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Finalists Announced For 2006-07 Scholar-Athlete Award

EAST LANSING, Mich. –Jan. 29 – The 120 finalists for the Michigan High School Athletic Association's Scholar-Athlete Award for the 2006-07 school year have been announced.

The program, which has been recognizing student-athletes since the 1989-90 school year, 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 Award, and will present a $1,000 scholarship to each recipient. This year, 2,205 applications were received from 492 schools.

Scholarships will be presented proportionately by school classification, with 12 scholarships to be awarded to Class A student-athletes, 6 female and 6 male; 8 scholarships will be awarded to Class B student-athletes, 4 female and 4 male; 6 scholarships will be awarded to Class C student-athletes, 3 female and 3 male; and 4 scholarships will be awarded to Class D student-athletes, 2 female and 2 male.

In addition, there will also be 2 at-large honorees which are also part of the general judging process, may come from any classification, and are designated by their school at the time of entry.

Every MHSAA member high school could submit as many applications as there are scholarships available in their classification, and could have more than one finalist.  Thirteen schools had two or more finalists this year.   Okemos has four finalists; while Ann Arbor Pioneer, Dearborn, Grand Ledge, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central, Grosse Ile, Iron Mountain, Ludington, Mackinaw City, Pittsford, St. Johns, Standish-Sterling and Troy Athens each have two finalists.

Multiple-sport participation is again the norm for this year’s applicants, and even more so for the finalists.  The average sport participation rate of the finalists is 2.53, while the average of the application pool was 2.02.  All of the 28 sports in which the MHSAA sponsors postseason tournaments are represented in the finalist field.

The applications were judged by a 82-member committee of school coaches, counselors, faculty members, administrators and board members from MHSAA member schools, from which the 120 finalists were selected.  The selection of the 32 scholarship recipients will take place in early February.  Class C and D scholarship recipients will be announced on February 13; Class B scholarship recipients will be announced on Feb. 20; and Class A scholarship recipients will be announced on Feb. 27.  All announcements will be made on the MHSAA Web site.

To honor the 32 Scholar-Athlete Award recipients, a ceremony will take place during halftime of the Class C Boys Basketball Finals at the Breslin Student Events Center in East Lansing on March 24.

To be eligible for the award, students must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.50 (on a 4.0 scale), and have previously won a varsity letter in at least one sport in which the MHSAA sponsors a postseason tournament. Students were also asked to respond to a series of short essay questions, submit two letters of recommendation and submit a 500-word essay on the importance of sportsmanship in educational athletics.

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 1,800 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 list of finalists follows this release.  A complete list of scholarship nominees for the Scholar-Athlete Award can be found on the MHSAA Web Site (Click on Recognition, and then select Scholar-Athlete Award from the drop-down menu). Please scan that list for the names of student-athletes from your area.  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 or e-mail 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 Scholar-Athlete Award logo from the MHSAA Web Site – click on Forms & Graphics off the home page.


2006-07 MHSAA Scholar-Athlete Award Finalists

Class A Girls
Jessica Konal, Berkley
Alina Gatowski, Birmingham Groves
Alessa Cekauskas, Birmingham Seaholm
Nicole Naidoo, Brighton
Chelsea Selden, Canton
Annie Hakim, Clinton Township Chippewa Valley
Kerry Brennan, Dearborn
Jennifer Pisani, Farmington Hills Mercy
Taylor Hicks, Fraser
Chelsea Read, Grand Ledge
Bianca Cilla, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central
Helana Herberg, Jackson Northwest
Kristin Kingma, Mattawan
Ankita Mohanty, Mt. Pleasant
Rachel Lebovic, North Farmington
Kimberly Rustem, Okemos
Rachel Rideout, Okemos
Chelsey Quinlan, Plymouth
Joanna  Halls, Rochester Adams
Emily Martin, South Lyon
Margeaux Leighton, Temperance Bedford
Erica  Olson, Traverse City West
Leslie Russell, Warren Cousino
Jennifer Hittle, White Lake Lakeland

Class A Boys
Bentley Goenka, Ann Arbor Pioneer
Will Heininger, Ann Arbor Pioneer
Cullen Salada, Battle Creek Lakeview
Joseph Jakcsy, Dearborn
David Galiyas, Detroit Catholic Central
Alexander Ralston, Fenton
Joshua Cupp, Fenton
Matthew Fitzgibbon, Garden City
Nicholas Ballou, Grand Ledge
Neil Delaney, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central
Jeffrey Koelzer, Grand Rapids Northview
Alexander Davenport, Grosse Pointe North
Alistair Smith, Kalamazoo Central
John Gundry, Lansing Waverly
Daniel Martin, Livonia Churchill
Luke Knochel, Livonia Stevenson
Anthony Schiro, Okemos
Seth Meyer, Okemos
Michael Harden, St. Johns
Tyler Dickenson, St. Johns
Charles Mouch, Troy Athens
Ryan Schell, Troy Athens
Zachary Ciochetto, Utica Ford
James Ciennik, Waterford Mott

Class B Girls
Alexandria Henry, Alma
Marissa Ash, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood
Larissa Kimmer, Durand
Hilary Braseth, East Grand Rapids
Allison  Assaly, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Eastern
Shaziah Singh, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern
Abby Gaskell, Grand Rapids South Christian
Emily Goyert, Grosse Ile
Jennifer  Fuller, Hemlock
Katherine Lovinger, Hillsdale
Katelyn Preisel, Imlay City
Ashley Theobald, Kingsford
Lisa Tobiczyk, Marysville
Christine Dempsey, Portland
Jane Sielski, Spring Lake
Katelyn Brundige, Vicksburg

Class B Boys
Shane Sinda, Capac
Andrew Cuthbert, Dowagiac
Bradford Witt, Flint Powers Catholic
Benjamin Williams, Freeland
Joseph Malone, Grosse Ile
Kurt Bjorkman, Kingsford
Darren Quillan, Ludington
Jason Thompson, Ludington
Adam DeWolf, Marshall
Jordan Schreuder, Otsego
Derek Welmers, Standish-Sterling
Kyle  Schmidt, Standish-Sterling
Austin Brown, Sturgis
Tyler McCoy, Tawas Area
Thomas Brady, Three Rivers
Timothy  Kramer, Wayland Union

Class C Girls
Ciera Stevick, Addison
Cecilia Kovach, Gobles
Hilary Beauchamp, Iron Mountain
Megan Boddy, Iron Mountain
Jessica Holmes, Leroy Pine River
Kayla Thompson, Marlette
Allyson Karaba, North Muskegon
Jenna Urban, Saginaw Nouvel
Alyse Gonzales, St. Charles
Tori Beattie, St. Louis
Shelby  LaBuhn, Ubly
Katie Rayl, Unionville-Sebewaing

Class C Boys
Joshua Fracassi, Athens
Trent Herman, Bronson
Jacob Wimmer, Charlevoix
Ryan Klenke, Clare
Wesley Messing, Deckerville
Riley Ford, Harbor Springs
Ben Halbower, Holton
Joseph Holcomb, Homer
William Birch, Kalamazoo Hackett
Matthew Duckett, Niles Brandywine
Daniel Olsen, St. Ignace
Kristopher Marin, Suttons Bay

Class D Girls
Emily Feldhake, Cedarville
Sabrina  Graham, Climax-Scotts
Samantha Danbert, Ellsworth
Brenda Sisung, Fowler
Kayla Horetski, Kinde-North Huron
Cassie Giacobassi, Litchfield
Elizabeth Sikkenga, Muskegon Western Michigan Christian
Kala Belson, Pittsford

Class D Boys
Ryan  Boden, Adrian Lenawee Christian
Joseph Rexroat, Lake Leelanau St Mary
Chase Closs, Mackinaw City
Spencer McFarland, Mackinaw City
David Kilpela, Painesdale-Jeffers
Reggie  Kehoe, Pittsford
Aaron Fletcher, Walkerville
Matthew Boersen, Wyoming Tri-unity Christian





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