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Portland’s Ashley Bower named finalist for 2021-22 MHSAA-Farm Bureau Insurance Scholar-Athlete Award


The 120 finalists for the Michigan High School Athletic Association's Scholar-Athlete Awards for the 2021-22 school year, presented by Farm Bureau Insurance, have been announced.


The program, in its 33rd 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 $2,000 scholarship to each recipient. Since the beginning of the program, 864 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 awarded to Class B student-athletes, four female and four male; six scholarships awarded to Class C student-athletes, three female and three male; and four scholarships 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. Brownstown Woodhaven, Freeland and St. Johns have three finalists this year. Nineteen schools have two finalists: Ann Arbor Pioneer, Detroit Catholic Central, Fenton, Fowler, Frankenmuth, Hillsdale Academy, Holland, Holland West Ottawa, Kingsford, Livonia Churchill, Livonia Franklin, McBain Northern Michigan Christian, Montague, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s, Ortonville Brandon, Rochester Hills Stoney Creek, Saline, Traverse City West and White Lake Lakeland.


Multiple-sport participation remains the norm among applicants. The average sport participation rate of the finalists is 2.91. There are 81 three-plus sport participants in the finalists field, and all but two of the 28 sports in which the MHSAA sponsors postseason tournaments are represented.


Of 407 schools which submitted applicants, 26 submitted the maximum allowed. This year, 1,434 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 https://www.mhsaa.com/Schools/Students/Scholar-Athlete-Award.


The applications were judged by a 58-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. 8, Class B scholarship recipients will be announced Feb. 15 and Class A scholarship recipients will be announced Feb. 22. All announcements will be made on the MHSAA Website.


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.


2021-22 Scholar-Athlete Award Finalists


GIRLS CLASS A

Cookie Estelleh Baugh, Ann Arbor Pioneer

Amelia Weyhing, Ann Arbor Pioneer

Piper Barnhart, Brownstown Woodhaven

Sophia Lustig, Brownstown Woodhaven

Madison Hissong, Fraser

Brooke Myers, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Northern

Ana Todesco, Grosse Pointe North

Sonya Konon, Harrison Township L'Anse Creuse

Greta VanZetten, Holland

Elzien Zomer, Holland

Natalie Blake, Holland West Ottawa

Ella Spooner, Holland West Ottawa

Abigail Lueck, Livonia Churchill

Samantha Provenzano, Livonia Franklin

Erica Molnar, Livonia Stevenson

Laura Leiti, Midland Dow

Alexandria Stacy French, Richland Gull Lake

Ella DeGraw, Rochester Hills Stoney Creek

Kiera Hall, Rochester Hills Stoney Creek

Kate Meinecke, Royal Oak

Alexis Maloney, St. Johns

Sara Schermerhorn, Traverse City West

Hannah DiGiovanni, Troy Athens

Maeve Spicer, White Lake Lakeland


BOYS CLASS A

Nathan Pawlowicz, Battle Creek Lakeview

Brady Wright, Birmingham Seaholm

Nathan Jerore, Brownstown Woodhaven

Colin Pearson, Caledonia

Joseph Marano, Dearborn Edsel Ford

Conner Bell, Detroit Catholic Central

Neil Zhu, Detroit Catholic Central

Chase Gibson, Fenton

Nick Temple, Fenton

Ben Taylor, Grand Rapids Forest Hills Central

Ross VanBlois, Grandville

Owen Swisher, Livonia Churchill

James Oberman, Livonia Franklin

Colin Koot, Mason

Klay Grant, Muskegon Reeths-Puffer

John Bungart, Orchard Lake St Mary's

Thomas Randall, Orchard Lake St Mary's

William Goelz, Petoskey

Blake Coy, Saline

Amod Talekar, Saline

Kaden Keller, St. Johns

Jake Lasceski, St. Johns

Ethan Tennant, Temperance Bedford

Michael T. Schermerhorn, Traverse City West

Caiden Carlson, White Lake Lakeland


GIRLS CLASS B

Elise Rose Johnson, Benzie Central

Sydni Mudge, Birch Run

Claire Thomson, Clawson

Faith Breinager, Frankenmuth

Emma Kerkau, Frankenmuth

Sophia Argyle, Freeland

Whitney Farrell, Freeland

Haley Zerlaut, Fremont

Maggie Duba, Grand Rapids West Catholic

Magdalaina Menghini, Kingsford

Claire Meacham, Montague

Mallory Moore, Ortonville Brandon

Paige Thwing, Ortonville Brandon

Alina Stanczak, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep

Ashley Bower, Portland

Rylee Tolson, Stockbridge


BOYS CLASS B

Zachary Elmouchi, Ada Forest Hills Eastern

Thomas Hamann, Ann Arbor Father Gabriel Richard

Jeff Ren, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood

Jace DeRosia, Chelsea

Jared Hanson, Escanaba

Liam Anderson, Essexville Garber

Alex Duley, Freeland

Jack Rellinger, Grand Rapids Catholic Central

Curtis Knapp, Jonesville

Michael A. Meneguzzo, Kingsford

Seth Thompson, Manistee

Jerome Korten, Marshall

Cale Coppess, Montague

Bennett Blase Hitzelberger, Richmond

Joseph Hayes, Shelby

Derek Distelrath, St. Clair


GIRLS CLASS C

Haley Anne Newland, Bad Axe

Karly Smith, Beal City

Isabel Contreras-Spencer, Grass Lake

Gillian Kuehnle, Hartford

Gabrielle Carey, Iron Mountain

Jillian Koski, Ishpeming Westwood

Jordan Fox, Lake City

Isabel Henige, New Lothrop

Trinity Kolka, Sanford Meridian

Anna McPherson, Saranac

Ryann Locke, Springport

Korah Honig, St. Louis


BOYS CLASS C

Mert Oral, Ann Arbor Greenhills

Dylan David Reisig, Bridgman

Cole Garrison Stone, Carson City-Crystal

Samuel Peterson, Charlevoix

Ryan Doty, Clinton

Jack Davis, Holland Black River

Isaac Backman, Kalamazoo Hackett Catholic Prep Jack Hollebeek, Grandville Calvin Christian

Ty Ruddy, Ottawa Lake Whiteford

Joshua M. Fairbanks, Roscommon

Jonah Cerone, Royal Oak Shrine Catholic

Alex Tanner, Whitmore Lake


GIRLS CLASS D

Ashton Hord, Felch North Dickinson

Mia Riley, Fowler

Tara Townsend, Frankfort

Alaina Roush, Harbor Springs Harbor Light Christian

Anna Roberts, Hillsdale Academy

Meredith VanDerWeide, Hillsdale Academy

Skylar Wiesen, Leland

Megan Bennett, McBain Northern Michigan Christian


BOYS CLASS D Cole Robinson, Bellaire

Jack Matrella, Bessemer

Brayden M. Steenwyk, Ellsworth

Jacob Rademacher, Fowler

Eli Shoup, Mason County Eastern

Jonas P. Lanser, McBain Northern Michigan Christian

Samuel Paga, Petoskey St. Michael Academy

Ashton McNabb, Three Oaks River Valley

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