SCHOLARSHIPS RECOGNIZE OUTSTANDING SPORTSMANSHIP IN ATHLETIC COMPETITION
ST. LOUIS – Aug. 21, 2013 – Brianne Ebenroth, Sherman Calhoun,Blake Dryer and Katie Ringhausen are the recipients of the St. Louis Sports Commission Associates’ 2013 Sportsmanship Scholarships.
Ebenroth, a 2013 graduate of St. Dominic High School and incoming student at the University of Missouri, will receive a $5,000 award to apply to higher education expenses.
Calhoun, Dryer and Ringhausen will each receive $1,000 scholarship awards. Calhoun graduated from Christian Brothers College (CBC) High School and is attending Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Mo. Dryer graduated from Rockwood Summit High School and is enrolled at Rockhurst University in Kansas City. Ringhausen graduated from Francis Howell High School and is a freshman at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, Mo. Photos of the scholarship recipients are available at www.stlsports.org/pressbox/2013-Sportsmanship-Scholarship-Recipients.php.
The Sportsmanship Scholarship is presented annually to graduating high school students from the St. Louis metro area who demonstrate outstanding sportsmanship in athletic competition. The scholarship recognizes individuals who exemplify honesty, integrity, civility, selflessness, kindness, compassion and class. It is unique in that candidates are evaluated strictly on their approach, character and respect for others on the playing field. Athletic performance (wins and other statstics) is not a factor in the selection.
Created by the Sports Commission Associates, the organization’s young professionals group, the scholarship is part of the Sports Commission’s ongoing Sportsmanship Initiative and efforts to promote and encourage sportsmanship in the community. The Associates raise funds for the scholarship and select its recipients. In five years, the group has awarded $28,000 in academic scholarships to 13 college-bound students – including the four 2013 Sportsmanship Scholarship winners:
Brianne Ebenroth is a multi-sport athlete who participated in cross country, basketball and soccer during her four years at St. Dominic High School. Although she competed in several sports, it was soccer she excelled in. Brianne garnered multiple all-St. Louis, all-conference and all-state honors. She earned a full athletic and academic scholarship to Drury University. But prior to her senior season, Brianne was diagnosed with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), which causes chronic fatigue and other symptoms. Because of the condition, she was no longer able to play at the high level she expected of herself.” Faced with this reality, she opted to return the scholarship so that Drury could use the funds for another deserving player. It was a tremendously classy, selfless and mature decision. Even with the medical condition, Brianne made the most of her senior season at St. Dominic. With Brianne as its captain, the school’s soccer team won its second consecutive state title. In the championship game, with three minutes to go and St. Dominic up 2-0, Brianne asked her coach to substitute her for any teammates who had not yet played. St. Dominic Director of Athletics Jim Welby said, “Despite being her last competitive soccer game ever, Bri even wanted to take herself out so her teammates could have the memory forever. She had the foresight, compassion and sportsmanship to think past the moment and think about her teammates in the biggest game and moment of the year.” Brianne is continuing her education at the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Sherman Calhoun competed in track and field as a sophomore, but the gridiron was his true home in four years at Christian Brothers College (CBC) High School. Sherman is the embodiment of the saying, “Tough times don’t build character, they reveal it.” During his senior year, CBC lost to rival DeSmet in the district playoffs, bringing the Cadets’ season to an abrupt end. Sherman described the contest as “the hardest game” he’s ever played. After the game, a heartbroken Sherman did something practically unheard of in football. He walked over to the DeSmet sideline and congratulated each of the players and coaches and wished them luck in the next round. It’s common for teams to meet at midfield for the obligatory handshake after a game. But Sherman went a step further, showing tremendous class and respect for his opponent. It was a remarkable display of sportsmanship. Sherman’s loyalty and character extended beyond this game and throughout his high school sports career. One of his coaches noted that Sherman is respected by his peers because he gives them respect. The coach called Sherman one of his favorite players because of his contagious smile and tremendous spirit. Sherman is continuing his education at Lincoln University.
Blake Dryer competed in baseball, basketball and track and field while at Rockwood Summit High School. Blake’s basketball coach described him as “soft-spoken, respectful, hard-working, and highly coachable.” This stellar attitude was challenged during a varsity basketball tournament when the level of physical play became intense. An opposing player elbowed Blake under his eye causing an injury that required stitches. Later in the game, the player who injured Blake found himself on the floor after a hard foul by one of Blake’s teammates. Showing great class, Blake, with butterfly tape over his eye, reached down to help his fallen opponent up. Officials complimented Blake on the selfless act. It’s no surprise that Blake was recognized with the Outstanding Sportsmanship Award from the Missouri State High School Activities Association. In his junior year, Blake persevered during a challenging time as his father fought through a devastating Lymphoma diagnosis. On the court, he kept his emotions in check, never allowing the adversity of the situation to affect his interactions with teammates, opponents or officials. Although Blake is not competing at the collegiate level, he said he does plan to participate in intramurals and intends to continue to set an example of sportsmanship for others to follow. Blake is continuing his education at Rockhurst University.
Katie Ringhausen participated in track and field as a freshman, but her love of golf catapulted her to new heights during her four years at Francis Howell High School. She played in two state championships and was the No. 2 ranked player on the team her senior year. The only thing consistently better than Katie’s scores was her character. Katie penalized herself for the smallest of infractions – even those unbeknownst to her competitors. She always used her counting device to keep an accurate number of strokes during play. Katie displayed great sportsmanship in a particular match when her competitor ran out of golf balls, which would result in the player’s disqualification. Rather than take the easy win, Katie gave the opponent a sleeve of her own golf balls which allowed her to finish the round. Katie has been recognized multiple times for outstanding sportsmanship on the state and conference levels. She is continuing her education at the University of Central Missouri.
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The Sports Commission Associates participate in a variety of activities that support the Sports Commission’s mission to make St. Louis a better place to live, visit, work and play through sports. The Sportsmanship Scholarship is one of the group’s primary volunteer initiatives. On Saturday, Aug. 24, the Associates will host their fourth annual Trivia Night to raise funds for the scholarship. The Trivia Night will take place at THE HEIGHTS in Richmond Heights. To register a team or obtain more information, visit www.stlsports.org/associates or call 314-345-5101. Information on the 2014 Sportsmanship Scholarship will be available next winter.
The St. Louis Sports Commission is the privately-funded nonprofit organization that grows, strengthens and moves St. Louis forward through sports. The organization uses the power of sports to enhance the area’s quality of life and generate economic and social benefit for the St. Louis region.