Contact:  John Johnson or Andy Frushour 
517.332.5046 or [email protected]

EAST LANSING, Mich.  – Feb. 16 – Eight student-athletes from Michigan High School Athletic Association Class B member schools have been selected to receive scholarships through its Scholar-Athlete Award program.
Farm Bureau Insurance, in its 21st year of sponsoring the award, will give a $1,000 college scholarship to 32 individuals who represent their member school in at least one sport in which the Association sponsors a post-season tournament.  The first 30 scholarships are awarded proportionately by school classification and the number of student-athletes involved in those classes; and there are two at-large honorees which can come from any classification.

Each of the scholarship recipients will be honored at halftime ceremonies of the Class C Boys Basketball final game at the Breslin Student Events Center in East Lansing on March 27. Commemorative medallions will be given to other finalists in recognition of their accomplishments.

The Class B Scholar-Athlete Award honorees are:  Alexandra Annese, Whitehall; Natalia Collins, Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard; Daniel Hartsig, Three Rivers; Frank Liesman, Lansing Catholic; Kari Paine, Manistee; Andrew Sauser, Caro; Emily Tjapkes, Shelby; and Joseph Robert White II, Jackson Lumen Christi.

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

AnneseAlexandra Annese, Whitehall.  Awarded three letters in softball, two in volleyball and basketball, and one in tennis.  Three-year captain of the softball team.  All-conference softball player three years in a row.  Softball first-team all-state in 2009.  Scholar-athlete 2007-09 in volleyball, basketball, and softball.  State leadership conference qualifier for the Business Professionals of America.  Coordinated “volleyball dig for a cure,” which raised over $1,500 for cancer.  Will attend Grand Rapids Community College to major in education.

Essay Quote – “Our community learned a valuable lesson, in good times or bad we support each other:  sportsmanship by any other name.”

CollinsNatalia Collins, Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard.  Earned three letters in basketball and soccer, and two in volleyball.  All-league, all-district, all-region, and all-state second-team soccer player in 2009.  Captain of volleyball team as a senior, and soccer team as a junior and senior.  National Honor Society member junior and senior year.  Hurricane Katrina recovery volunteer in 2007.  Alternative spring break 2010 mission trip to Mexico.  Volunteered at the Special Olympics 2009 and 2010.  Plans on attending University of Michigan to study biology or pre-dental.

Essay Quote – “The standard of sportsmanship must be kept high in educational athletics to help develop the character of each athlete.”

HartsigDaniel Hartsig, Three Rivers.  Awarded three letters in football and baseball, and one in basketball.  All-conference first team in football and baseball.  All-state honorable mention senior year in football.  Captain of the football and baseball teams junior and senior year.  Received academic all-state junior year for baseball.  Member of the National Honor Society junior and senior year.  Chosen to attend MHSAA Captain’s Clinic in 2008.  Active member of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church.  Plans to study chemical engineering at the University of Michigan.

Essay Quote – ”Sportsmanship boils down to playing by the rules, accepting the officials’ calls and committing to be a class act regardless of the outcome of the game.”

LiesmanFrank Liesman, Lansing Catholic.  Four-year letterwinner in hockey, and three in football and lacrosse.  Earned all-area honorable mention junior year in hockey.  Awarded all-conference and all-region in lacrosse junior.   Captain of the football team junior and senior year.  Academic All-state in football in 2009.  President of the National Honor Society 2009-2010.  Considering the University of Michigan or the University of Notre Dame to further his academic studies.

Essay Quote – “What remains alive and at work in my life to date are the friendships forged, the lessons learned, and the virtues that have helped me to develop into the person I am today.  These three values are the attributes of sportsmanship that I have encountered through athletics”

PaineKari Paine, Manistee.  Four-year letterwinner in skiing and swimming & diving, and three in tennis.  First-team all-state skier and ski team captain in 2008, 2009 and 2010.  Member of 2009 MHSAA Division 2 Skiing championship team. Member of student council all four years, and National Honor Society for three.  Class president and NHS president senior year.  Drum major and principle oboist for band.  Plans to major in political science at Kalamazoo College. 

Essay Quote – “The feelings of pride and self-worth that have stemmed from my sportsmanship have lingered much longer than the twenty seconds of applause as we took the trophy.  It is true that without sportsmanship, success is truly never possible.”

SauserAndrew Sauser, Caro.  Earned three letters in football and track & field, and one in basketball.  Captain of the football team senior year.  Received honorable mention all-conference in football as a senior.  Team conference champion in track & field for 2007 and 2009.  Student council representative and class vice president for four years.  Boy’s State representative in 2009.  Will study international business at Michigan State University.

Essay Quote – “In an era that seems to sometimes be too focused on winning, sportsmanship should not take a back seat in high school educational athletics.  Too often the stories, like LeBron James walking off the court without shaking hands, or LeGarrette Blount losing his temper after the Oregon versus Boise State football game, are replayed over and over on ESPN.  That is not the message that pro athletes should be sending to high school athletes.”

TjapkesEmily Tjapkes, Shelby.  Received three letters in basketball and track & field, and two in volleyball.  MHSAA Track & Field Finals qualifier for the 1,600-meter relay and the high jump in 2009.  Captain of the volleyball and basketball teams for four years.  Academic all-state for volleyball in 2008-09.  Class officer and member of National Honor Society junior and senior year.  Volunteer in the Big Brother/Big Sister program.  Plans to attend Muskegon Community College on volleyball scholarship before transferring to the physician's assistant program at Central Michigan University.

Essay Quote – “The real feat that athletics bring to one’s character is sportsmanship.  I believe that it is this mixture of camaraderie, respect, attitude and achievement that is the true catalyst to student-athletes.”

WhiteJoseph Robert White II, Jackson Lumen Christi.  Received four letters in tennis.  Competed in the  MHSAA Tennis Finals 2007-09.  CAAC Division II champion in 2007 and 2009.  Captain of the tennis team senior year.  Class president in 2008-09.  Student council vice president senior year.  Class representative for SAAD who will be traveling to Malawi to build a school for underprivileged children.  Currently enrolled in five college courses and salutatorian of his class.  Plans to attend the University of Michigan, University of Notre Dame or Northwestern University to study pre-medicine and biology.

Essay Quote – “Good sportsmanship has taught me simple life lessons that will last a lifetime:  treat others with respect and fairness, have the courage to lose, the persistence to continue, and the self-discipline to do what is right.”     

Other Class B girls finalists for the Scholar-Athlete Award were:  Chelsea Bischer, Yale; Rachel E. Cook, Allegan; Erica Crane, Dearborn Divine Child; Olivia Catherine DeTroyer, Chelsea; Victoria Eger, Buchanan; Katee Farlow, Mt. Morris; Laura Genise, Marshall; Kayla A. Kunde, Fowlerville; Danika Markell, Williamston; Jennifer McCain, Frankenmuth; Andria Nyenhuis, Gladstone; and Janae Trombley, Yale. 

Other Class B boys finalists for the Scholar-Athlete Award were:  Dan Becker, Gladstone; Michael Curby, Hillsdale; Mattias DeDoes, Ann Arbor Gabriel Richard; Derek William Devine, Alma; Troy Hecht, Vassar; Nathaniel Hudeck, Birch Run; Kevin Killian, Orchard Lake St Mary's; Justin Pung, Portland; Luke J. Sheppard, Frankenmuth; Peter Tratt, DeWitt; Kevin M. Wildey, Comstock Park; and Mark Willard, Yale.

Previously announced were the Class C and D scholarship recipients:  The Class C Scholar-Athlete Award honorees are:  Stephanie N. Johnson, Kalamazoo Hackett;  Andrew Kangas, Norway; Abbey Kelto, Munising; Ji-Hoon Min, Gwinn; Benjamin J. Schell, Traverse City St. Francis; and Kayley Sopel, Ithaca.  The Class D Scholar-Athlete Award scholarship recipients are:  Elizabeth Brady, Hillsdale Academy; Kelly Mikaye David, Beal City; Tyler Steven Root, Brimley; and Jacob Smitley, Athens.

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 Class A scholarship award recipients will be announced on February 23.

Farm Bureau Insurance, one of Michigan's major insurers, has a statewide force of 450 agents serving more than 450,000 Michigan policyholders. Besides providing life, home auto, farm, business and retirement insurance, the company also sponsors lifesaving, real-time Doppler weather tracking systems in several Michigan communities.

The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by over 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.


Farm Bureau Insurance, Farmers Insurance, MEEMIC Insurance Company & Meijer are year-round MHSAA Corporate Partners


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