Three named finalists for Scholar-Athlete Award

NILES — The finalists for the 2020-21 Michigan High School Athletic Association-Farm Bureau Insurance Scholar-Athlete Awards have been announced. Among those on the list are one student each from Buchanan, Edwardsburg and Niles.

Edwardsburg’s Jackson Hoover is a finalist for the Scholar-Athlete Award. (Leader file photo)

Now in its 32nd year, the Scholar-Athlete Awards honors 32 individuals with a $1,000 scholarship. They will be selected from the 120 finalists. Twelve scholarships will be awarded in Class A, eight in Class B, six in Class C and four in Class D. The scholarships will be divided equally between male and female student-athletes.

Local finalists are Katie DeVlaminck, of Buchanan, Jackson Hoover, of Edwardsburg, and Cade Vota, of Niles.

Farm Bureau Insurance underwrites the Scholar-Athlete Awards and will present a $1,000 scholarship to each recipient. Since the beginning of the program, 8,323 scholarships have been awarded.

Multiple-sport participation remains the norm among applicants. The average sport participation rate of the finalists is 2.858. There are 74 three-plus sport participants among the finalists, and all but one of the 28 sports in which the MHSAA sponsors postseason tournaments are represented.

Katie DeVlaminck is also a finalist for the Scholar-Athlete Award (Leader file photo)

Of 418 schools that submitted applicants, 12 submitted the maximum allowed. This year, 1,356 applications were received. All applicants will be presented with certificates commemorating their achievement.

The applications were judged by a 72-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. 2, Class B scholarship recipients will be announced Feb. 9 and Class A scholarship recipients will be announced Feb. 16. 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.

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