The 120 finalists for the Michigan High School Athletic Association's Scholar-Athlete Award for the 2011-12 school year -- including three each from three schools -- have been announced.
The program, which has been recognizing student-athletes since the 1989-90 school year, 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 Award, and will present a $1,000 scholarship to each recipient. Since the beginning of the program, 544 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, there also will be two at-large honorees which also are part of the general judging process, may come from any classification, and are designated by their school at the time of entry.
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. Marlette, Northville and Rochester Adams each have three finalists this year, while 20 schools have two: Bay City Central, Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice, Birmingham Groves, Dearborn, Delton Kellogg, East Lansing, Frankfort, Hillsdale Academy, Hopkins, Jenison, Kinde-North Huron, Midland, Midland Dow, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep, Rochester, Spring Lake, Springport, Tecumseh, White Lake Lakeland and Williamston.
Multiple-sport participation remains the norm among applicants. The average sport participation rate of the finalists is 2.58, while the average of the application pool was 2.13 – both within a tenth of last year’s rates in those categories. There are 66 three-plus sport participants in the finalist field, and all but three of the 28 sports in which the MHSAA sponsors postseason tournaments are represented.
Of 386 schools which submitted applicants, 51 submitted the maximum allowed. This year, 1,636 applications were received. All will be presented with certificates commemorating their achievement. Additional Scholar-Athlete information, including a complete list of scholarship nominees, can be found on this MHSAA Website link.
The applications were judged by a 62-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 on February 7; Class B scholarship recipients will be announced on February 14, and Class A scholarship recipients will be announced on February 21. All announcements will be made on the MHSAA Web site.
To honor the 32 Scholar-Athlete Award recipients, a ceremony will take place during halftime of the Class C Boys Basketball Final, March 24 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 submit a 500-word essay on the importance of sportsmanship in educational athletics.
Farm Bureau Insurance, one of Michigan's major insurers, has a statewide force of more than 400 agents serving more than 380,000 Michigan policyholders. Besides providing life, home, auto, farm, business and retirement insurance, the company also sponsors life-saving, real-time Doppler weather tracking systems in several Michigan communities.
The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by more than 1,600 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.
2011-12 Scholar-Athlete Award Finalists
BOYS CLASS A
Matthew Alexander Beem, Traverse City West
Brendon Clover, White Lake Lakeland
Ryan Denison, Dearborn
Saeed El Saghir, Bay City Central
Steven Alexander Fox, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central
Christopher Robert Hagan, East Lansing
Alexander Hassan, Ann Arbor Huron
Joshua M. Heinze, Plymouth
Knute Hoffman, Midland
Hunter Holtrop, Okemos
Josh Hoogendoorn, Jenison
Nick Iacobellis, DeWitt
Jeremy Kozler, Livonia Stevenson
Conrad Arthur Lather, Midland Dow
Alec Latta, Northville
Gabriel Martinez, Livonia Franklin
Robert Paul, Bay City Central
Andrew Poterala, Northville
Nick Rao, Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice
Christopher Sesi, Bloomfield Hills Brother Rice
Blaine Stannard, Birmingham Groves
Alex Taylor, Rochester Adams
Daniel Tzou, Midland Dow
Garret Zuk, White Lake Lakeland
GIRLS CLASS A
Kelsey Adamski, Richland Gull Lake
Ellery Alexander, Caledonia
Kortnie L. Bush, Southgate Anderson
Jaymie Dyer, Hartland
Bethany Easom, Saline
Yara Nidal Fakhoury, Dearborn
Heather Smith, Farmington Hills Mercy
Amanda Marie Fodera, Fraser
Alexa Giovanatti, Rochester Adams
Morgan Hawver, Grand Haven
Hannah Marie Howarth, Gibraltar Carlson
Kelsey Kerin, St Clair
Hannah Lee, Rochester Adams
Maria Lepore, Rochester
Kelly Lunghamer, Birmingham Marian
Nicole McDermott, Mason
Gina Marie McNamara, Northville
Katelyn Alexandra Pekala, Midland
Abigail Rawling, Rochester
Dana Schrauben, Lake Orion
Alexis Stanton, Jenison
Alexandra Trecha, East Lansing
Jessica Turner, Birmingham Groves
Abigail Wilson, Trenton
BOYS CLASS B
Jordan S. Daley, Grand Rapids Christian
Griffin Dean, Grayling
Nathaniel P. Gaynor, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep
Mason E. Geno, Essexville Garber
Jeffrey John Gregory, Kingsford
Nathaniel Ferris Iveson, Middleville Thornapple Kellogg
Andrew Kelley, Allegan
Nathan Kossey, Tecumseh
Joseph Longstreet, Hastings
Dan Macalka, Comstock Park
Dillon McCarthy, Whitehall
Jacob Mineau, Marysville
Nick Huston Parnell, Spring Lake
Caleb Pung, Portland
Craig Zebell, Dowagiac
Alan Zhen, Livonia Clarenceville
GIRLS CLASS B
Sara Marie Barron, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep
Kathryn MacDermid Bollman, Williamston
Julie Buursma, Holland Christian
Kristin Gilbert, Hopkins
Hannah Grischke, Williamston
Sarah Hartley, Birch Run
Emily Kendro, Spring Lake
Nathalie Kenny, Manistee
Keara Kilbane, Hopkins
Laurin Masnari, Three Rivers
Erin Moser, Midland Bullock Creek
Rachel Neumann, Flint Powers Catholic
Brianne Nowak-Scott, Tecumseh
Emily Oren, Hamilton
Miranda Scott, Charlotte
Kaitlyn Stevens, Ovid-Elsie
BOYS CLASS C
Zachary French, Ishpeming Westwood
Dakota M. Hard, Quincy
Jonathan Andrew Harper, Clare
Ryan Hook, Delton Kellogg
Kolby Lange, Marlette
Trevor Lewis, Elkton-Pigeon-Bay Port Laker
Gregory Long, Sand Creek
Sean McBrayer, Unionville-Sebewaing
David Powers, Jr., Michigan Center
Benjamin Rebertus, Negaunee
Dirk E. Stoneman, Breckenridge
Ryan Watson, Delton Kellogg
GIRLS CLASS C
Brandy Bowers, Springport
Cayla Broton, Hesperia
Emily Crick, East Jordan
Lauren Dietrich, Gobles
Megan Kangas, Norway
Rachel Leightner, Springport
Lena Madison, New Buffalo
Rachel McEwen, Marlette
Karley Sauder, Marlette
Elyse Ann Louise Starck, Morley-Stanwood
Kelcey Stauffer, Sandusky
Isabella Yzerman, Bloomfield Hills Academy of the Sacred Heart
BOYS CLASS D
Evan Chalker, Buckley
Evan Dhyse, Kinde-North Huron
Seth Kintigh, Jackson Christian
Timothy Logghe, Peck
Joseph Nugent, Frankfort
Adam Plumstead, Frankfort
Sabeek Pradhan, Hillsdale Academy
Benjamin Ross, Lawrence
GIRLS CLASS D
Haley Buckey, Caseville
Kelsey Butcher, Morrice
Quinnlin Daily, Kingston
Natalija Galens, Watervliet Grace Christian
Haley Moore, Kinde-North Huron
Margaret Aileen Ryan, Hillsdale Academy
Jamie Lyn Seppanen, Eben Junction Superior Central
Alexandria Whitman, Fulton
Elections were completed recently to fill positions on the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s legislative body, its Representative Council, with six members receiving re-election, another rejoining the Council after previously serving and two being selected for the first time – one of those two as part of a special election.
Five of the six re-elected members ran unopposed. Midland athletic director Eric Albright was re-elected to continue representing Class A and B schools in the northern section of the Lower Peninsula, Portage Northern athletic director Chris Riker was re-elected to continue representing Class A and B schools in the southwestern section of the Lower Peninsula, and Brighton athletic director John Thompson was re-elected to continue representing Class A and B schools in the southeastern section of the Lower Peninsula.
Calumet faculty member and past athletic director Sean Jacques was re-elected to continue representing the Class C and D schools in the Upper Peninsula. Vic Michaels, director of physical education and athletics for the Archdiocese of Detroit, was re-elected to continue representing private and parochial schools. Grand Haven superintendent Scott C. Grimes was re-elected for a statewide at-large position from an original pool of four candidates.
Bangor athletic director Fredrick J. Smith will be rejoining the Council after previously serving from 2005-17 while athletic director at Comstock, Buchanan and Benton Harbor. He was elected to represent junior high and middle schools. Harbor Springs athletic director Anna Rigby will join the Council for the first time and was elected to represent Class C and D schools in the northern section of the Lower Peninsula. All eight were elected to serve two-year terms.
Camden-Frontier superintendent Chris Adams also will be joining the Council for the first time. He was selected as part of a special election to serve a one-year term representing Class C and D schools in the southeastern section of the Lower Peninsula. He will finish the term of former Ottawa Lake Whiteford athletic director and coach Jason Mensing, who now serves at Class A Westland John Glenn.
The Representative Council is the 19-member legislative body of the MHSAA. All but five members are elected by member schools. Four members are appointed by the Council to facilitate representation of females and minorities, and the 19th position is occupied by the Superintendent of Public Instruction or designee. The Council meets three times annually, and these elections take effect with the Fall 2022 meeting. Five members of the Council convene monthly during the school year to form the MHSAA’s Executive Committee, which reviews appeals of Handbook regulations by member schools.
Additional elections took place to select representatives to the Upper Peninsula Athletic Committee. Lake Linden-Hubbell athletic director and varsity girls basketball coach Jack Kumpula was elected to represent Class D schools, and West Iron County principal, athletic director and varsity football coach Mike Berutti was elected to represent athletic coaches. Powers North Central principal David Florenski was selected in a special election to serve a one-year term representing Class D schools.
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.