Scholars & Athletes 2021: Class B

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor

February 16, 2021

The Michigan High School Athletic Association has selected eight student-athletes from Class B member schools to receive scholarships through the MHSAA/Farm Bureau Insurance Scholar-Athlete Award program. 

Farm Bureau Insurance, in its 32nd year of sponsoring the award, will give $1,000 college scholarships to 32 individuals who represent their member schools in at least one sport in which the Association sponsors a postseason tournament. The first 30 scholarships are awarded proportionately by school classification and the number of student-athletes involved in those classes; also, there are two at-large honorees who can come from any classification.

Students applying for the Scholar-Athlete Award must be carrying at least a 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale) grade-point average and have previously won a letter in a varsity sport in which the Michigan High School Athletic Association sponsors a postseason tournament. Other requirements for the applicants were to show active participation in other school and community activities and produce an essay on the importance of sportsmanship in educational athletics.

Each of the scholarship recipients will be honored during an online ceremony later this winter. Commemorative medallions will be given to the finalists in recognition of their accomplishments.

The Class B Scholar-Athlete Award honorees are: Haleigh Knowles, Sault Ste. Marie; Andrea Kowalski, Chelsea; Elena Schwegman, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep; Illyanna Marie Taylor, Three Rivers; Wilson Bragg, Gladwin; Hudson Alexander Harkness, Newaygo; Dhilan Nagaraju, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood; and Ryan Tang, Detroit Country Day.

Overviews of the scholarship recipients of the Class B Scholar-Athlete Award follow. A quote from each recipient's essay also is included:

(NOTE: If an athlete intended to play and was part of a spring sports team in 2020, that sport is counted among the athlete’s total although the season was canceled due to COVID-19.)

Haleigh Knowles, Sault Ste. Marie
Ran four seasons of varsity cross country, is playing her second season of varsity basketball and will participate in fourth season of varsity track & field this spring. Earned all-state and academic all-state in cross country all four seasons, and earned all-state in track as a freshman and sophomore. Earned all-league recognition in basketball. Served as varsity cross country captain, and basketball captain for subvarsity teams. Carries 4.06 GPA and is participating in fourth years of National Honor Society, student government, Business Professionals of America and Students United volunteer group and second year in LINKS program. Served as state and national delegate for BPA, and currently as chapter vice president and historian. Serving as social media coordinator and historian for student government and group leader for Students United, both for second years. Earned gold-level President’s Volunteer Service Award three times and Hospice of the EUP’s Service and Membership Award. Will attend Michigan State University and study pre-law.

Essay Quote: “As the years have gone on, I opened my eyes to the game around me. When the whole gym is packed and coaches, fans, and players are all screaming at one another, sportsmanship is playing with class.”

Andrea Kowalski, Chelsea
Playing second year of varsity basketball and will play her fourth of varsity soccer this spring; also ran varsity cross country as a freshman and sophomore. Earned all-league and all-region in soccer. Helped varsity basketball team to league title in 2020 and cross country team to Regional title in 2017. Serving as basketball captain and will serve as soccer captain for second season. Carries 4.425 GPA and earned AP Scholar with Honor recognition. Participating in fourth year of student council and second as cabinet operations chair. Earned positions of flute section leader for marching band and first chair for band/wind symphony, and earned Division 1 rating at all judged musical performances. Participating in second year of National Honor Society and civic engagement club, the latter as a founding member.  Will attend University of Michigan and study engineering.

Essay Quote: “Our opponents in educational athletics, club sports, or pickup games are just other people who want to compete. Whether a friend or foe, displaying empathy, respect, and integrity in all contests is what makes the community of athletes a special place for everyone. My adolescent eyes struggled to see it, but sportsmanship makes educational athletics bigger than each player and bigger than the pitch. It equates us all as human beings.”

Elena Schwegman, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep
Played two seasons of varsity basketball, one of varsity volleyball and will play her fourth of varsity softball this spring. Will serve as captain for second season in softball and helped volleyball team to 2017 Class B championship and basketball team to multiple District titles. Earned all-region in softball and academic all-state in softball and basketball. Earned AP Scholar with Honor and three times achieved either silver medal or honorable mention on National Spanish Exam. Participating in fourth year of student council and has served as vice president. Participating in third years of National Honor Society and Spanish National Honor Society. Co-founded school’s be nice. mental health awareness group and served as activities committee chair. Participating in third year of tutoring and started free service during COVID-19 pandemic. Is undecided where she will attend college but intends to major in business and economics and minor in computer science.

Essay Quote: “Sports are an opportunity to bring out the best in all of us, and poor sportsmanship demeans high school sports and discourages participation. … There will always be wins and losses, but there will also always be teaching moments and more importantly, defining moments – opportunities to do the right thing, to claim a deserved victory, and to do so with character and humility.”

Illyanna Marie Taylor, Three Rivers
Playing second season of varsity basketball, played three of varsity golf and will play fourth of varsity soccer and compete in fourth of varsity track & field this spring; also played junior varsity volleyball as a freshman. Earned all-league recognition in golf and academic all-state in golf and soccer, and was part of multiple academic all-state golf teams. Helped basketball team to District title in 2020 and has served as captain of basketball and soccer teams. Participating in fourth year of student council and has served as council president and vice president, and class president. Participating in third years of DECA and National Honor Society and served as chapter president of both. Participating in fourth years of marching and symphony bands and earned multiple Division 1 ratings; also sang three years in choir earning a Division 1 award and twice serving as section leader. Is undecided where she will attend college but intends to pursue pre-medical studies.

Essay Quote: “Sportsmanship is not just fair play; it encompasses an array of values: Respect. Kindness. Honesty. … Good sportsmanship presents kindness to be a uniform we should wear every day. Helping others and being empathetic is never out of season. We must work together in the pursuit of a collective victory.”

Wilson Bragg, Gladwin
Ran four seasons of varsity cross country, played three of varsity soccer, is playing his third season of varsity basketball and will run his fourth of varsity track & field this spring. Earned all-region in soccer and all-league recognition in cross country, basketball and track. Served as captain of cross country and basketball teams. Participating in fourth years of student council and executive council and served three years as class president and two as executive council treasurer. Participating in fourth year of key club and served as treasurer for three. Participating in second year of National Honor Society, carries 4.0 GPA and is earning 18 college credits as part of dual enrollment at Mid Michigan College. Served more than 300 hours as mentor or volunteer for various efforts and earned local Daughters of American Revolution Good Citizen Award. Participating in fourth year of business club and was treasurer for three. Is undecided where he will attend college, but will study business.

Essay Quote: “I am proud that my positive reputation is recognized by my community, but more importantly, I am pleased to have conducted myself in a manner which has made my community and teammates proud, by modeling sportsmanship, both publicly and privately. Embracing sportsmanship in educational athletics, and in life, builds and reveals character.”

Hudson Alexander Harkness, Newaygo
Played three seasons of varsity football, is playing varsity basketball this winter and will play his third season of varsity baseball this spring. Served as captain of varsity football and baseball and junior varsity football and basketball teams, and made all-league for football. Serving as class president for fourth year. Participating in second year of National Honor Society and has earned college credit in leadership from George Mason University. Serving as yearbook editor for third year and selected as National Youth Correspondent for Washington Journalism & Media Conference at George Mason, and has had articles and news segments published by local media. Volunteered throughout high school as West Michigan Miracle League announcer and earned school’s Community Service Award. Participating in second year of College Ambassador program and served as assistant community service director. Will attend Northwood University and study sports management.

Essay Quote: “With parents, students, and athletes yelling at officials throughout the entire game, it is sad to see the lack of sportsmanship in today's games. Sportsmanship isn’t just about being respectful to the other team but respecting officials too. … When I see or hear other people yelling at an official I think to myself “how stupid.” These men and women give up times to make sure we can play and learn to love the game. Without them, we would have no games.”

Dhilan Nagaraju, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood
Played three seasons of varsity tennis and is playing his second of varsity basketball. Earned all-state and all-academic honors in tennis and was part of school’s 2018 and 2020 Lower Peninsula Division 3 championship teams. Served as varsity tennis and junior varsity basketball captain. Participating in fourth year of Horizon Upward Bound and has served as president, fourth year of Business/Entrepreneurship Club, and third year of Bridge the Divide group and as a student leader. Participated in LEAD Summer Business Institute and Cornell University Real Estate Exchange. Engaged in chemistry and biology research with faculty and undergraduate students at Oakland University. Founded community service organization to provide personal protective equipment. Earned various awards including at state competition for piano, and participated in three years of debate and earned speakers award. Is undecided where he will attend college but intends to study business and economics.

Essay Quote: “The contrast I observed among these students and the handful of unsportsmanlike athletes I had competed against at other schools was clear – it was integrity. While these HUB students were naturally driven, proven by their excellent academics and discipline in the classroom, it was the small actions that made the difference. Through their honest line calls on the tennis court to helping opponents up in the gym, I have recognized the important role that integrity plays in athletics.”

Ryan Tang, Detroit Country Day
Played four seasons of varsity soccer and helped his team to the Division 2 championship in 2018 and multiple Regional and District titles. Earned all-state multiple seasons and served as team captain as a senior. Earned AP Scholar with Distinction and named National Merit Scholarship semifinalist. Received Association of Chinese Americans O.S. Chan scholarship for excellence in entrepreneurship and innovation. Co-founded and served as co-president of Help on the Way charitable fundraising organization, and also co-founded and served as vice president of school’s Finance/Entrepreneurship Club. Created prototype college counseling app as part of finance club and advanced to creative problem solving state finals as part of HOSA Future Health Professionals team. Is undecided where he will attend college but intends to study business management and computer science.

Essay Quote: “The principles of being a good sport extend far beyond just athletics; they become ingrained in our character and allow us to tackle issues with maturity in the future. Through athletics, I have learned to treat others with respect and carry myself with dignity, which are values that I apply to all aspects of my life. … It's imperative that student athletes strive to be respectful and mature on and off the field, keeping their emotions in check, as maintaining dignity and integrity will serve us well on and off the field.”

Other Class B girls finalists for the Scholar-Athlete Award were: Katie Acker, Lake Odessa Lakewood; Katie DeVlaminck, Buchanan; Jordyn Disbrow, Kalkaska; London Eldridge, Central Montcalm; Anna Gerardy, Yale; Allison R. Hall, Montague; Rachel Joslyn, Saginaw Swan Valley; Kendall Mathis, Newaygo; Katelyn Moore, Grayling; Caitlin Mullen, Grand Rapids Catholic Central; Riley Schroeder, Clare; and Bailey Taylor, Clare.

Other Class B boys finalists for the Scholar-Athlete Award were: Ryan Atkinson, Dundee; Cole Bennett, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep; Ian Burke, Ortonville Brandon; Drew Collins, Montague; Dillon Dennison, Alma; Nickolai J. Emde, Plainwell; Stuart Hamilton, Lansing Catholic; Brock Holek, Durand; Jackson Hoover, Edwardsburg; Zachary Huitema, Tawas; Jack Parker, Spring Lake; and Cade M. Vota, Niles.

The Class C and D scholarship award recipients were announced Feb. 9, and the Class A honorees will be announced Feb. 23.

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2024 Scholar-Athlete Award Recipients Announced in Class A

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor

February 20, 2024

The Michigan High School Athletic Association has selected 13 student-athletes from Class A member schools to receive scholarships through the MHSAA/Farm Bureau Insurance Scholar-Athlete Award program. 

Farm Bureau Insurance logoFarm Bureau Insurance, in its 35th year of sponsoring the award, will give $2,000 college scholarships to 32 individuals who represent their member schools in at least one sport in which the Association sponsors a postseason tournament. The first 30 scholarships are awarded proportionately by school classification and the number of student-athletes involved in those classes; also, there are two at-large honorees who can come from any classification.

Students applying for the Scholar-Athlete Award must be carrying at least a 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale) grade-point average and have previously won a letter in a varsity sport in which the Michigan High School Athletic Association sponsors a postseason tournament. Other requirements for the applicants were to show active participation in other school and community activities and produce an essay on the importance of sportsmanship in educational athletics.

The 32 scholarship recipients will be recognized March 16 during the MHSAA Boys Basketball Finals at the Breslin Student Events Center in East Lansing.

The Class A Scholar-Athlete Award honorees are Bella Adams, Battle Creek Lakeview; Aya Moughni, Dearborn; Arianna Pate, Gibraltar Carlson; Cecilia Ruchti, St. Joseph; Lily Sackrider, St. Johns; Katherine Slazinski, Birmingham Seaholm; Willem DeGood, Traverse City West; Abrar Hossen, Portage Central; Anirudh Krishnan, Plymouth; AJ Martel, Mason; Jaden Reji, Livonia Churchill; Charlie Seufert, East Grand Rapids; and Logan Yu, Midland Dow.

Overviews of the scholarship recipients of the Class A Scholar-Athlete Award follow. A quote from each recipient's essay also is included:

Bella Adams headshotBella Adams, Battle Creek Lakeview
Played three seasons of varsity volleyball and is competing in fourth of track & field this spring. Helped volleyball team to two District championships and earned academic all-state in that sport three times. Earned all-league and all-region in track and also earned academic all-state three times in that sport. Served as captain of both teams. Participating in fourth year of student government and serving as class vice president. Participating in second year of National Honor Society and has attended Battle Creek Area Math & Science Center throughout high school. Participated in multiple initiatives to promote STEM education including Phoenix Gives Back as a junior, Kellanova’s high school program as a senior and the BCAMSC’s Kindness Club the last two years. Participated in church’s Battle Creek Mission Trip throughout high school. Serving on staff of school’s TV channel for first time as senior and coached elementary and middle school volleyball summer camps the last two years. Is undecided where she will attend college, but intends to study biology.

Essay Quote: “The single most important component of sportsmanship, and even in the world, is compassion. Being compassionate is not just how you treat your closest friends, but treating everybody as a friend. Compassion is what helps the lonely, hurt teenage girl feel secure, the timid new basketball player feel at home. All successful student-athletes carry the foundation of compassion through sportsmanship.”

Aya Moughni headshotAya Moughni, Dearborn
Ran three seasons of cross country and played two of varsity volleyball, will play her second of varsity soccer and compete in fourth of track & field this spring, and also played varsity basketball as a sophomore. Earned league multi-sport recognition and scholar-athlete honors multiple years. Served as captain for soccer, basketball and volleyball junior varsity teams and substitute captain for cross country and track & field varsities. Participating in second year of National Honor Society and third on Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council, and served as class vice president as sophomore. Founded Right to Play Club and serves as president, and also serves as president of Social Justice Club and treasurer of Gay-Straight Alliance. Served as Key Club vice president and director of outreach for Dearborn Youth Affairs Commission. Participating in first year of Business Professionals of America and as secretary, and qualified for state competition in multiple contests. Earned profile in courage award and multiple honors for voter registration. Is undecided where she will attend college but intends to pursue a career as a neurosurgeon.

Essay Quote: “In this vast arena of athletic education, sportsmanship stands as the unsung anthem for the underdog, the celebration of diversity, and the unyielding belief that fair play is the ultimate victory. It transforms the field into a space where young minds not only refine their physical abilities but also nurture the values that will shape them as future leaders, team players, and contributors to society.”

Arianna Pate headshotArianna Pate, Gibraltar Carlson
Ran four seasons of cross country, playing third season of varsity basketball and will compete in fourth season of track & field this spring. Earned all-league honors in cross country and track and all-area honorable mention in basketball, and helped basketball team to league championship as a sophomore. Serving as basketball team captain this season. Earned AP Scholar Award and honors from National African American Recognition Program and National Hispanic Recognition Program. Participating in second year of National Honor Society and as chapter president after serving as vice president as a junior. Serving fourth year on student council and as executive board secretary for second year after two years as class treasurer. Participating in fourth years of Earth Club and Inclusivity Club, second as part of Marauder Captains and third on Student Empowerment Team. Volunteered for three years as part of Red Cross blood drive. Will attend University of Michigan and study nursing.

Essay Quote: “It’s not just about helping someone up off of the ground, or saying “good game” in the handshake line after a competition. It’s about separating yourself from aggressive competition and instead showing empathy and care towards your fellow athletes whom you are lucky enough to share a playing field with. Especially in the realm of high school athletics, sportsmanship is one of the most important qualities that an athlete can have.”

Cecilia Ruchti headshotCecilia Ruchti, St. Joseph
Ran four years of cross country and will play her fourth season of varsity tennis this spring. Earned all-state in tennis and reached No. 1 doubles semifinals at 2023 Lower Peninsula Division 2 Finals as team tied for sixth place. Earned all-league and all-region in cross country and helped that team to MHSAA Finals three times, also earning academic all-state in that sport. Served as captain of both teams multiple seasons. Participating in fourth year of student senate and as president, and also in fourth year as part of student foundation and as vice president. Serving as assistant teacher in third year of AP leadership course and also in third years as National Honor Society and writing center tutor. Served as tennis coach and camp instructor throughout high school and as athletic department intern as a senior. Is undecided where she will attend college, but intends to study marketing and design.

Essay Quote: “Walking away from Cross Country and Tennis State Finals, a lot of gratitude has washed over me. It’s been incredible to watch both my teammates and former teammates succeed. The time I shared with high-performing athletes and leaders influenced a lot of growth. I've observed extraordinary sportsmanship around me. I'm lucky to have coaches who have great integrity and preach hard work ethic. High school sports taught effective sportsmanship – on and off the course and court.”

Lily Sackrider headshotLily Sackrider, St. Johns
Ran four seasons of cross country, is playing her third season of varsity basketball and will compete in her fourth season of track & field in the spring. Earned all-conference and academic all-state in cross country helping that team to one league and two Regional titles. Earned all-state as part of a track relay as a junior. Served as captain of all three teams. Carries 4.0 grade-point average. Participating in second year of National Honor Society and as chapter co-president, and has participated on Youth Action Committee throughout high school and Tri-County Youth Advisory Council the last two years and served as officer for both. Also has served on school’s athletic student leadership team three years. Played in school marching band throughout high school and as part of drum line the last three years, as section leader of the latter. Serves as voting member on St. Johns Area Community Fund Board. Participated three years with school’s Peer Assisted PALS and two with Compassion Club. Will attend Hope College or University of Michigan and study on a premedical track.

Essay Quote: “Therein lies the real value in educational athletics; the civic education it provides. The totality of sportsmanship prepares student athletes to be the absolute best people we can be when venturing into adult life. … Once we have mastered sportsmanship, we become capable of taking our acquired traits of compromise, accountability and kindness and weaving them into everyday life.”

Katherine Slazinski headshotKatherine Slazinski, Birmingham Seaholm
Played two seasons of golf including on varsity this past fall, and will play fourth season of varsity tennis in the spring; also played two seasons of junior varsity volleyball. Earned all-state in tennis the last two seasons in helping team to 2023 Lower Peninsula Division 2 title and 2022 runner-up finish, winning No. 2 doubles flight as a junior. Served as tennis team captain. Earned AP Scholar with Distinction and National Merit Scholarship Commended Student recognition. Participating in third year of DECA, qualifying twice for state competition and serving as vice president of community service and social events the last two years. Participating in third year of National Honor Society and second of Spanish National Honor Society. Serving second year in multiple mentoring programs and second year as blood drive coordinator. Participated in YoungLife and as tennis coach and tournament assistant director throughout high school, and also is serving as marketing intern this year for Birmingham Education Foundation.

Essay Quote: “A major part of sportsmanship is putting the feelings of teammates or competitors before your own emotions. At times, this requires showing excitement for your teammates and all their hard work paying off, even when you are at your lowest points. At other times, this requires showing empathy to an opponent even when your first reaction is to celebrate your victory.”

Willem DeGood headshotWillem DeGood, Traverse City West
Ran four seasons of cross country and will participate in fourth of track & field this spring; also competed on school’s Nordic/cross country skiing team all four years. Earned all-league and all-region in cross country and qualified for MHSAA Finals all four seasons. Competed at MHSAA Finals in track first three seasons and helped that team to three Regional titles. Earned academic all-state two years. Served as co-captain of both cross country and track teams. Earned AP Scholar with Distinction honor and participating in second years of National Honor Society and Spanish National Honor Society. Played in school’s concert and marching bands throughout high school and as part of philharmonic orchestra as a senior. Served as section leader and principal player, earned first-division solo recognition and selected to perform at Michigan Music Conference. Participating in second years of school’s global studies and arts community groups, and also serves as a math tutor and track club volunteer. Is undecided where he will attend college, but intends to major in international studies.

Essay Quote: “When competing, even for different teams, we are all stronger when we respect each other as good sportsmen and lift each other up. On the start line of every race, I always wish the runners next to me good luck because I know how much it means to know the people you’re facing on the track want the best for you, too.”

Abrar Hossen headshotAbrar Hossen, Portage Central
Ran three seasons of varsity cross country and will compete in his fourth of track & field this spring. Earned all-league honors in both sports, qualified for MHSAA Finals in both and served as captain of both teams as well. Earned AP Scholar with Distinction honor and named National Merit Scholarship Commended Student. Participating in second year of DECA and earned state championship, and served as chapter’s public relations director. Participating in third year on Kalamazoo Area Math & Science Center student senate, and participated in global battery solution research at Western Michigan University. Participating in second years of computer science club and Kids in Science club, as instructor for both to younger students in those topics, and has served as tutor throughout high school for students with learning disabilities. Founded school’s cultural dance group and serving as president of Health Occupations Students of America chapter. Is undecided where he will attend college but intends to study on a premedical track.

Essay Quote: “Although my time with my teammates is nearing its end, the fact that any of them can come to me for support will never change. The act of running sparks conversations, new connections, and brings communities together. These are acts of sportsmanship that often go unnoticed. A team cannot be expected to respect other teams when they are not yet close enough to respect each other.”

Anirudh Krishnan headshotAnirudh Krishnan, Plymouth
Ran four years of varsity cross country and will compete in fourth of track & field this spring. Also trained in taekwondo during first three years of high school and participated in Unified Sports basketball as a junior. Earned all-state honors in both cross country and track and academic all-state for both sports as well. Holds school race records in both sports and served as team leader for both. Earned third-degree black belt in taekwondo and taught that martial art. Founded and serves as director of AK Friendship Circle nonprofit organization supporting young adults with disabilities, and earned Ted Lindsay Foundation Family Courage Award for contributions toward autism education. Served two years on student council and participated in University of Michigan’s Youth Dialogues on Race and Ethnicity in Metropolitan Detroit. Will attend Johns Hopkins University and study applied mathematics and statistics.

Essay Quote: “In the journey to building good sportsmanship, coaches are key mentors. Sometimes in the heat of intense competition, winning seems to be the only thing that matters. However, having a coach who can provide a sense of balance and guide athletes to have a positive mindset and attitude is critical for educational athletics. In every sporting event, someone wins, and someone loses. Accepting victory with joy while not gloating over your opponents, and accepting defeat with grace while not being antagonistic to the winner reflects on the character of an athlete.”

AJ Martel headshotAJ Martel, Mason
Played four seasons of varsity football, wrestling for fourth season and competing in second of diving this winter, and will compete in third season of track & field this spring. Earned all-state in football multiple seasons and finished as school’s all-time leading rusher, and helped team to four league and three Regional titles and Division 3 runner-up finish this past fall. Helped wrestling team to Regional title this season for second time, earned all-league first three seasons and placed at Individual Finals as a freshman. Earned all-state in multiple events in track and won 300-meter hurdles at 2023 Lower Peninsula Division 2 Finals, helping team to runner-up finish. Earned all-league in diving and helped team to league title in 2023. Earned academic all-state in wrestling and football and academic all-league in track and diving. Participating in third year of National Honor Society and serving as senior class officer. Served as volunteer flag football coach and official and youth wrestling tournament worker. Participated in LINK program as a junior and serves as head of school’s athletics social media. Will attend Hope College and intends to study on a premedical track.

Essay Quote: “I realized that every person on the field was just a high school student who wanted the chance to play football. I didn’t have to detest (our rivals) because they attended a different school. I could appreciate the moment to compete against them while remembering that good sportsmanship benefits both teams.”

Jaden Reji headshotJaden Reji, Livonia Churchill
Played three seasons of varsity soccer and playing third season of varsity basketball. Earned all-conference multiple seasons in soccer and captained that team, and earned academic all-state in basketball. Named National Merit Scholarship semifinalist and AP Scholar with Distinction. Participating in third year of Spanish National Honor Society, as chapter president, and second year of Science National Honor Society, as vice president. Participating in third year of DECA, as chapter president, and was founding member of school’s chapter of Health Occupations Students of America and won a first place at HOSA International Leadership Conference. Participated in robotics throughout high school on team that twice qualified for world championships, and served as captain. Serving as Bible study leader for church youth group and as hospital volunteer and patient/family advisory council ambassador. Volunteered for school district’s summer Early Literacy Program. Participated in two years of debate and served as team secretary. Is undecided where he will attend college, but intends to study neuroscience on a premedical track.

Essay Quote: “Sportsmanship also requires humility and appreciation. I learned this from my experience in debate, where I present and clash with different opinions and perspectives. There is always something to learn from the other side, even if I disagree with them. I learned to acknowledge their strengths, address their arguments, and concede their points when warranted. I also learned to thank them for the opportunity to engage in a constructive dialogue and to improve my own skills.”

Charlie Seufert headshotCharlie Seufert, East Grand Rapids
Played three seasons of varsity golf, will play third season of varsity tennis this spring, and also played two seasons of subvarsity basketball. Earned all-state in doubles tennis, helping team to Regional championship and third-place Finals finish in the fall, and earned all-conference in golf as a junior. Served as captain of both teams. Participating in fourth year of Latin club, and as president, and serving third year on student council. A heart transplant recipient, serves as speaker and ambassador for American Heart Association. Participating in third year of school’s Leadership Youth Development group and as leader. Participated two years in We the People competition including on state championship team, and as coach, and two years on Model United Nations team. Volunteered and served as First Tee West Michigan lead coach, and participating in second year as elementary school mentor. Also serving as writer for school newspaper. Is undecided where he will attend college, but intends to pursue a career in public health.

Essay Quote: “Sportsmanship has always been important to be. As a golfer and tennis player, I have exhibited good sportsmanship on and off the course/court. However, it was not until I received my heart transplant did I truly understood the meaning of this word. … Persevering through these difficulties has forever changed the athlete that I am. I now understand that sportsmanship does not just mean treating opponents with respect, but also forming connections with others on and off the course.”

Logan Yu headshotLogan Yu, Midland Dow
Played four seasons of varsity tennis, earning all-state the last two and winning the Lower Peninsula Division 2 Finals title at No. 3 singles as senior in helping Dow win second-straight team championship. Earned academic all-state as senior and was part of four academic all-state teams. Served as team captain as senior. Participating in second year of National Honor Society and served as vice president. Participating in third year of DECA and twice qualified for state competition and last year for International Career Development Conference. Playing violin for second year as part of symphony & honors orchestra and qualified for the Michigan Music Conference as sophomore, and has played piano for more than 13 years qualifying for State Achievement Testing semifinals four times. Serving third year on Midland Youth Action Council and participating in second year of church youth group and as worship leader. Is undecided where he will attend college, but intends to study business analytics and information systems.

Essay Quote: “… As a freshman, I began looking up to one of the leading figures in my life, my coach, who displayed amazing acts of sportsmanship throughout our season. When we won, he celebrated privately with us. When we lost, he congratulated the other coach and pushed us to work harder. I began to see why he was such an effective coach and leader. … Now, I see every match as an opportunity to display sportsmanship, inspire others, and grow myself.”

Other Class A girls finalists for the Scholar-Athlete Award were Yan Yee Adler, Ann Arbor Pioneer; Sam M. Peot, East Grand Rapids; Julia Holt, Farmington Hills Mercy; Tori Briggs, Fowlerville; Cameron Herman, Hartland; Brooke Pedersen, Holland West Ottawa; Ella Chatfield, Jenison; Meghan Ford, Mason; Lauren VanSumeren, Midland Dow; Addison Raffle, Northville; Ella Boyd, Oxford; Abigail DeGraw, Rochester Hills Stoney Creek; Anna Lassan, South Lyon East; Addison Booher, Traverse City Central; Ava King, Traverse City West; London Williams, Trenton; Sarah Fromm, Utica; and Ryah Dewey, Walled Lake Western.

Other Class A boys finalists for the Scholar-Athlete Award were Viraj Nautiyal, Birmingham Seaholm; Dylan Shoresh, Birmingham Seaholm; Charles Howell, Cadillac; Erik Giedeman, Dearborn; Joseph Stachelek, Detroit U-D Jesuit; Charlie Lentz, East Grand Rapids; Chris Piwowarczyk, Fenton; TJ Silvernale, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern; Jack Ryan, Grosse Pointe South; Connor Curtis, Livonia Stevenson; Jonathan Song, Midland Dow; Jaxson Whitaker, Muskegon Reeths-Puffer; Kyle Brown, Northville; Sean Wilson, Oxford; Andrew Miller, Saline; Jack Carlisle, Stevensville Lakeshore; and Vansh Jvalit Baxi, Troy Athens.

The Class C and D scholarship award recipients were announced Feb. 6, and the Class B honorees were announced Feb. 13.

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.