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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE --February 10, 2004
Contact: John Johnson, Andy Frushour or Randy Allen-- 517.332.5046

Winter Scholar-Athlete Award
Scholarship Recipients Announced

EAST LANSING, Mich. - Feb. 10 - The Michigan High School Athletic Association's Scholar-Athlete Award program has selected its eleven scholarship recipients for the 2004 winter sports season.

Farm Bureau Insurance, in its 15th year of sponsoring the award, will give a $1,000 college scholarship to each of the eleven winter sports winners. Farm Bureau will present a total of 27 scholarships, 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 27. Commemorative medals will be given to other finalists in recognition of their accomplishments.

The Scholar-Athlete Award honorees for the 2004 winter sports season are: D.J. Mocini, Saugatuck, boys basketball; Daniel Case, Warren DeLaSalle, boys bowling; Sarah Jaeger, Livonia Ladywood, girls bowling; Courtney Kunik, Chesaning, girls competitive cheer; Desiree Lauricella, Jackson Northwest, girls gymnastics; Andrew Chima, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood, ice hockey; Jordan Ostwald, Kingsford, boys skiing; Miranda Olds, Fenton, girls skiing; Bradley James Turek, Adrian, boys swimming and diving; Anna Nowak, Traverse City Central, girls volleyball; and Joshua V. Barlow, Saginaw Heritage, wrestling.

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

Boys Basketball � D.J. Mocini, Saugatuck. Lettered four years both in basketball and golf�all-conference and all-county two years in basketball�Holland Sentinel all-area two years in basketball�Grand Rapids Press all-area junior year in basketball�All-State and academic All-State in basketball junior year�Most Improved Player on basketball team three years�all-conference two years in golf�all-county, academic all-state in golf�four-time Student Council Class President�three-year member of National Honor Society�member of Model United Nations junior and senior year...four-year member of the band�Altar Server and Lector at church four years�volunteered at Saturday Morning Elementary Basketball and Crop Walk for Hunger four years�currently undecided on a choice of college and course of study.

Essay Quote - �I understand that only a few teams get to win their last game played each season, but everyone can always display good sportsmanship. It is important to show good sportsmanship because it represents who you are and your values.�

Boys Bowling � Daniel Case, Warren DeLaSalle. Received two varsity letters in bowling�participated in intramural basketball and summer hockey one year...Spanish tutor two years�volunteered at the school bookstore senior year�volunteered at school open houses, craft shows and carnivals�four-year volunteer at St. Anne Parish Festival�teaches guitar lessons�member of National Honor Society senior year�assistant Pee-Wee hockey coach at Great Lakes Hockey Association�will attend Oakland University to study education and mathematics.

Essay Quote - �I believe that another important ingredient in sportsmanship is putting my team and the integrity of the sport ahead of any personal goals. Every team is only as good as its weakest player. It should be the responsibility of every team member to try his or her best and to fulfill their role as best as they can, whether they are the star or the last one on the bench.�

Girls Bowling � Sarah Jaeger, Livonia Ladywood. A four-year varsity letter winner in bowling as well as a two-year letter winner in softball�three-year scholar-athlete in bowling and softball�2003 Divisional and Southeastern Michigan Girls Regional Champion in bowling�voted MVP of bowling team three years�named to the all-Catholic and all-league teams in 2003�two-year member of National Honor Society...Historian of National Art Honor Society�Treasurer of Spanish Club�church lector three years�member of Ward Travel Bowling League�will attend University of Detroit Mercy, the University of Michigan or Michigan State University, with the intention of studying communication and criminal justice.

Essay Quote - �Just like sports, life will not always result in triumph. We must learn from these losses. Thus sports have provided the fundamentals and experiences for how to deal with life. In the end it's not how much you have won or lost but the journey you took and the people you met along the way.�

Girls Competitive Cheer � Courtney Kunik, Chesaning . Earned four varsity letters in competitive cheer and one in track and field�first team All-State in cheer in 2002 and 2003�named to the 2002 all-region team in cheer�received the Iron Woman Award in cheer...four-year member of Student Council�Secretary of Student Council junior and senior year�member of the International Club sophomore and junior year�member of National Honor Society two years�received the Michigan Merit Award�four-year member of 4-H�volunteered at food, hygiene and blood drives�helped plan activities for kids including Kids Fun Day, Playscape Tailgates and Little Cheerleader Day�will attend Central Michigan University with plans to study nutrition science or communications/media broadcasting.

Essay Quote - �Sportsmanship is the inner foundation, or the heart of educational athletics. Good sportsmanship taught in educational athletics is as important as any core subject taught in the classroom. This important skill helps develop good morals and values in young athletes, it contributes to the success of any program in and out of school, and it helps to build a better society to live in.�

Girls Gymnastics � Desiree Lauricella, Jackson Northwest. Lettered three times in gymnastics�lettered three times in tennis and twice in softball�four-year member of student government and class council�member of Chi Alpha Christian group four years�member of Business Professionals of America senior year�member of Science Academic Team senior year�head coordinator of Red Cross blood drive sophomore year�participated in youth group two years�two time participant in Walk to Cure Diabetes...will attend University of Michigan, Purdue University, Cornell University or the University of Notre Dame with plans of studying pre-law.

Essay Quote � ��It doesn't matter if you win or lose; all that matters is that you had fun.' I cannot count how many times I have been told this. For as long as I can remember, adults have been assuring children that an important aspect of sports was enjoying the experience. I agree completely with this opinion; students should participate in athletics because they gain happiness from playing.�

Ice Hockey � Andrew Chima, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood. Four-time varsity letter winner in hockey and lacrosse�a member of MHSAA Division 3 championship team in 2001�All-State first team in hockey junior year�lacrosse two-time All-State second team�James Fox Academic Award winner�a three-year member of the Culinary Arts Club...member of the Young Entrepreneurs Club senior year�volunteered at Gleaners Food Bank and Rouge River Cleanup four years�participated in Empty Bowls Program�will attend the University of Pennsylvania to study architecture.

Essay Quote - �Sportsmanship teaches individuals to be good winners and more importantly, good losers. It helps to maintain a long-term perspective, and an understanding that winning and losing are very much temporary phenomena.�

Boys Skiing � Jordan Ostwald, Kingsford. Awarded three varsity letters in skiing, one in football and one in track�co-captain of ski team�named first team All-State in skiing�first team all-Upper Peninsula three years in skiing�three-time MVP of ski team�five-time Junior Olympian in skiing�MHSAA Upper Peninsula finalist in track junior year�three-year member of drama club�four-year member of jazz band�member of National Honor Society senior year�volunteered three years at the Christmas Jazz Combo�member of the Norway Mountain Ski team four years�will attend Albion College, the University of Michigan or the United States Air Force Academy to study political science.

Essay Quote - �I've always been involved in many sports and competitive events, and above all these have taught me many of the principles of sportsmanship that I hold today. Sportsmanship is not one quality but a bundle of qualities that an athlete must have to be considered a true competitor. The most important ingredients that make up sportsmanship are leadership, determination, integrity, and duty before self.�

Girls Skiing � Miranda Olds, Fenton. Earned four varsity letters in skiing and soccer and two in tennis�named MVP of tennis team�captain of tennis team�all-region, all-division and all-league in skiing�named MVP of ski team�Two-year member of National Honor Society, Vice President in senior year�four-year member of Spanish Club�Vice President of Spanish Club senior year�member of Captain's Club senior year�business manager and ad designer on newspaper staff senior year�one-year member of marching band�lay reader, usher and active member of youth group in church four years�Habitat for Humanity volunteer two years�active in church youth group four years�will attend the University of Michigan to study engineering.

Essay Quote - �Simple acts of kindness, such as a smile or handshake, remind me that no matter how disappointed or angry you may be, by doing something nice for someone else you become a better person. Over the years, I have come to appreciate the handshake at the end of the competitions. Acknowledging a brilliant shot, goal, or point, accepting a hand after a fall, and being the best that you can be is what good sportsmanship is all about.�

Boys Swimming & Diving � Bradley James Turek, Adrian . Lettered three times in both swimming and tennis�three-year MHSAA Lower Peninsula Finals qualifier in swimming�captain of swimming team�voted MVP of swimming team�President of junior class�member of Student Senate four years�three-year member of Principal's Advisory Council�President of National Honor Society�initiated peer tutoring program at Adrian High School�business editor of yearbook two years�member of Students Against Destructive Decisions�chairperson of food drive, blood drive and bowl-a-thon�volunteer for Special Olympics, American Cancer Society Relay for Life�will attend either the University of Michigan or the University of Notre Dame to study pre-vet medicine and biology.

Essay Quote - �As an upper-class athlete and team captain, I recognize my responsibility to model positive sportsmanship for all my teammates, particularly those who are younger and more impressionable. They look up to me in the same way I viewed my senior captains when I began my high school career.�

Girls Volleyball � Anna Nowak, Traverse City Central . Lettered three times in basketball and volleyball�captain of basketball team in 2003�named Most Improved in basketball in 2002�member of Student Senate three years�Secretary of Student Senate senior year�member of the Youth Advisory Council senior year�named to Who's Who Among American High School Students�helped run talent show two years�member of SADD�captain of Big Brothers/Big Sisters bowling team�captain of Relay for Life team�volunteer girls basketball and volleyball coach�three-year Red Cross Aide�recipient of the Father Fred Service Award�will attend Purdue School of Management, Miami of Ohio, Boston College or Boston University to study business and Spanish.

Essay Quote - �My basic premise is that good sportsmanship is only possible when it grows from a foundation built on healthy self-esteem. I believe that making every individual aware of her contribution to the team's success is the requisite building block for enhancing self-esteem.�

Wrestling � Joshua V. Barlow, Saginaw Heritage. Earned four varsity letters in wrestling, two in track and one in cross-country�MVP of wrestling team junior year�MHSAA Lower Peninsula Finals qualifier in individual wrestling�represented school at Sportsmanship Summit Leadership Conference�member of Student Council four years�Student Council Vice President junior year�President of Economics Class junior year�a two-year member of the National Honor Society...a four-year member of church youth group�was a counselor at Hartley Nature Center for two years�volunteered at Barakel Summer Camp four years�volunteered reading to children in Sunday School and reading to first graders at a local elementary school�will attend the Air Force Academy in the fall.

Essay Quote - �Good sportsmanship involves treating one another with respect. It leaves the spectators feeling better about themselves in seeing athletes respect their teammates and opponents.�

Other winter finalists by sport for the Scholar-Athlete Award were: Boys Basketball � Patrick Darga, Suttons Bay ; Christopher Gentz, St. Clair Shores Lakeview; Scott Glaser, Adrian Lenawee Christian; Anthony Grech, Allen Park Cabrini; Wade Slavik, Fulton-Middleton; Kyle Way , Midland Bullock Creek. Boys Bowling � Zachery Olds, Traverse City Christian. Girls Bowling � Crystal Brownrigg, Freeland. Girls Competitive Cheer � Ariel Rebecca Haskins, Temperance Bedford . Girls Gymnastics-- Jacquelyn Jorgensen, Muskegon Reeths-Puffer. Ice Hockey - Josh Vehring, Hancock. Boys Skiing - Andrew Preston, Grand Rapids West Catholic. Girls Skiing - Sherri Wiseman, Marquette. Boys Swimming & Diving - Charles McClure IV, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook - Kingswood; Jacob James Wendling, St. Johns. Girls Volleyball - Bridgett Blough, St. Joseph Lake Michigan Catholic; Juliana Burrows, Grosse Pointe South; Mallory Egolf, Middleville Thornapple Kellogg; Katie Marie Gilley, Kingston ; Chayla Robles, Vermontville Maple Valley ; Kati Therriault, Holly. Wrestling - Brian O'Keefe, Muskegon Catholic Central; Jordan Schaefer, Canton Salem; Ciro Spigno, Orchard Lake St. Mary's; Bruce K. Wenzlick, New Lothrop.

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.

Spring sports scholarship recipients will be announced on Feb. 17. Fall honorees were: Marie Brenner, Grand Rapids Catholic Central, girls basketball; Ben Smith, Athens, boys cross country; Angela Gaudette, Kingsford, girls cross country; Kyle James Haskell, Charlotte, football; Jake Tornga, Hudsonville, boys golf; Ryan Anderson, Grand Rapids Northview, boys soccer; Rebecca Sornson, Brighton, and Magda Stawikowska, Livonia Churchill, girls swimming & diving; Eleanor Ford, Ann Arbor Greenhills, girls tennis .

The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by over 1,200 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.



MEDIA ADVISORY -- A complete list of scholarship nominees and finalists for the Scholar-Athlete Award can be found on the Services page MHSAA Web Site. Information about scholarship recipients will be posted on the MHSAA Web Site according to the schedule listed in this release, and media in the markets of the scholarship recipients will be notified by fax the day before the public announcement. For more information about Farm Bureau Insurance, contact Luke Schafer, Public Relations Manager, at 517.323.7000. You can download the MHSAA's Scholar-Athlete Award logo from the MHSAA Web Site � click on Forms & Graphics off the home page.



Farm Bureau Insurance and MEEMIC Insurance are year-round MHSAA Corporate Partners