2019 Scholar-Athlete Finalists Announced

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor

January 22, 2019

The 120 finalists for the Michigan High School Athletic Association's Scholar-Athlete Awards for the 2018-19 school year, presented by Farm Bureau Insurance, have been announced.

The program, in its 30th 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, 768 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. Detroit Catholic Central has four finalists this year while Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood, Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart, Northville and St. Joseph each have three. Twelve schools each have two finalists: Ann Arbor Pioneer, Big Rapids, Davison, Fenton, Grand Rapids West Catholic, Grosse Pointe South, Marlette, Novi, Okemos, Saranac, Traverse City Central and White Lake Lakeland.

Multiple-sport participation remains the norm among applicants. The average sport participation rate of the finalists is 2.4. There are 77 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 418 schools which submitted applicants, 30 submitted the maximum allowed. This year, 1,645 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 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. 5, Class B scholarship recipients will be announced Feb. 12 and Class A scholarship recipients will be announced Feb. 19. All announcements will be made on the MHSAA Website.

To honor the 32 Scholar-Athlete Award recipients, a ceremony will take place during halftime of the Class C Boys Basketball Final, March 16, 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 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. 

2018-19 Scholar-Athlete Award Finalists

Colin Czajkowski, Brownstown Woodhaven
David DeBacker, Detroit Catholic Central
Joseph Hardenbergh, Detroit Catholic Central
Keegan Koehler, Detroit Catholic Central
Ryan Marra, Detroit Catholic Central
Jack Killian, Fenton
Noah Stout, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central
Ryan Downey, Grosse Pointe South
Michael Willard, Grosse Pointe South
Samuel Martens, Holland
Carson Currie, Lapeer
Noah Kinnucan, Muskegon Mona Shores
Daniel McLaughlin, Northville
Matthew George, Novi
Trey Mullins, Novi
Carson Krumm, Okemos
Harrison Poeszat, Orchard Lake St. Mary's
Parker Raymond, Rochester Adams
Nolan Rich, St. Joseph
Edward Roe, Traverse City Central
Michael Song, Troy
John Tisch, Utica
Trent Farquhar, White Lake Lakeland
Avery Robinson, Wyoming 

Anna Scott, Ann Arbor Huron
Alexa Easter, Ann Arbor Pioneer
EmJ Rennich, Ann Arbor Pioneer
McKenna Evans, Battle Creek Lakeview
Ariella Cuellar, Bay City Central
Emily Moriartey, Davison
Ellie Timmons, Davison
Audrey Whiteside, East Grand Rapids
Chloe Idoni, Fenton
Lexi Loehfelm, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern
Adele Kemp, Greenville
Addison Irish, Hudsonville
Maya Albright, Midland
Mariella Simoncini, Northville
Claire Wan, Northville
Alma Cooper, Okemos
Yveloute Rea, Petoskey
Elizabeth Bulat, Rochester
Megan Corbe, St. Joseph
Cailey Rooker, St. Joseph
Jade Turner, Traverse City Central
Madeline Purvis, Troy Athens
Madeline Rehm, White Lake Lakeland
Megan Morehouse, Zeeland East 

Sam Bussler, Battle Creek Harper Creek
Pierce Morrissey, Big Rapids
Clark Doman, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood
Justin Luo, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood
Alex Netzley, Cadillac
Noah Doederlein, Carleton Airport
Adam Bruce, Gladstone
Jack Perry, Michigan Center
Connor Swinehart, Newaygo
Michael Gormley, North Branch
Isaac Waffle, Olivet
Tommee Smith, Sparta
Cooper Clark, Stevensville Lakeshore
Dillon Mochty, Tawas
Dylan Day, Tecumseh
Ethan McKenzie, Whitehall 

Kamryn Cushway, Big Rapids
Salena Prakah-Asante, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood
Eleri Giem, Boyne City
Lauren Anderson, Charlotte
Olivia Haring, Clare
Daisy Ansel, Comstock
Sarah Bidgood, Comstock Park
Chloe Bartz, Edwardsburg
Zoe Neirink, Frankenmuth
Bridget Kohane, Grand Rapids West Catholic
Dana Wila, Grand Rapids West Catholic
Lindsey Jurecki, Grosse Ile
Robin LeFevere, Imlay City
Sophie Moccio, Milan
Emily Unger, Montague
Mallory Kean, Yale 

Trey Feldeisen, Ann Arbor Greenhills
Brian Goetz, Blissfield
Timothy Marvin, Byron
Noah Waldron, Concord
Jared Swiontek, East Jackson
Alexander VanDeWeghe, Ithaca
Jack Sumners, Marcellus
Logan Marshall, Marlette
Logan Solgat, Marlette
Dane Smitz, Roscommon
Drew Ward, Saranac
Nathan Huizar, Vassar

Sarah Barnes, Houghton Lake
Precious Delos Santos, Indian River Inland Lakes
Riley Poupore, Iron Mountain
Lauren Freeland, Kent City
Megan Dopheide, Lawton
Elizabeth O'Hotzke, Manchester
Joslyn Muth, Manistique
Rachel Allen, Mason County Central
Jordan Cooper, Saranac
Thea Johnson, Saugatuck
Lillian Bambacht, Union City
Jordan Craven, Whitmore Lake 

Jake Lane, Climax-Scotts
Brendan LeClaire, Dollar Bay
William Newbold, Frankfort
John Slivka, Manistee Catholic Central
Ryan Yahner, McBain Northern Michigan Christian
Noah Krepostman, Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart
Brendan Zeien, Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart
Brandon Scheurer, Portland St. Patrick 

Keagan Fischer, Bellaire
Lyndsi Wolfe, Fulton
Natalie Woodland, Lansing Christian
Samantha Somers, Mackinaw City
Scout Nelson, Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart
Abbey Bullis, Peck
Jessie Rieth, Three Oaks River Valley
Julia Diskin, West Bloomfield Frankel Jewish Academy

MHSAA High School Sports Participation Continues to Exceed Population Ranking Nationally

By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor

September 15, 2023

Michigan continued to rank 10th nationally in high school-aged population during the 2022-23 school year and continued to best that ranking in participation in high school sports, according to the annual national participation study conducted by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).

Michigan ranked ninth for overall participation nationally, based on a total of 268,070 participants who competed in sports for which the MHSAA conducts postseason tournaments. The total counts students once for each sport played, meaning students who are multiple-sport athletes are counted more than once.

Michigan also ranked ninth nationally for both girls (111,569) and boys (156,501) participation separately, while ranking ninth for high-school aged boys population and 10th for girls according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates.

Michigan’s national rankings in seven sports improved from 2021-22, while nine sports saw lower national rankings than the previous year. The biggest jumps came in girls volleyball and boys soccer, which both moved up two spots – volleyball to fourth-highest participation nationally, and boys soccer to eighth. Girls golf (fourth), softball (seventh), girls track & field (seventh), girls swimming & diving and boys swimming & diving (both eighth) also moved up on their respective national lists.

Participation in several more MHSAA sports also continued to outpace the state’s rankings for high school-aged population.

For girls, participation in bowling (fourth), tennis (fourth), cross country (sixth), basketball (seventh), competitive cheer (ninth) and soccer (ninth) all ranked higher than their population listing of 10th nationally. Among boys sports, bowling (second), ice hockey (fourth), tennis (fifth), golf (fifth), basketball (sixth), track & field (sixth), cross country (seventh), football – all formats combined (seventh) and baseball (eighth) exceeded that ninth ranking for population.

Only 11 states sponsor alpine skiing, but Michigan ranked third on both the girls and boys lists for that sport. Wrestling, with boys and girls totals counted together, ranked eighth.

Participation nationally rose more than three percent from 2021-22 to 7,857,969 participants, the first upward movement in participation data since the all-time record of 7,980,886 in 2017-18, which was followed by the first decline in 30 years in 2018-19 and the two-year halt in data collection by the NFHS related to the pandemic. (The MHSAA continued to collect and report its data during this time.) The national total includes 4,529,789 boys and 3,328,180 girls, according to figures obtained from the 51 NFHS member state associations, which include the District of Columbia.

Eleven-player football remained the most popular boys sport, and most popular participation sport overall, with the total climbing back over one million participants. The total of 1,028,761 participants marked an increase of 54,969 and 5.6 percent from the previous year. This year’s increase was the first in the sport since 2013 and only the second increase since the all-time high of 1,112,303 in 2008-09. There also was a slight gain (34,935 to 35,301) in the number of boys in 6-, 8- and 9-player football.

Next on the boys list were outdoor track & field, basketball, baseball, soccer, wrestling, cross country, tennis, golf, and swimming & diving, respectively.

On the girls side, outdoor track and field (up 6.5 percent) and volleyball (3.6) remained in the top two spots, while basketball reclaimed the third position. Cross country ranked fourth, followed by softball, soccer, golf, tennis, swimming & diving and competitive spirit, respectively.

Texas remained atop the list of state participation with 827,446, but California closed the gap in second adding 25,000 participants to climb to 787,697. New York is third with 356,803, followed by Illinois (335,801), Ohio (323,117), Pennsylvania (316,587), Florida (297,389), New Jersey (272,159), Michigan (268,070) and Minnesota (219,094), which climbed into the top 10 past Massachusetts.

The participation survey has been compiled in its current form by the NFHS since 1971.