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Scholar-Athlete Award Recipients for Class A Schools Announced

EAST LANSING , Mich. - March 3- The 13 Class A scholarship recipients of the 2008-09 Michigan High School Athletic Association’s Scholar Athlete-Award have been selected.

Farm Bureau Insurance, in its 20th 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 28. Commemorative medallions will be given to other finalists in recognition of their accomplishments.

The Class A Scholar-Athlete Award honorees are:  John Davies, Grosse Pointe South; Michelle Gaedke, Dearborn Edsel Ford; Brian LaFleur, Carleton Airport; Michelle Lapin, Berkley; Philip Mathew, Ann Arbor Huron; Macy Merchant, Wayland Union; Rebecca Moore, Allen Park; Katherine O’Leary, White Lake Lakeland; Amanda Quartz, Garden City; Christian Roehmer, Mt. Pleasant; Kieran Scott, Warren DeLaSalle; Michael Steltenkamp, Birmingham Seaholm; and Patrick Vaughn, Warren DeLaSalle.

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

cJohn Davies, Grosse Pointe South. Four-year letterwinner in cross country and track and field. Captain of cross country and track and field teams senior year. Three-year academic all-state honors in cross country and track and field. Three-year MHSAA Finals qualifier in cross country. MHSAA Finals qualifier in track and field as junior. Two-time Michigan Interscholastic Press Association High School Award winner. National Honors Society Cum Laude member as junior and senior. Four-year member of Latin Club. Sports editor for Grosse Pointe South Newspaper The Tower. Served as team leader for Jamaica Youth Mission Trip junior year.  Plans to study pre-med and biology in college.

Essay Quote - "Gaining the extra yard on the rush or the extra pop on the swing, legally or illegally, may seem like the most important thing in the world in the heat of the moment, but in the long run, the lesson of morality found in sports will have the greatest impact both individually and on future generations of athletes."

cMichelle Gaedke, Dearborn Edsel Ford.  Earned four letters in volleyball, basketball, and track and two in soccer. Team captain in both volleyball and basketball.  All-Michigan Mega Conference basketball player as freshman, sophomore and junior. Set individual school season records in scoring, steals, assists and single game assists in basketball sophomore year. Two-year all-conference  in volleyball. Earned volleyball team awards for most kills and aces senior year. Two-year all-conference in soccer. MEGA Conference high jump champion in track. National Honor Society member junior and senior year. Plans to  attend Michigan Technological University to study medicine.

Essay Quote  - “Sportsmanship is a recognizable characteristic of a successful athlete. It is a positive attitude that is immediately apparent and sets the tone for teammates, an internalization of the methods needed to maintain composure, self-control, confidence and leadership. Without sportsmanship, even the most gifted athlete will not reach full potential.”

cBrian LaFleur, Carleton Airport. Four-year letterwinner in soccer. Soccer team captain as sophomore, junior and senior. Awarded soccer most improved freshman year and team coaches award sophomore year.  Senior year was selected to All-District Soccer Team, received Huron League Scholar Athlete Award, and named to 2008 All-Region soccer team by Monroe Evening News. Awarded “Outstanding Witness” in model Judiciary program as a junior. Received a 1 rating at the Michigan State Band & Orchestra Association’s Solo & Ensemble and Festival Competitions at district and state levels as junior. President of National Honor Society and Treasurer of Interact Club senior year. Served as class treasurer all four years. Voted homecoming’s “Mr. Airport” senior year.  Plans to attend Michigan State University to study chemical engineering.

Essay Quote - “Sportsmanship becomes so important at the level of educational athletics because what is learned then will carry on throughout one’s life.”

cMichelle Lapin, Berkley. Earned four letters in cross country and track and field, and two in figure skating. Captain of cross country and figure skating teams senior year. Three-year all-league in cross country and track and field.  MHSAA qualifier in track and field freshman and sophomore years. Co-founder of school figure skating team junior year. State finals figure skating qualifier as junior. Four-year member of the marching and symphonic band. Two-year member of National Honor Society. FSN-Detroit Farmers Student Athlete Citizen Award winner. Recipient of Royal Oak Optimist Club Award. Chapter president of B’nai B’rith Youth Organization junior year. College plans include attending either the University of Michigan or Miami University to study architecture and mathematics or engineering.

Essay Quote – “Sportsmanship is a crucial part of athletics and is especially important between men and women because it will prepare us to work together in our future careers”

cPhilip Mathew, Ann Arbor Huron. Three-year letterwinner in football and two in basketball. Served as basketball and football team captain. Earned all-area second team in football junior year. Team defensive most valuable player senior year. Recipient of team heart and soul award in football senior year. Member of National Honor Society for two years. Scholar-athlete award winner all four years of high school. Served community service hours volunteering for the homeless shelter, Salvation Army, Gilbert Residence and Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation. Plans to major in secondary education.

Essay Quote - “Sportsmanship is treating the other teams as you want to be treated. It is a display of respect, kindness, and compassion for the opposing team, their fans and the officials.”

cMacy Merchant, Wayland Union. Four-year letterwinner in softball, and three in basketball and volleyball. Starting center fielder for 2006 MHSAA championship softball team freshman year. Earned softball all-county, all-conference, all-area, all-region and all-state honors as sophomore and junior. Two-year captain of softball team. Received all-conference Female Athlete of the Year Award as junior. Two-year student council and National Honor Society member. Assistant newspaper editor and sports yearbook editor. Serves as volunteer at church bible camp and nursery and at numerous sports camps. Plans to attend Central Michigan University to study special education.

Essay Quote - “Sportsmanship is shown when the athlete can accept defeat with dignity or even when they win and they don’t rub it in the teams face. Just helping someone up or telling a fan how much their support means, can really mean a lot.”

cRebecca Moore, Allen Park.  Four-year letterwinner in cross country and three in both track and soccer. Three-time MHSAA Finals qualifier in cross country. Served as cross country team captain senior year. Mega Red League cross country champion sophomore year. Two-time cross country team MVP. All-league in track as freshman, sophomore and junior. Two-time soccer all-conference performer. President of National Honor Society senior year. Principal’s Scholar Athlete-Award winner freshman, sophomore and junior year. World Language Club activities coordinator senior year. Plans to attend the University of Michigan to study mathematics and engineering.

Essay Quote - “When an athlete can sincerely cheer for another athlete who is on the opposing team, that is a true example of sportsmanship.”

cKatherine O’Leary, White Lake Lakeland. Four-year letterwinner in basketball as well as track and field, and three in volleyball.  Captain of volleyball, basketball and track and field as senior. Awarded most valuable field event participant for track and field sophomore and junior years. Member of district and regional winning volleyball team sophomore year. All-academic award recipient in every sport all four years. Two-year member of National Honor Society. Participant in Race for a Cure against Cancer walk. Plans to attend Michigan State University to major in pre-med.

Essay Quote - “That day, the wrestler rose above his pride by letting someone else stand in the spotlight.  If not for this selfless act, his opponent would have given up his dream.  For the wrestler, sportsmanship came in the form of making the sport less important than the man he was competing against.”

cAmanda Quartz, Garden City. Four-year letterwinner in volleyball, three each in basketball and softball.  Mega Conference all-academic in volleyball, basketball and softball. Academic all-state honors in volleyball. Member of three-time Michigan Mega Conference and MHSAA District championship volleyball teams. Voted most improved basketball player sophomore year. Basketball team captain senior year. Member of MHSAA Division 1 championship softball team as a junior. Served as student council class secretary junior and senior years. Key Club class treasurer for two years. Four-year member of the National Honor Roll. Participated in American Red Cross Blood Drive as National Honor Society member junior and senior years.  Plans to attend the University of Michigan-Dearborn to study pre-law and English.

Essay Quote - “Sportsmanship in educational athletics is important because it is that mentality of self-respect and respect for others that athletes carry within themselves throughout the entirety of their life. It is what separates the athlete from the average American citizen.”

cChristian Roehmer, Mt. Pleasant. Four-year letterwinner in tennis. Tennis team captain as junior and senior. No. 1 Singles tennis player all four years. Two-time All-Saginaw Valley Conference and three-time MHSAA Regional champion.  WNEM TV-5 McDonald’s Scholar-Athlete winner. Member of BPA Executive Board junior and senior year. BPA small business regional champion. National Level Ambassador Award winner junior year. Three-year student senate class treasurer. Senior year served as vice president of student executive board. Plans to attend Michigan State University to study pre-med.

Essay Quote – “I understand the importance of good sportsmanship, because in the end, good character matters more than winning.”

cKieran Scott, Warren DeLaSalle.  Earned four letters in swimming and three in soccer.  Member of three-time Catholic League and MHSAA District soccer championship teams.  Catholic League All-Academic and recipient of Brother Robert Carnaghi Award senior year. MHSAA Swimming Finals qualifier and Macomb Swimming Dream Team selection junior year. Swimming team captain as a senior MISCA All-State Academic first team. Member of Macomb County record holding 800-meter freestyle relay team. Three-year National Honor Society Member. National Merit semifinalist.  Volunteer for Soccer Special Olympics and peer tutoring at DeLaSalle. Plans to attend either Johns Hopkins University or the University of Notre Dame to study biomedical engineering.

Essay Quote – “Sportsmanship must be an integral part of playing high school sports as every action can influence both the participants and those watching. We have to show a sense of responsibility when playing sports and accept that our actions influence those around us.”

cMichael Steltenkamp, Birmingham Seaholm.  Earned four letters in wrestling, two in football and one in track. Served as two-time wrestling team captain. Two-time league wrestling champion. Earned coaches award for most dedicated and most improved. Two-year place winner at AAU Folkstyle Wrestling World Championships. Served as vice-president for National Honor Society. Religious education teacher junior and senior years. Plans to attend Princeton University to study mechanical engineering.

Essay Quote - “In victory or defeat, the handshake allows athletes to communicate often without speaking. It can mean no hard feelings, better luck next time, good luck, congratulations, or simply good game.”

cPatrick Vaughn, Warren DeLaSalle. Four-year letterwinner in swimming and three in cross country and track. Swimming and cross country team captain senior year. Macomb County Swimming Dream Team selection junior year. Academic all-state in swimming junior year. Three-time MHSAA Regional and Finals qualifier in cross country.  Macomb County first team all-academic freshman, sophomore and junior years, and was two-time academic all-state for cross country. Two-time MHSAA Finals qualifier in track. Three-time De LaSalle Iron Man and Spanish, Math, and Religion award winner. Who’s Who Among American High School Students as freshman, sophomore and junior. Spanish Club President junior and senior years. Has accumulated over 120 hours of community service . College plans are undecided, but intends to study pre-dentistry.

Essay Quote – “Throughout these past four years I have learned valuable lessons in sportsmanship from my teammates and my competitors. I realized that though we all compete in different uniforms, we are all exactly the same, wanting the same results and deserve the utmost respect.”

Other Class A girls finalists for the Scholar-Athlete Award were:  Carley Shann, Bay City Western; Cara Baughman, Birmingham Groves; Allison Hawkins, Birmingham Groves; Chelsea Culter, Carleton Airport; Jena Manilla, Clarkston; Bridget Hickey, Farmington Hills Mercy; Kelsey Irwin, Fraser; Kelsey Byxbe, Grandville; Erinn F. Wilson, Greenville; Samantha Matthew, Grosse Pointe North; Ashley Holmes, Holland West Ottawa; Mellisa Bageris, Milford; Patricia Anton, Niles; Sarah Rounsifer, Northville; Megan Quinlan, Plymouth; Ashley Amanda Richards, Warren Cousino; Kelsey Sterkenburg, Wayland Union; and Rachael Hogarth, White Lake Lakeland.

Other Class A boys finalists for the Scholar-Athlete Award were:  Joseph Johnson, Allen Park; Travis Braun, Berkley; Jacob Robert Goodman, Berkley; Kevin Dzierzawski, Birmingham Brother Rice; Michael Murphy, Birmingham Brother Rice; Satish Subramanian, Canton; Carson Beauchaine, Fraser; Ronald D. Pummill, Garden City; Ian David McKay, Holland; Bryan Bush, Lapeer East; Thomas New, Lincoln Park; Ara Markarian, Livonia Churchill; Brian Klemczak, Livonia Stevenson; Matthew M Russell, Midland Dow; Derek Lax, Plymouth; Peter J. Maniez, St. Johns ; and Anthony Zaki, Troy.

Previously announced were the scholarship recipients in Classes B, C and D.  The Class B Scholar-Athlete Award honorees are:  Katlin Abbs, Sturgis; Erin Benjamin, Chelsea; Courtney Clancy, Richland Gull Lake; Abigail Cohen, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood; Adam Dingens, Corunna; Daniel DuComb, Bloomfield Hills Cranbook-Kingswood; Timothy Hochradel, Milan; Kyle Lark, Alma; and Halley Rycenga, South Haven.

The Class C Scholar-Athlete Award honorees are:  Christopher Hessell, New Haven; Kelsey Hutchinson, Ottawa Lake Whiteford; Jeffrey Petsch, Montague; Jennica Richards, Cass City; Christopher Rush, Leroy Pine River; and Rachel Stattler, Bloomfield Hills Academy of the Sacred Heart.

The Class D Scholar-Athlete Award scholarship recipients are:  Andrew Bauer, Bay City All Saints; Rebekah Kline, Auburn Hills Oakland Christian; Julie Schultz, Holland Calvary; and Ethan Smith, Hillsdale Academy.

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 450 agents serving more than 450,000 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.


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


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