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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE --February 9, 2000
Contact: John Johnson or Andy Frushour-- 517.332.5046

Fall Scholar-Athlete Award Scholarship Recipients Announced

EAST LANSING, Mich. - Feb. 9 - The Michigan High School Athletic Association's Scholar-Athlete Award program has selected its eight scholarship recipients for the 1999 fall sports season.

Farm Bureau Insurance, in its 11th year of sponsoring the award, will give a $1,000 college scholarship to each of the eight fall sports winners, the first of 24 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 25. Commemorative plaques will be given to other finalists in recognition of their accomplishments.

The eight Scholar-Athlete Award honorees for the 1999 fall sports season are: Lauren M. Bramos, Grosse Pointe North, girls basketball; Charles Stamboulian, North Farmington, boys cross country; Erin Maureen Randall, Clio, girls cross country; Rick Bolhuis, Jenison, football; Jeffrey Craig Melville, Jenison, boys golf; Brian Horr, North Farmington, boys soccer; Michelle C. Miller, Trenton, girls swimming & diving; Kathryn Berger, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central, girls tennis.

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

Girls Basketball -- Lauren M. Bramos, Grosse Pointe North. Earned three varsity letters in girls basketball and volleyball ... co-captain of basketball team as a senior … all-conference in both basketball and volleyball … served on Athletic Advisory Board as a junior and senior … four-year member of Fellowship of Christian Athletes … participated three years in Valkyries and Varsity Club … active with Adopt-A-Family for four years and Nautical Coast Clean-Up as a junior … also was a basketball clinic volunteer … plans on studying elementary education in college.

Essay Quote - "Sportsmanship is a tool in life, yet it is the athletes who determine what lessons are learned through the use of this tool. An athlete develops a sense of unity while at the same time developing respect, a competitive striving spirit, and a willingness to gracefully accept defeat regardless of their effort."

Boys Cross Country -- Charles Stamboulian, North Farmington. Awarded four varsity letters in both cross country and track and field … captained both teams for two years … voted to all-conference and all-county teams … academic All-State honoree … sat on school board student round table all four years … was on class board as a freshman and sophomore and a student advisory committee as a junior and senior … participated in symphony band, concert band, orchestra and jazz band all four years and school musicals as freshman and sophomore … member of National Honor Society … also involved with freshman transition group, Goodfellows Food Drive and Sunday School youth project for four years … plans on studying computer engineering at the University of Michigan.

Essay Quote -"One must learn to play fairly, try diligently, and accept defeat to become a proper sportsman. Athletes need to take personal responsibility and refrain from crossing boundaries of violence, gloating, and cheating. If people take this knowledge into consideration, the wave of sportsmanship will successfully turn around."

Girls Cross Country -- Erin Maureen Randall, Clio. Named academic all-conference in three sports … awarded four varsity letters in cross country, three in soccer, and one in volleyball … selected to all-district soccer team … elected class President all four years … also served on student council all four years … member of National Honor Society and Science Olympiad team as sophomore, junior and senior … tutored and led a Methodist youth fellowship group all four years … will study chemical engineering and secondary education at Michigan Technological University next year.

Essay Quote - "Many people believe sportsmanship is wishing the other team good luck or shaking hands at the end of a game. In reality, it's more than that. Good sportsmanship occurs on the playing field. A player gives up a rebound to help another player up on the basketball court. The runner stops his race to help a fallen comrade. Each one possibly sacrifices winning to help the other team."

Football -- Rick Bolhuis, Jenison. Captained both the football and wrestling teams … earned four varsity letters in wrestling and two in football … selected first team all-conference in football … two-time MHSAA Individual Finals qualifier in wrestling while winning district and conference championships … named Jenison Outstanding Wrestler in 1998 and 1999 … elected to student council all four years, including Executive Board Vice-President position as a senior and Treasurer as a junior … member of National Honor Society as a junior and senior and elected to the House of Representatives at the American Legion's Boy's State as a senior … participated as a Peer Educator and Lunch Coach and is involved with Friendship Club … also officiated freestyle wrestling, officiated and announced junior football, and volunteered as junior high wrestling coach … will attend Elmhurst College and study mathematics.

Essay Quote - "The opportunity to compete and use my God-given ability is enough to enjoy the game. By respecting the other participants, I make it much more enjoyable for all involved. Winning on the scoreboard is a bonus, not the only enjoyable outcome. Good sports are indeed winners."

Boys Golf -- Jeffrey Craig Melville, Jenison. Earned four varsity letters in golf … awarded four other letters, two in both basketball and baseball … captain of the golf team as a senior … all-conference selection in golf as a sophomore, junior and senior … class Vice-President as a junior and senior … participated as a Peer Adolescent Listener all four years and Peer Educator his junior and senior years … Peer Educator State Conference Representative as a senior … sang in Male Chorus, Chorale and Chambersingers throughout high school … member of National Honor Society as a junior and senior … involved with church youth group for four years as well as volunteering for Community Education … would like to study pre-med at Wake Forest University, the University of Michigan or the University of Virginia next fall.

Essay Quote - "The important role that sportsmanship plays in educational athletics is usually never questioned in discussions about sports. The difficulty lies in the ability of both participants and spectators to promote these ideals in the heat of battle."

Boys Soccer -- Brian Horr, North Farmington. Three-year varsity letter winner in boys soccer … team MVP all three years … selected to all-conference team and WLAA League Scholar as a senior and all-region and all district as a junior and senior … participated in American Legion Boy's State and Western Lakes Activities Association leadership conference as a junior … active in Student Diversity Round Table and Multi-Cultural Club as a sophomore, junior and senior … participated in many school vocal and instrumental music activities including Men's Chorus, Northern Lites, Mixed Chorus, Orchestra and Percussion Ensemble throughout high school … acted in three North Farmington musicals … also volunteered for the Salvation Army Bed and Breakfast Truck, Raider-Rake and Habitat for Humanity … has also been an active participant in church's Welsley Choir, Adult Choir and Holiday Musicals ... will study biology/pre-med at the University of Michigan.

Essay Quote -"The importance of sportsmanship in athletics cannot be denied. I always think of sportsmanship as being contagious. If you display a positive attitude, you will more times than not receive the same in return."

Girls Swimming & Diving -- Michelle C. Miller, Trenton. Captain of both swimming and track and field teams as a senior … earned eight varsity letters, four in swimming and four in track and field … conference scholar athlete in two sports … member of the National Honor Society … active in Homecoming Steering Committee for three years, including two years as Chairman … representative to the National Young Leaders Conference as a junior … four-year participant in Marching Band, Students Against Drunk Driving, Teens Against Destructive Decisions and Interact Club … also active for four years in PRCUA Polish Dancing (honoree of the Michigan PRCUA Ball and two-year runner-up in competitive pom-pons), Leadership Team in church youth ministry, and as section leader and secretary in Michigan Lions All State Band … will study marine/environmental biology at St. Mary's College at Notre Dame or U.S. Coast Guard Academy.

Essay Quote - "The thrill of competition, the victories, and celebrations would all be hollow without sportsmanship. Too often the casual observer focuses on the number of victories, the number one athlete or team. However important these are, I believe more important are the lessons learned while participating in high school athletics."

Girls Tennis -- Kathryn Berger, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central. All-conference tennis selection as a sophomore, junior and senior … tennis team captain as a junior and senior … awarded four varsity letters in tennis and golf … elected class Treasurer as a freshman and senior, class Representative as a sophomore and junior … co-chair for Adopt-A-Family as a junior and senior … participated in Jazz Band, Wind Ensemble and Marching Band for four years … served as Drum Major of Marching Band for final three years … involved with Forensics her sophomore year … member of the National Honor Society … also active in Bell Choir and youth group at church throughout all four years … will attend Indiana University and study business.

Essay Quote - "Many virtues of life can be taught better through a positive learning experience. High school athletics is a perfect setting where many of these life skills and experiences should be taught. A good work ethic, respect for others, and compassion for others are all virtues that help us become successful people in life."

Other fall finalists by sport for the Scholar-Athlete Award were: Girls Basketball -- Jamie Semeyn, Suttons Bay; Emily K. Damuth, Saginaw Heritage; Ahleah Tagai, Madison Heights Lamphere; Robyn Flewelling, Okemos; Molly Kamp, Stevensville Lakeshore; Bethany Fredline, Lowell. Boys Cross Country -- Seann Duffin, Carney-Nadeau; Brent Wrisley, St. Louis; Bradley Carroll, Livonia Stevenson; Kevin Drake, Three Rivers; Brent L. Densham, Grandville. Girls Cross Country -- Maggie Rose Schmittling, Suttons Bay; Stacey Nyland, Oxford; Julie Diepenhorst, Taylor Kennedy; Sarah Anne Ziegler, Litchfield; Lindsay Steinberg, Muskegon Reeths-Puffer. Football -- Ryan Slezak, Gaylord St. Mary; Jeffrey Ustishen, New Lothrop; Grant J. Weber, Farmington; Jonathon Zurawski, Dearborn; Joshua D. Reeves, Milan; Curtis Daniel VandenBerg, Byron Center. Boys Golf -- David Winkle, Manistique; Patrick W. Schultz, Bay City Central; Christopher L. Scribner, Pontiac Central; Daniel J. Cousino, Erie-Mason; Edward James Hunt, Tecumseh. Boys Soccer -- Matt Mason, Spring Lake; Daniel McNamara, Allen Park Inter-City Baptist; Nick Kuhl, East Grand Rapids. Girls Swimming & Diving -- Rachel Riemer, Ludington; Emily D. Gladney, Pinckney. Girls Tennis -- Jacqueline McClellan, Pontiac Notre Dame; Jeanette Fershtman, Livonia Stevenson; Meghan Hope LeClair, Spring Lake.

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. 16, and spring sports honorees will be announced on Feb. 23.

The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by over 1,300 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 conducted in 12 sports for girls and 12 sports for boys which attract approximately 1.3 million spectators each year.