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Contact: John Johnson or Andy Frushour
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Fall Scholar-Athlete Award Scholarship Recipients Announced

EAST LANSING , Mich. - Feb. 1 - The Michigan High School Athletic Association's Scholar-Athlete Award program has selected its eight scholarship recipients for the 2004 fall sports season.

Farm Bureau Insurance, in its 16th year of sponsoring the award, will give a $1,000 college scholarship to each of the eight fall sports winners, the first of 28 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 19. Commemorative plaques will be given to other finalists in recognition of their accomplishments.

The Scholar-Athlete Award honorees for the 2004 fall sports season are: Christina Ashley Maertens, Birmingham Seaholm , girls basketball; Jason Victor Hawley, Temperance Bedford , boys cross country; Kelly Nicole Sampson, Detroit Renaissance , girls cross country; Steve Short, Kingsford, football; Ross Osgood, Delton Kellogg , boys golf; Mark Weber, Grand Rapids Catholic Central , boys soccer; Emily Weslosky, Troy Athens , girls swimming & diving; Jenny Armstrong, Harbor Springs , girls tennis.

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

Girls Basketball - Christina Ashley Maertens, Birmingham Seaholm. Lettered three times in basketball and volleyball will earn fourth letter this Spring in golf.co-captain of basketball team.earned Athletic Director's Award in basketball and volleyball.received Sportsmanship Award in volleyball and golf.member of National Honor Society two years.member Physics Engineering Club.attended Malaca Instituto in Spain as an exchange student.donated hair to Locks of Love.recipient of Calificación Global, Notable 8 on International Spanish Test.Corresponding Secretary of the Physics and Engineering Club.volunteer at Senior Citizen's Center for four years.Tiller's Farm Peace Corps volunteer. Birmingham Student Representative for the Traffic and Safety Board.plans to attend to the University of Michigan to study biomedical engineering.

Essay Quote - "Sportsmanship in educational athletics is extremely important; for it allows students to hone values that are necessary for the development of respect. Respect is a lifelong character trait that we all long to possess. Sportsmanship has led me to a high level of integrity. My life reflects on being a person of high integrity."

Boy's Cross Country - Jason Victor Hawley, Temperance Bedford. Earned two varsity letters in cross country.captain of the cross country team junior year.named Bedford High School Scholar-Athlete in 2004.Southeastern Conference Scholar-Athlete in 2005.awarded Southeastern Conference Sportsmanship award for 2005..member National Honor Society two years.member Renaissance Club three years.tutored for two years. participant in musical theatre two years... awarded Best Cameo Performance in Les Misérables.member Boy Scouts of America.member and Worship Committee Co-Chair at Ida and Grace United Methodist churches four years.plans to attend Massachusetts Institute of Technology and study chemical engineering.

Essay Quote - "Good sportsmanship is often typified by the gracious acceptance of defeat or the humble celebration of victory, by the courtesy of the game or the amity between competitors. Sportsmanship, though, is much more; it is a pattern of behavior and not merely a set of abstract ideals or half-hearted obligations of good nature."

Girls Cross Country - Kelly Nicole Sampson, Detroit Renaissance . Earned four varsity letters in cross country and three in track and field.three-time all-state cross-country runner, finishing third individually in 2002 and 2003. all-state in track and field three years.member of all-state academic cross country team 2002.awarded McDonald's Scholar Athlete of the week.member of record-setting MHSAA Lower Peninsula Division 2 3,200-meter relay team in 2003.member of the MHSAA Lower Peninsula Division 2 championship track teams 2002 and 2003... member of symphony and orchestra for four years.member of National Honor Society two years.awarded one superior and two excellent ratings at MHSBOA Solo & Ensemble Festival at the state level.member Mount Hebron Missionary Baptist Church Inspirational Choir.volunteer at the Detroit Cheetah Track Club and Baby Steps to Music.plans to attend the University of Michigan to study political science, international relations and German.

Essay Quote - "As in sports, in life there are losses. The protocol of sportsmanship that guides young athletes helps us remain dignified and gracious during those times of defeat. We learn that screaming and hollering is futile, and that scorning others because of their accomplishments is wrong. Most importantly, we learn that acting ugly and sore after a loss is the only thing that makes the first place athlete a loser."

Football - Steve Short, Kingsford. Awarded three varsity in football and basketball, and will earn fourth letter in track this spring... earned bronze medal as a Michigan State finalist for the Wendy's High School Heisman Award.named GNC Offensive Player of the Year.captain of the football and basketball team.named all-conference and all-U.P. in football.named football and basketball team's MVP.all-state honorable mention in basketball.named Area Athlete of the year.member of the National Honor Society, Student Council, French Club and Science Club two years.National Honor Roll inductee..earned USAA English and Physical Education Award.volunteer at church nursery and official at area youth basketball tournaments.named Hometown Lumber Athlete of the year.will attend Michigan Technological University .plans on studying physical therapy or education.

Essay Quote - "One of the first things that you notice about an athlete on the field is their attitude and sportsmanship. When all is said and done, the people who have had the most fun and the people that were your best competition also had the best sportsmanship. They give you a hand when you are on the ground, and you help them up when you they fall."

Boys Golf - Ross Osgood, Delton Kellogg. Awarded four varsity letters in golf.holds school record for 18-hole team score.tied school record for individual score on 9 holes... Vice President for Interact and Student Council.member National Honor Society and Drama two years.held position as student director and actor in Theater Club.earned Outstanding Service Awards in Interact and Student Council.participated in Big Brothers/Big Sisters Program two years.volunteer at Bernard Museum and Red Cross Blood Drive.will attend Western Michigan University.currently undecided on course of study.

Essay Quote - "Sportsmanship is what maintains control during the game. It is what brings teams together at the end of a tough game. It's what makes the game fun for athletes and fans. Sportsmanship is playing fair and losing without complaint."

Boys Soccer - Mark Weber, Grand Rapids Catholic Central . Awarded three varsity letters in soccer and two in hockey.captain of the soccer team freshman, sophomore and senior years.named all-city athlete for soccer junior year.captain of the hockey team freshman, sophomore and senior years.member of the school choir four years.member of the National Honor Society two years.Vice President of senior class.member of Peer Ministry and CORE Team.participated in school musical junior year.member of church youth group four years.usher at church for three years.member of Teen Service Team and Interact Club.awarded the Presidential Award for Service junior year.plans to attend University of Notre Dame to study liberal arts.

Essay Quote - "The art of sportsmanship is so much more than following the rules or keeping a tight lip to a referee -- it is a way of life. Sportsmanship is strength. It means the ability to thrive on adversity, to show humility in victory and graciousness in defeat, to uphold the highest standard of integrity on and off the ice and to respect that standard in an opponent, to face injuries with courage and conviction, and, finally, the ability to love the game for what it is: a game."

Girls Swimming & Diving - Emily Weslosky, Troy Athens . Lettered four times in synchronized swimming, three times in swimming and twice in water polo.Most Improved Swimmer on swim team junior year.Oakland Athletic Association Athlete and Scholar-Athlete Award 2002, 2003 and 2004.MVP of water polo freshman year.earned Swimmer of the Week Award freshman and sophomore year.Student Government Class President and SADD Officer four years.member of National Honor Society junior and senior year.MVP of Student Congress senior year.freshman, sophomore and junior class MVP.member homecoming court senior year.volunteered four years for Teens Taking Action and three years for Charity Week.earned the Helping Heart Award 2004 and TYC/Troy Rotary Club Award 2002.will attend University of Michigan to study business.

Essay Quote - "I have left the pool with more than a record of wins and losses. I have left the pool with a renewed sense of the importance of sportsmanship. To me, sportsmanship is the foundation to athletic success and competition; sportsmanship can be characterized by respect, acceptation, and humility."

Girls Tennis - Jenny Armstrong, Harbor Springs. Lettered four times in tennis and twice in soccer.captain of the tennis team junior and senior year.Lake Michigan Conference tennis champion in singles junior year and in doubles senior year.MHSAA Regional tennis finalist in singles sophomore year and doubles senior year.named all-district soccer player sophomore and junior year.awarded Most Improved varsity soccer player sophomore year... Vice President of class freshman year and President of class sophomore, junior and senior year.played lead roles in school musical freshman and sophomore year and producer junior year.member National Honor Society two years.volunteered at blood drive and Big Sister program for three years.plans to attend the University of Michigan to study either English or theatre.

Essay Quote - "When an athlete acts sportsmanlike, she has nothing to regret -- even if she lost. You see, the only regret an athlete should ever have is the failure to act sportsmanlike. It doesn't matter if she missed that shot, whiffed that swing, or lost by a point. If she had a positive attitude toward herself, her teammates, and her opponent, the she can chalk that contest up to a win."

Other fall finalists by sport for the Scholar-Athlete Award were: Girls Basketball -- Carrie Abdo, Riverview Gabriel Richard; Megan Clock, Houghton Lake ; Kristie Coplin, Litchfield; Jessica Ann Kennard, Hillman; Kelly Kathryn Ross, Caseville; Jennifer Waters, Grand Haven. Boys Cross Country -- Harvey Michael Elliott, Constantine; Bruce Kaszmarek, Bloomfield Hills Lahser; Phillip Peterson, Ellsworth; Jeremy Phan, Goodrich; Ben Wales, Otsego. Girls Cross Country -- Samantha Murray, Marcellus; Alison Nesbitt, Essexville Garber; Neela Rao, Bloomfield Hills Lahser; Amanda Claire Rudert, Mt. Pleasant; Anne Victoria Rush, Leroy Pine River. Football -- Stephen Denuyl, Clinton; Kelly C. Durr, Bad Axe; Matthew Ian Haughey, Bridgman; Jonathan M. Kiekintveld, Holland West Ottawa; Jeff Schuele, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep; Michael Taylor, Redford Union. Boys Golf -- Korry Bates, Detroit Denby; Stephen Gardner, Bay City Western; Brian Norton, Rudyard; Jonathan Daniel Smith, Walled Lake Northern; Paul Wolcott, East Lansing. Boys Soccer -- Ashish Chaddha, Auburn Hills Avondale; David Leslie, Dearborn Divine Child; Andrew Wolohan, Saginaw Nouvel; Torin Yeager, Maple City Glen Lake. Girls Swimming & Diving -- Christina De Simone, Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central; Jennifer Jean Lombard, Kalamazoo Hackett. Girls Tennis -- Colette Buckberry, East Lansing ; Stephanie Chen, Troy ; Amelia Eaton, Ann Arbor Huron.

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. 8, and spring sports honorees will be announced on Feb. 15.

Farm Bureau Insurance, one of Michigan 's major insurers, has a statewide force of 350 agents serving more than 380,000 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 1,500 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 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 by clicking on the Recognition link on the home page of the MHSAA Web Site, and then clicking on Scholar-Athlete Award. 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


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