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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE --February 6, 2001
Contact: John Johnson or Andy Frushour-- 517.332.5046

Fall Scholar-Athlete Award Scholarship Recipients Announced

EAST LANSING, Mich. - Feb. 6 - The Michigan High School Athletic Association's Scholar-Athlete Award program has selected its eight scholarship recipients for the 2000 fall sports season.

Farm Bureau Insurance, in its 12th year of sponsoring the award, will give a $1,000 college scholarship to each of the eight fall sports winners, the first of 24 total scholarships to be presented, one for each sport in which the MHSAA sponsors a postseason tournament.

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 24. Commemorative plaques will be given to other finalists in recognition of their accomplishments.

The eight Scholar-Athlete Award honorees for the 2000 fall sports season are: Becky A. Stepp, Waterford Kettering, girls basketball; Tom Hakim, Clinton Township Chippewa Valley, boys cross country; Karen Elizabeth Latus, New Buffalo, girls cross country; Kevin Christopher Cleary, Grosse Pointe North, football; Jack McKinnon, St Ignace, boys golf; Robert Ross Coleman, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern, boys soccer; Kathryn Ladewski, Ann Arbor Pioneer, girls swimming & diving; Priya Malviya, Holland, girls tennis.
Overviews of the eight scholarship recipients of the fall Scholar-Athlete Award follow. A quote from each recipient's essay is also included:

Girls Basketball -- Becky A. Stepp, Waterford Kettering. Lettered three times in basketball and four times in soccer … two-year starter and co-captain on back-to-back MHSAA Girls Basketball semifinalists … participated on student council all four years, served as President as a senior … four-year peer mediator for Positive Peer Influence group and two-year participant in National Young Leaders Conference … member of National Honor Society and peer teacher for Hazards of Tobacco program … volunteered as camp counselor at Camp Copneconic throughout high school … will attend the University of Michigan and study pre-law or political science.

Essay Quote - "Sportsmanship is very significant in all elements of life. However, it should always be maintained in the environment of a sporting event, especially at one sponsored by a school. Sportsmanship teaches players and coaches to be respectful in a difficult time and hold ones composure at all times."

Boys Cross Country -- Tom Hakim, Clinton Township Chippewa Valley. Earned three varsity letters in both track and cross country and captained both teams twice … named Paul Stull Cross Country Award winner for leadership as a junior … served as Student Senate President as a senior, participated in student government for four years … member of National Honor Society and Science Olympiad teams … also participated in school musical "Bye Bye Birdie," on yearbook staff, and as emcee for school's variety show … involved with St. Paul of Tarsus Youth Group and Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership, attended World Leadership Congress in 1999, and tutored as a junior and senior … will study business at Grand Valley State University, Hillsdale College, or Central Michigan University.

Essay Quote - "Sportsmanship is extended outside of educational athletics and into the real world. That is why sportsmanship within athletics is so important. All the components of sportsmanship are equally important in life, and athletics gives individuals the chance to develop their sportsmanship skills."

Girls Cross Country -- Karen Elizabeth Latus, New Buffalo. Awarded three varsity letters in cross country and four in track and field … conference champion and first team All-State in cross country as a junior … finished third in 1,600-meter run at 1999 MHSAA Lower Peninsula Track & Field Finals … has qualified for Finals meet in five different events … served as Secretary for National Honor Society and President of Spanish Honor Society and Future Educators of America … captained cross country, track, and Quiz Bowl teams, co-captained colorguard and winterguard units, taught private flute lessons, and participated with each of the activities all four years in high school … went on mission trip to Honduras as a sophomore and involved in youth outreach and music ministries through church … will attend the University of Michigan and study foreign language.

Essay Quote - "One vital role of sportsmanship is to help athletes persevere through setbacks and failure. During my senior cross country season, I struggled with injuries, and in one race I had to walk from the two mile mark to the finish… As girls passed me, however, every single runner encouraged me. I heard again and again: 'You're almost there!' 'Keep going!' 'You can finish this!' Their support turned a disastrous race into a wonderful memory. "

Football -- Kevin Christopher Cleary, Grosse Pointe North. Lettered three times in football and basketball … elected captain and voted first team All-Macomb Area Conference as a senior … served as a Student Association Senator as a sophomore and junior and was a member of the Public Relations Committee … also elected President of Varsity Club and participated in Fellowship of Christian Athletes and National Honor Society … was a church lector and youth soccer coach as junior and senior … will study chemical engineering at the University of Notre Dame, Harvard University, Princeton, or the University of Michigan.

Essay Quote - "Sportsmanship is experienced. It is the feeling one knows from making a sacrifice for your team's best interests. It is respecting your opponent, and knowing they respect you, It is a feeling of genuine gratitude for the opportunity to play. It is graciousness in victory or defeat."

Boys Golf -- Jack McKinnon, St Ignace. Earned four varsity letters in golf and track, two in basketball and one in cross country … captained golf team as a senior, voted to all-conference golf team three years and broke the Straits Area Conference record for low nine-hole average … participated in concert, jazz and pep bands throughout high school … led alto saxophone section for four years and received Underclassman Leadership Award as a sophomore … involved with church's Catholic Youth Ministry, traveled with Lions of Michigan All-State Band and volunteered at the Mackinac County Animal Shelter … also member of National Honor Society, French Club, Europe Club, Physics Club, Ski Club, Bowling Club and Close-Up … will study chemical and electrical engineering in college.

Essay Quote - "The show of sportsmanship ranges from shaking hands and introducing oneself to extending that hand to a fallen opponent. It encompasses abiding by the rules even if one could get away with cheating or bending the rules a bit. These aspects of sportsmanship are vital in educational athletics because they not only build character, but also develop the attitude of respect and how to show this respect to competitors in the fun world of high school athletics."

Boys Soccer -- Robert Ross Coleman, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern. Multiple letter winner in soccer, track and cross country … received Most Improved Player award as a junior … served as Ronald McDonald Fundraiser Chairperson as a junior and senior and as a student council representative for four years … participated for three years on the school's Volunteer Board and in the Peer Listening program where he was Chairperson for two years … also involved throughout high school with Young Life and Project Charlie, a drug and alcohol prevention program … will attend the University of Michigan and study pre-med.

Essay Quote - "Every practice and every game, I realize that my positive attitude and good sportsmanship possess the ability to affect everyone on the field. No matter what the situation is, I make a conscious effort to display the utmost respect to everyone, from my opposition, to the fans and the referees. At any given moment, someone might be looking to me for leadership, and to see how I react. I am always representing my school, and most importantly, I am representing myself."

Girls Swimming & Diving -- Kathryn Ladewski, Ann Arbor Pioneer. Four year swimming letter winner … 2000 MHSAA Lower Peninsula Class A Swimming & Diving champion in 200 Medley Relay, 200 Individual Medley and 100 Butterfly … also competes on high school water polo team and with the Ann Arbor Swim Club … threeyear member of school's Bel Canto choir, where she served as President, as well as the a cappella choir and the Sha-Bop Shoppe vocal/jazz dance troupe … participated with Key Club and National Honor Society, and selected as student representative to Ann Arbor Public Schools District Support Team committee … will study political science/pre-law in college.

Essay Quote - "Very few high school athletes will go on to compete in the professional sports arena; most will not even play in college. Therefore, sports must teach something that applies to everyday life -- this is sportsmanship, ethics on the playing field… I will be interacting with others long after I can no longer swim the length of a pool; what I have learned through swimming about respect is what will remain with me for the rest of my life."

Girls Tennis -- Priya Malviya, Holland. Awarded four letters in tennis and two in soccer … three-time MHSAA Regional champion and voted all-conference as a senior … last June received Mayor's Youth Award for outstanding community and school service … member of Students Against Drunk Driving throughout high school, for three years in Model United Nations, and in National Honor Society as a senior … volunteered over 100 hours in the past year at Resthaven Care Center and participated in Dutch Dancing during the Holland Tulip Time festival … also a member of school's yearbook and newspaper staffs … will attend Hope College and study biology/science.

Essay Quote - "In today's society, it is often stressed that winning is the most important aspect of competition. What many fail to realize is that winning would be of no value without earning it through fair and friendly competition. Good sportsmanship not only promotes great competition, but it also builds character and essentially defines the true meaning of athletic competitions."

Other fall finalists by sport for the Scholar-Athlete Award were: Girls Basketball -- Jessica Reidy, Suttons Bay; Danielle Kowalski, Riverview; Holli Cooper, Cass City; Jessica Monroe, Brethren; Kristin Cullen, Hartland; Adrianna Nebedum, Muskegon. Boys Cross Country -- Michael Grammes, Tecumseh; Martin Robinson, Newberry; Matthew Thome, Hesperia; Kurt Sarsfield, Plymouth Salem; Christopher Hausbeck, Bridgeport. Girls Cross Country -- Camille Ceravolo, Warren Mott; Carolyn Adamson, Big Rapids; Anna Moniodis, Plymouth Salem; Megan Elizabeth Dana, Saginaw Heritage; Caryn Elaine Waterson, Benzie Central. Football -- James Klein, Onsted; William D. Peterson, Cadillac; Kevin Christopher Cleary, Grosse Pointe North; Zachary Walsh, Harrison Township L'Anse Creuse; Alan Montgomery, Big Rapids; Jared Stasik, Frankenmuth; Jack Klunder, Hopkins. Boys Golf -- Stephen Gisel, Midland Bullock Creek; Jerrod Braman, Stanton Central Montcalm; Brian Burt, Vermontville Maple Valley; Todd Goshorn, Wyandotte Roosevelt; Michael Lusardi, Troy Athens. Boys Soccer -- Adam Burns, Grosse Pointe North; Ross Ramsey, Harbor Beach; Scott Grant, Bloomfield Hills Lahser. Girls Swimming & Diving -- Molly Gannon, Flushing; Seija Alasimi, Negaunee. Girls Tennis -- Christine Marie Brooks, Grosse Pointe North; Kate MacIntosh, Traverse City Central; Joyce Chung, North Farmington.

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.

Winter sport scholarship recipients will be announced on Feb. 13, and spring sports honorees will be announced on Feb. 20.

The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by over 1,300 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 conducted in 12 sports for girls and 12 sports for boys which attract approximately 1.3 million spectators each year.



Farm Bureau Insurance & Little Caesars Pizza are year-round MHSAA Corporate Partners