Three CHSL student-athletes will be among 32 individuals receiving $1,000 college scholarships through the MHSAA/Farm Bureau Insurance Scholar-Athlete Award program.
They will be honored at a halftime ceremony during the Class C boys basketball final on Saturday, March 16, at the Michigan State University's Breslin Student Events Center in East Lansing.
Scholar-Athlete Award winners must be carrying at least a 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale) grade-point average, have previously won a letter in a varsity sport, participate in school and community activities, and produce an essay on the importance of sportsmanship in educational athletics.
Meet this year's CHSL award recipients:
David DeBacker, Detroit Catholic Central: Four years a diver on the swim and diving team, earning all-state honors. National Merit Scholarship finalist and member of National Honor Society. Four-year participant on the school’s academic team and earned Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition for achievement. Selected for Boy Scouts Order of the Arrow and completed Eagle Scout project. Participant for four years on the Shamrock Voice debate program and Art Club (president for two years). Will attend University of Notre Dame and study architecture.
Essay Quote: “In regards to bad sports, it takes one to know one. Admittedly, I was that kid in gym class who treated every day like it was the Olympics. Looking back on my time in elementary school, I realize how much of a nuisance I was to those around me.
“Bad sportsmanship brings everyone down. I am ashamed of how I acted in the past, and I use those experiences and memories as a model of how to not behave. As I grew in maturity, I’ve thankfully realized the error of my ways, committing myself to honesty, respect, and courtesy in athletics.”
Justin Luo, Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood: Played four seasons of varsity tennis, helping team to three MHSAA finals, earning all-state and all-league honors and served as team captain. Participating in fourth year of debate and earned one gold and three silver bids to the national Tournament of Champions. Qualified for National Catholic Forensics League Tournament and National Speech and Debate Association Tournament. Named top speaker at 2017 debate state championship. Playing fourth year of clarinet for school’s band, orchestra and pit orchestra. Participant in third year of American Youth Leadership Foundation. Tutor in the school’s Horizons Upward Bound program. Will attend Princeton University and study operations research and financial engineering.
Essay Quote: “When sportsmanship is not upheld, people begin to solely focus on winning and forget why we play sports. Cheating offers an easy escape for players to avoid dealing with adversity and learning a valuable lesson.
“Rather than have fun and build friendships, people become angry and are hurt. I have felt the pain firsthand and would not want that for anyone else. Thus, we must preserve sportsmanship in order to maintain the educational value of athletics.”
Trey Feldeisen, Ann Arbor Greenhills: Played four seasons of varsity tennis and varsity lacrosse. Earned two MHSAA finals individual flight championships and contributed to two team tennis championships and two runner-up finishes. Earned all-state recognition in both tennis and lacrosse. Participant in fourth year of forensics and has helped team to two state championships and one runner-up finish. Participant in medical service trips to Peru, Haiti and Kenya. Participant in third year of Model United Nations club, and on inaugural leadership committee for school’s STEM society. Youth representative to church’s staff-parish committee. Participated in brain cancer research through University of Michigan. Will attend Washington University in Missouri and is still considering what he will study.
Essay Quote: “There are many opponents we face who have not played tennis since they were in preschool, and who (do) not have the skill that we as a team do. These matches are the ones that are most important to us and our coaches. We always push ourselves to win the ‘right’ way. This first and foremost means to show our opponents respect on and off the court.”
Also at the award ceremony, commemorative medallions will be given to the finalists in recognition of their accomplishments. They include Joseph Hardenbergh, Keegan Koehler, and Ryan Marra, all from Novi Detroit Catholic Central; Harrison Poeszat of Orchard Lake St. Mary’s; Salena Prakah-Asante and Clark Doman from Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook Kingswood; and Julia Diskin of West Bloomfield Frankel Jewish Academy.