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Class B Scholar-Athlete Award Scholarship Recipients Announced

EAST LANSING , Mich. - Feb. 19 - Ten student-athletes at Class C and D member schools of the Michigan High School Athletic Association have been selected to receive scholarships through its Scholar-Athlete Award program.

Farm Bureau Insurance, in its 18th 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 24. Commemorative medallions will be given to other finalists in recognition of their accomplishments.

The Class B Scholar-Athlete Award honorees are:  Allison M. Assaly, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Eastern; Andrew Cuthbert, Dowagiac; Adam DeWolf, Marshall; Alexandria N. Henry, Alma; Tyler J. McCoy, Tawas Area; Katelyn E. Priesel, Imlay City; Shane Sinda, Capac; Shaziah Singh, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern; Ashley A. Theobald, Kingsford; Jason Thompson, Ludington.

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

Allison M. Assaly, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Eastern. Awarded three letters in basketball and soccer. Voted captain of the varsity basketball team senior year. Basketball honorable mention all-conference in 2005 and 2006. National Honor Society junior representative in 2006 and co-president in 2006 and 2007. Recipient of MSU Outstanding Junior Award in 2006. Student government representative and fundraising chairperson. North American Catechism Bowl Champion in 2006. Active with the church youth group community service projects all four years. Plans to attend Michigan State University, University of Michigan, or University of Notre Dame to study medicine.

Essay Quote – “Learning to accept constructive criticism, display sportsmanship, maintain a positive attitude, work as a team to achieve a goal and sacrifice individual success for the success of a team promotes individual development. Good sportsmanship and the rewards we receive are emblematic of our courageous and humble efforts.”

Andrew Cuthbert, Dowagiac. Earned four letters in cross country, three in soccer and tennis, and two in basketball. Named first team all-district in soccer senior year. Voted team captain senior year in basketball, soccer, and tennis. National Honor Society member junior and senior year, and was  president in senior year. President of humanities as a senior, and participant for four years. Active in student senate. Worship leader at Sister Lakes Community Church. Plans to attend Cornerstone University, Taylor University, or Indiana Wesleyan University to study sports management or worship directing at a church. 

Essay Quote – “Reputable sportsmen educate people on how to live and play in the correct way. From simply clapping when an injured player gets up, to helping an opposing player who is down, to even ignoring a bad-mouthing rival, there are many different marks of a good sportsman.”

Adam DeWolf, Marshall. Received three letters in tennis and two in soccer. MHSAA Lower Peninsula Division 2 tennis quarterfinalist sophomore year. Soccer all-district, all-conference, and academic all-state senior year. Voted by soccer team “Best Defender.” Student council vice president, and president of the Marshall Community Foundation Youth Advisory Council senior year. Voting member of the Marshall Community Foundation Board of Trustees. National Honor Society member junior and senior years. Captain of the Marshall High School Relay for Life team junior and senior years. Recreation department soccer camp coach. Plans to attend University of Pennsylvania or University of Michigan to study pre-medicine or business.

Essay Quote – “It comes as no surprise that athletes tend to be better-rounded individuals, because through participation in their sport, they have acquired many admirable qualities. Qualities like respect, teamwork, and empathy are easily found on the athletic fields, manifesting themselves as sportsmanship.”

Alexandria N. Henry, Alma. Four-year letterwinner in cross country and track. Cross country second team all-conference in 2005. Voted cross country team captain in 2005 and 2006. Awarded cross country sportsmanship award in 2004 and 2005, and track sportsmanship award in 2004. Student council representative all four years. Sophomore class president, junior class vice president, and senior class president. Future Farmers of America chapter president and Region III FFA president. Extemporaneous public speaking state winner, fifth place nationally. National Honor Society member junior and senior year. Leadership team member of your service organization all four years. School’s Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership ambassador sophomore and junior years. 4-H member for all four years. Plans to attend Michigan State University and dual-degree in agriculture communications and political science/pre-law.

Essay Quote – “Sportsmanship isn’t just shaking hands before and after games or offering a halfhearted ‘good luck’ to the opposition. Sportsmanship is the respectful attitude given to opposing players and teammates, coaches and referees, spectators and facilities.”

Tyler J. McCoy, Tawas Area. Four-year letterwinner in baseball, three-year letterwinner in football and two-year letterwinner in basketball. Football second team all-conference, Evans Citizenship Award, Mick Scholastic Award, and Academic All-State as a senior. Voted captain of the varsity football team junior and senior years. Also voted captain of the varsity basketball team senior year and captain of the varsity baseball team junior and senior years. Participated in student council and class board for two years. Member of the Spanish club and National Honor Society for three years.   Spanish club president and National Honor Society secretary as senior. Also active in the Emanuel Lutheran Church. Plans to study aerospace engineering and pilot training at the United States Air Force Academy.

Essay Quote – “The sportsmanship I experienced in educational athletics will be used over and over again in my life. There will be wins and there will be losses. Being a good sport and handling every situation with the proper attitude will make me succeed.”

Katelyn E. Preisel, Imlay City. Received four letters in softball and two in basketball and volleyball. Member of MHSAA District champions for basketball, volleyball and softball junior year. Voted team captain of the basketball team senior year. Received Blue Water Area Conference all-academic team for all three varsity sports. Three-year member of the National Honor Society. President of the National Honor Society junior and senior year. Member of the Spanish club sophomore, junior and senior years. Participant in marching band and wind ensemble all four years. Earned the Central Michigan University drum major award and the Michigan State University Big Ten drum major award. Active in North Goodland Baptist church youth group and instrumentalist group. Plans to study political science at Central Michigan University.

Essay Quote – “The components of character define sportsmanship, a necessity in athletics. Sportsmanship is key in the performance of an athlete and the most important lesson taught in high school sports.”

Shane Sinda, Capac. Two-year letterwinner in football and track. Received ironman and all-academic awards in football sophomore and junior years. Voted football team captain and received Coach’s Award senior year. Participated in Quiz Bowl and student council for four years. Voted Quiz Bowl captain senior year. National Honor Society member sophomore, junior and senior years. Active member of the Four County Community Foundation Youth Advisory Committee freshman, sophomore, junior and senior years. Volunteered with Adopt-a-Highway and Pontiac rescue mission. Plans to attend Michigan Technological University and study computer science.

Essay Quote – “Good sportsmanship can best be defined when teammates, opponents, coaches, officials and fans treat each other with respect. Ideally, sportsmanship expresses an aspiration that the sport will be enjoyed for its own sake, with considerations for fairness and ethics.”

Shaziah Singh, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern. Received four letters in golf, and one in tennis. All-area tennis sophomore year.  Tennis team won conference and MHSAA Regional championships sophomore year. Earned all-conference golf for two years. Golf team was conference champion three years and MHSAA Regional champion once. Received honorable mention All-State in golf. Awarded Academic All-State for golf. Voted golf team captain junior and senior years. Active in peer listening and student government for all four years. Named president of peer listening junior year. Member of the varsity debate team for three years. National Honor Society member junior and senior years. President of Project Chuck, a child drug and alcohol prevention program. Undecided on which college she will attend but plans to major in pre-medicine.

Essay Quote – “Good sportsmanship is exemplified by how one participates in a sport, rather than how one performs. It’s about realizing that how you play the game is more important than winning. Not every athlete can be champion, but every athlete can gain from the lessons of good sportsmanship.”

Ashley A. Theobald, Kingsford. Awarded two letters in basketball and volleyball and one in soccer. Team was conference champion in basketball. Awarded most improved in basketball. National Honor Society member junior and senior years. Band member freshman and sophomore years. Member of the chorus sophomore, junior and senior years. Achieved state Level 1 recognition in vocal solo and group performances. Active in 4-H all four years, and 4-H Club vice president. Active in Young Women of the Latter-Day Saint church all four years. Participant in Proud Equestrian Program for Children with Disabilities. Plans to attend Michigan Technological University and study biochemistry and molecular biology.

Essay Quote – “Sportsmanship includes playing by the rules, respecting your team, respecting your opponents, accepting the decisions of the officials, and providing a good example to others. Educational athletics should be used to build character and life skills.”

Jason Thompson, Ludington. Awarded three letters in football and two in basketball. Football honorable mention all-conference wide receiver. Basketball team was two-time MHSAA District champion and 2006 MHSAA Regional champion. National Honor Society member sophomore, junior and senior years. Ludington youth basketball referee and seventh grade assistant basketball coach. Main Stream Christian Youth Center leader. Four-year volunteer with Toys for Tots and Mason County Youth Football league as a camp coach. Plans to major in political science and business at Grand Valley State University.

Essay Quote – “Wins and losses are important, because they measure your success in your sport. However, winning and losing with class measures your success in your life.”

Other Class B girls finalists for the Scholar-Athlete Award were:   Marissa Ash, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood;  Larissa Kimmer, Durand;  Hilary Braseth, East Grand Rapids;  Abby Gaskell, Grand Rapids South Christian;  Emily Goyert, Grosse Ile;  Jennifer  Fuller, Hemlock;  Katherine Lovinger, Hillsdale;  Lisa Tobiczyk, Marysville;  Christine Dempsey, Portland;  Jane Sielski, Spring Lake; and Katelyn Brundige, Vicksburg.

Other Class B boys finalists for the Scholar-Athlete Award were:  Bradford Witt, Flint Powers Catholic; Benjamin Williams, Freeland; Joseph Malone, Grosse Ile; Kurt Bjorkman, Kingsford; Darren Quillan, Ludington;  Jordan Schreuder, Otsego; Derek Welmers, Standish-Sterling; Kyle  Schmidt, Standish-Sterling; Austin Brown, Sturgis;  Thomas Brady, Three Rivers; and Timothy  Kramer, Wayland Union.

Previously announced were the Class C and D scholarship recipients.  The Class C Scholar-Athlete Award honorees are:  Hilary Beauchamp, Iron Mountain; Riley S. Ford, Harbor Springs; Ben Halbower, Holton; Allyson J. Karaba, North Muskegon; Daniel L. Olsen, St. Ignace; and Kayla Jo Thompson, Marlette.    The Class D Scholar-Athlete Award scholarship recipients are:  Emily Anne Feldhake, Cedarville; Aaron R. Fletcher, Walkerville; Spencer Andrew McFarland, Mackinaw City; and Brenda Sisung, Fowler. 

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.

  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 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 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.


AT&T, Farm Bureau Insurance, Henry Ford Health System and MEEMIC Insurance
are year-round MHSAA Corporate Partners


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