank, Birmingham Groves
Ella Thomas, Brownstown Woodhaven
Keira Tolmie, Clarkston
Nora Chamas, Dearborn
Miryam El-Saghir, Dearborn Edsel Ford
Abigail Frushour, DeWitt
Rachel Williamson, East Grand Rapids
Naomi Sowa, East Lansing
Adrienne Staib, Fenton
Abigail Cumings, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central
Ella Eitniear, Grand Rapids Kenowa Hills
Sophia Borowski, Grosse Pointe North
Eva Whiteman, Holland
Ana Dunfee, Kalamazoo Loy Norrix
Wendy Miedema, Kalamazoo Loy Norrix
Colleen Blackwood, Linden
Kathleen Doneth, Mason
Caroline Colt, Milford
Leah Merriam, Milford
Sophia Hekkema, Muskegon Reeths-Puffer
Jane Barnett, Royal Oak
Kate Mazur, South Lyon East
Amyla Eberhart, South Lyon East

Henry Jackson, Bloomfield Hills
Connor Anderson, Cadillac
Isaac David Clark, Caledonia
Braylen Himmelein, Davison
Nathan Katic, Fenton
Isaac Postema, Grand Haven
Ryan Lee, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern
Brayden Ryan LaCroix, Grandville
Brendan Downey, Grosse Pointe South
James R. Baer, Holland
Treyton William Carr, Hudsonville
James Rocco, Kalamazoo Loy Norrix
James Patterson Jr., Lake Orion
Shubhan Nagarkar, Midland Dow
Danny Safadi, Midland Dow
Jack Bakus, Midland Dow
Gavyn Stout, Muskegon Mona Shores
Abhinav Attaluri, Northville
David Whitaker, Northville
Samuel Gibson, Plainwell
Harsimmer Sohi, Portage Central
Shane Pitcher, Saline
Ian Robertson, Traverse City West
Trevor Wallar, Zeeland West

Devin Johnston, Almont
Rylie Haist, Big Rapids
Jordan Richie, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood
Anna Smith, Clawson
Carney Salo, Escanaba
Ella Wagner, Essexville Garber
Lauren Harrold, Flint Powers Catholic
Tiffany Keller, Frankenmuth
Ainsley VandenBrink, Holland Christian
Claire Filpus, Houghton
Elaina Bortolini, Kingsford
Matelyn Midkiff, Midland Bullock Creek
Rachel Niskanen, Negaunee
Molly McNitt, Paw Paw
Chesney Wilke, Tecumseh
Allison Tate, Whitehall

Sreejay Ramakrishnan, Ada Forest Hills Eastern
Jacob Pallo, Ada Forest Hills Eastern
Aiden Eric Smith, Adrian
Evan Jose Evans, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood
John Kersh, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood
Nathan Hooker, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood
Jacob Fenbert, Dundee
Michael App, Grand Rapids Catholic Central
James Oosterhouse, Holland Christian
Matthew Bowman, Milan
Philip Nelson, Negaunee
Grant H. Harkness, Newaygo
Nicholas Liparoto, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep
Isaiah Pelc, Portland
Aldo Barba, Tecumseh
Camden Johnecheck, Williamston

Tailor Onstott, Beal City
Saylar Cuthrell, Cass City
Kylie McGrath, Cass City
Claire Scholten, Charlevoix
Ruby Sierer, Clinton
Quinn Watts, Fowler
Danni Swihart, Hanover-Horton
Aziza Burgoon, Iron Mountain
Abigail Meyer, Marlette
Alaina Andrews, Ottawa Lake Whiteford
Laina Harger, St. Charles
Samantha Dietz, Watervliet

Logan Pflug, Cassopolis
Seth Vanderwest, Kent City
Ethan Green, Kingston
Andrew Mleczko, Madison Heights Bishop Foley
Grant Mason, Manistique
Blake O'Connor, Maple City Glen Lake
Brock Murphy, Menominee
Riley DeSarbo, Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central
Ty Kohlmann, New Lothrop
Noah Etnyre, Plymouth Christian Academy
Brennan Cannaday, Royal Oak Shrine Catholic
Dirk Rierson, Unionville-Sebewaing

Kylie Quist, Athens
Kasandra Lynn Waldi, Chesterfield Austin Catholic
Megan Roberts, Hillsdale Academy
Emma Case, Kinde North Huron
Monique Brisson, Munising
Makennah Uotila, Ontonagon
Gabriella Wenzel, Saginaw Michigan Lutheran Seminary
Macey Springer, Three Oaks River Valley

Ryan McDonell, Bay City All Saints
Luke Walker, Clarkston Everest Collegiate
Amos Norland, Dollar Bay
Brody Appelgren, Hillman
Caleb Diener, Hillsdale Academy
Matthew Zammit, Marine City Cardinal Mooney
James Blackburn, Martin
Caleb Munson, Saginaw Michigan Lutheran Seminary

PHOTO A group including 27 of last season's 32 MHSAA-Farm Bureau Insurance Scholar-Athlete Award winners take a photo together during the banquet at Breslin Center.