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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE --February 23, 2000
Contact: John Johnson or Andy Frushour-- 517.332.5046

Spring Scholar-Athlete Award Scholarship Recipients Announced

EAST LANSING, Mich. - Feb. 23 - The Michigan High School Athletic Association's Scholar-Athlete Award program has selected its seven scholarship recipients for the 2000 spring sports season.

Farm Bureau Insurance, in its 11th year of sponsoring the award, will give a $1,000 college scholarship to each of the seven spring sport winners. Farm Bureau will present a total of 24 scholarships, 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 seven Scholar-Athlete Award honorees for the 2000 spring sports season are: Aaron Johnson, Flint Powers Catholic, baseball; Jennifer Petzko, Coldwater, girls golf; Laura Wolohan, Saginaw Nouvel, girls soccer; Katie Cramer, Frankenmuth, softball; Steven J. Jackson, Harbor Beach, boys tennis; Garrett James Dawe, Mio, boys track and field; and Carolyn Hammer, Allegan, girls track and field.

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

Baseball -- Aaron Johnson, Flint Powers Catholic. Earned varsity letters in baseball and football as a junior and senior … second team all-conference in football … member of National Honor Society as a junior and senior, and class representative in student government as an underclassman … participated in Spanish Club as an upperclassman, and Chancel Choir and Rotary International Seminar for Tomorrow's Leaders as a junior … part of the Ministry Program as a junior and senior … four-year Lector and two-year Eucharistic Minister for church parish … announced for youth football program all four years … will attend Hope College or the University of Michigan and study pre-medicine.

Essay Quote - "Sportsmanship is just as important as just as a fan as it is a player. It is easy for a spectator to criticize an official or heckle an opponent. Unfortunately, this happens often. We must realize that these actions are damaging the games we love. Without sportsmanship, where would athletics be today?"

Girls Golf -- Jennifer Petzko, Coldwater. Placed second individually at MHSAA Lower Peninsula Finals in 1999 while leading her team to Division 2 championship … four-year varsity letter winner in golf … conference player of the year and all-conference selection three years … class Secretary as a senior and Vice-President as a junior … student council representative all four years … voted Homecoming Queen … elected Vice-President of Interact Club, served as yearbook Editor-in-Chief as a junior and senior, and member of the National Honor Society as a junior and senior and Spanish Club all four years … participated in Model United Nations as a freshman, sophomore, and junior and served on the Security Council team … helped with Michigan's Adopt-A-Highway clean-up and tutoring at elementary schools for three years as well as volunteering at Kid's Kingdom community building project as a junior … received DAR Good Citizen Award … will study pre-med at Michigan State University, the University of Michigan or Western Michigan University.

Essay Quote -- "What began as a mere fascination with the game became an integral part in influencing and shaping the individual I am today. The game helped build my character with the elements of integrity, responsibility, and patience. In golf as in life, I've learned it's the follow through that makes the difference. That follow through is sportsmanship."

Girls Soccer -- Laura Wolohan, Saginaw Nouvel. Captain of soccer team as a senior … lettered four times in soccer … earned varsity letters in cross country as a senior and swimming as a sophomore … qualified for MHSAA Lower Peninsula Finals in swimming … active in student council all four years, including election as President as a senior and Secretary as a junior … served on Athletic Drug and Alcohol Advisory Board as a junior … had principal role in all school plays during her four years … member of National Honor Society as a sophomore, junior and senior and served as Secretary her junior year … participated in Forensics as a sophomore and junior … volunteered for Hidden Harvest for three years and as Parish Cantor for two … will study marketing and music at the University of Notre Dame or Duke University.

Essay Quote -- "When the game is over, the field is empty, and the athlete has completed his season, there is one thing that continues to work, and that is the mind. What we take away from an athletic competition, what is learned, and what is remembered with clarity are determined by sportsmanship. Without it, school sports mean little; they are hollow shells of victory or loss."

Softball -- Katie Cramer, Frankenmuth. Three-sport varsity letter winner … earned three letters in softball and two in volleyball and basketball .. selected all-conference in softball … received University of Michigan Alumni Club Outstanding Athlete Award … served as class Representative in student council all four years … participated in SADD for four years and served as Co-Chairman as a senior … member of Spanish Club for four years and National Honor Society as a senior … active with Fellowship of Christian Athletes all four years … volunteered in the Emergency Department at Covenant Healthcare as a junior and coached volleyball and basketball summer camps as a junior and senior … will attend University of Michigan and study communications and public policy.

Essay Quote - "Regardless of what happens in my future, I know that I will rely on the values I have learned from playing sports. When I am older, it will be essential for me to be able to deal with a variety of situations in a positive manner and with self-control. These are two important lessons that sportsmanship has taught me. Playing sports isn't always fair, for often bad calls are made and cheap shots are taken, but the mature athlete can handle these situations with dignity. Life isn't always fair either, so the person who will succeed in life will have the same qualities as the mature athlete."

Boys Tennis -- Steven J. Jackson, Harbor Beach. Earned two varsity letters in tennis, basketball and football … member of student council as a sophomore and class council as a freshman … led "Book Buddies" reading program in elementary schools … served as Editor of the school newspaper and school web page as a senior … participated on Math Team and in Quiz Bowl as a sophomore … National Honor Society member for three years … served as representative on planning committee for church youth … volunteer youth soccer referee as a sophomore and junior … will study economics at University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Harvard University, or University of Pennsylvania.

Essay Quote -- "A true sportsman demonstrates a top-notch work ethic, interacts positively with his teammates, shows proper respect to officials and coaches, rises to the occasion at crunch time, and overcomes adversity; he is the consummate team player and competes as graciously in victory as defeat."

Boys Track and Field -- Garrett James Dawe, Mio. School record holder in long jump and 400-meter relay … four-year varsity letter winner in three sports: track and field, basketball and cross country … voted conference MVP in track as a junior … elected class President as a freshman and sophomore … member of National Honor Society for three years … participated in the high school band for four years … captained Knowledge Bowl Team for two years while competing four years … member of the Science Olympiad team as a junior … active in Christian Youth Fellowship and church Men's Club all four years … also active with Nordic Ski Club for four years and volunteers every Fall to help groom trails, repair bridges, etc. for the club … plans to attend Michigan Technological University and study engineering.

Essay Quote -- "It is very easy to congratulate our opponents on a game well played when we come out the victors. It is very difficult, on the other hand, to congratulate our opponents when we come out the losers. However, it is this character, this sportsmanship, that holds high school athletics together and makes them enjoyable for everyone."

Girls Track and Field -- Carolyn Hammer, Allegan. Earned four varsity letters in both track and field and cross country … captain of track team as a senior and cross country team as a junior and senior … elected class President all four years … served as President of National Honor Society as a senior and Secretary as a junior … participated in Michigan Youth in Government for four years while holding position on Governor's Cabinet as senior and as Lieutenant Governor as a junior … member of French Club, Spanish Club and Quiz Bowl team all four years and was President of French Club as a senior and Secretary as a junior … also involved with Interact Club for three years, Junior Rotarian as a junior and tutored underclassmen as a junior and senior … would like to attend Brown University or Harvard University and study English literature and international relations.

Essay Quote -- "Clearly, we don't run this race or any other for money, or for our parents or even for our coaches. We run for our competitors and for ourselves. It is this dedication to our athletic pursuit, this love of the game, which lies at the heart of good sportsmanship."

Other spring finalists by sport for the Scholar-Athlete Award were: Baseball -- Jonathon Kowalski, Warren DeLaSalle; Joseph R. Mierkowicz, Trenton; Ryan Stoianowski, Clinton; Robert Westerman, Gaylord St. Mary; David Wine, Olivet; Stephen Wright, Cassopolis. Girls Golf -- Cara Christeson, Rochester; Brianna Widener, Midland Dow. Girls Soccer -- Lindsay E. Farrer, Kalamazoo Hackett; Larissa Hotra, Birmingham Marian; Jackie Neal, Harrison Township L'Anse Creuse. Softball -- Stephanie Allsopp, Bay City John Glenn; Erin Nicole DiMaggio, Grosse Pointe North; Michelle Doran, Southfield Christian; Katherine Eustice, Cheboygan; Amber Leigh Gorton, Vandercook Lake; Rachel Whitney Koller, Niles Brandywine. Boys Tennis -- Daniel Karmel, Birmingham Groves; Jeffery A. Ponders II, Detroit Renaissance; Kabir Seth, Stevensville Lakeshore. Boys Track & Field -- John Achterhoff, Whitehall; Jason Karbowski, Three Rivers; Nicholas Morgan, Flint Northern; Zachary Sine, Napoleon; Stephen Stamatis, Southgate Anderson; Donald Wine II, Detroit Country Day. Girls Track & Field -- Jessica Balon, Bellaire; Elizabeth Beck, Fenton; Sarah Kostrzeba, Center Line St. Clement; Meredith Palen, Ovid-Elsie; Stacy Putnam, Dearborn Edsel Ford; Sarah Ziegler, Litchfield.

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.

Fall honorees were: 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. Winter honorees were Seann Duffin, Carney-Nadeau, boys basketball; Jennifer Mosack, Armada, girls competitive cheer; Laura Barker, Menominee, girls gymnastics; Bryan R. Dery, Livonia Stevenson, ice hockey; Scott Bell, Rochester Adams, boys skiing; Martha Grant, Mt. Pleasant, girls skiing; Bradford Andrew Flora, St. Joseph, boys swimming & diving; Georgianna Golematis, Brownstown Woodhaven, girls volleyball; and Zachary Sine, Napoleon, wrestling.

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.