The 120 finalists for the Michigan High School Athletic Association's Scholar-Athlete Awards for the 2019-20 school year, presented by Farm Bureau Insurance, have been announced.
The program, in its 31st year, has recognized student-athletes since the 1989-90 school year and again this winter 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 Awards and will present a $1,000 scholarship to each recipient. Since the beginning of the program, 800 scholarships have been awarded.
Scholarships will be presented proportionately by school classification, with 12 scholarships to be awarded to Class A student-athletes, six female and six male; eight scholarships will be awarded to Class B student-athletes, four female and four male; six scholarships will be awarded to Class C student-athletes, three female and three male; and four scholarships will be awarded to Class D student-athletes, two female and two male. In addition, two scholarships will be awarded at-large to minority recipients, regardless of school size.
Every MHSAA member high school could submit as many applications as there are scholarships available in its classification, and could have more than one finalist. Midland Dow has four finalists this year while Cass City and Ann Arbor Pioneer each have three. Seventeen schools each have two finalists: Ada Forest Hills Eastern, Battle Creek Lakeview, Caro, Chelsea, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood, Fowler, Grosse Ile, Haslett, Hastings, Holland, Ida, North Muskegon, Petersburg Summerfield, Richland Gull Lake, St. Johns, Three Oaks River Valley and Troy Athens.
Multiple-sport participation remains the norm among applicants. The average sport participation rate of the finalists is 2.5. There are 86 three-plus sport participants in the finalists field, and all but one of the 28 sports in which the MHSAA sponsors postseason tournaments are represented.
Of 424 schools which submitted applicants, 12 submitted the maximum allowed. This year, 1,493 applications were received. All applicants will be presented with certificates commemorating their achievement. Additional Scholar-Athlete information, including a complete list of scholarship nominees, can be found on the MHSAA Website at www.mhsaa.com/schools/students/scholarathleteaward.aspx.
The applications were judged by a 66-member committee of school coaches, counselors, faculty members, administrators and board members from MHSAA member schools. Selection of the 32 scholarship recipients will take place in early February. Class C and D scholarship recipients will be announced Feb. 4, Class B scholarship recipients will be announced Feb. 11 and Class A scholarship recipients will be announced Feb. 18. All announcements will be made on the MHSAA Website.
To honor the 32 Scholar-Athlete Award recipients, a ceremony will take place during halftime of the MHSAA Division 3 Boys Basketball Final, March 28 at the Breslin Student Events Center in East Lansing.
To be eligible for the award, students must have a cumulative grade-point average of 3.50 (on a 4.0 scale) and previously have won a varsity letter in at least one sport in which the MHSAA sponsors a postseason tournament. Students also were asked to respond to a series of short essay questions, submit two letters of recommendation and a 500-word essay on the importance of sportsmanship in educational athletics.
Farm Bureau Insurance of Michigan was founded in 1949 by Michigan farmers who wanted an insurance company that worked as hard as they did. Those values still guide the company today and are a big reason why it is known as Michigan’s Insurance Company, dedicated to protecting the farms, families, and businesses of this great state. Farm Bureau Insurance agents across Michigan provide a full range of insurance services—life, home, auto, farm, business, retirement, Lake Estate®, and more—protecting nearly 500,000 Michigan policyholders.
The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by more than 1,500 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 more than 1.4 million spectators each year.
Samantha Teachworth of Portland St. Patrick is a finalist for the 2019-20 Scholar-Athlete Award for Class D