ORGANIZATION AWARDS $20,000 TO FIVE AREA STUDENTS FOR EXEMPLIFYING CLASS AND CHARACTER ON THE PLAYING FIELD
ST. LOUIS – May 21, 2019 – Macie Farrier, Ben Cummings, Arielle Adams, Shea Luby and Jalen White are the recipients of the 2019 Carl Fricks Sportsmanship Scholarships. The scholarships are awarded by the St. Louis Sports Commission’s young professionals group – the Sports Commission Associates – and recognize high school seniors from the region who embody outstanding sportsmanship. The five students were selected by the Associates’ scholarship committee, which reviewed nominations from throughout the St. Louis area.
Farrier received the top scholarship award of $10,000 in recognition of the respect and compassion she consistently displayed during her basketball and track and field career at Fort Zumwalt East. She will attend Maryville University. Cummings received a scholarship award of $4,000. He attends John Burroughs and will enroll at the University of Wisconsin. Adams, Luby and White each received scholarship awards of $2,000. Adams is graduating from Hazelwood Central High School and will continue her education at Southeast Missouri State University. Luby attends Hillsboro High School and will continue her studies at Central Methodist University. White is graduating from St. Louis University High School and will attend Morehouse College.
Bios highlighting all five scholarship recipients and the reasons for their selection appear later in this news release. Their photos are available at sportsmanship.org/scholarship.
The Sports Commission Associates created the Sportsmanship Scholarship in 2009 to recognize and reward local high school seniors for their integrity, civility, selflessness and compassion in athletic competition. The Associates have since awarded $112,500 to 36 college-bound students. The scholarship program supports the mission of the Sports Commission’s affiliated St. Louis Sports Foundation, which celebrates and elevates sportsmanship in the community. Candidates are evaluated strictly on their approach, character and respect for others on the playing field – athletic performance does not factor in the selection – making the Sportsmanship Scholarship unique.
In addition to choosing the recipients of the scholarship, the Sports Commission Associates raise funds to maintain the program. The group organizes two fundraisers benefitting the scholarship: a sand volleyball tournament on Saturday, June 8 at Wave Taco; and a Trivia Night on Saturday, Aug. 17 at St. Louis University High School. To register a team for either event, or for more details, call 314-345-5101. Information on the 2020 Sportsmanship Scholarship will be available next January.
The Sportsmanship Scholarship is named in honor of the late Carl Fricks, who embodied the virtues of sportsmanship. Through this gesture, the Associates recognized the selfless efforts of Carl’s daughter, Holly Yoakum, who chaired the group and was a champion for the scholarship initiative. Holly passed away unexpectedly in 2017, leaving so many friends and colleagues heartbroken. The Sports Commission and the Associates are dedicated to honoring Holly’s memory and legacy by growing the Sportsmanship Scholarship and carrying out her passion for doing good in the community.
2019 Carl Fricks Sportsmanship Scholarship Recipients:
Macie Farrier is the recipient of the top Sportsmanship Scholarship award from the Sports Commission Associates in 2019. Fort Zumwalt East’s basketball and track and field captain will use the $10,000 top award to continue her studies at Maryville University. Macie’s high school career includes being a two-time winner of the sportsmanship award in her basketball conference. She also garnered a reputation for respecting referees and opponents as well as caring for injured opponents. One situation involved a player from an opposing team who suffered a seizure during a basketball tournament. Fort Zumwalt East played the same team a week later. Macie’s athletic director and basketball coach described her actions toward the previously injured player at the return contest. “When our team arrived, Macie made a point to go right up to that player who had the seizure the week before and asked how she was doing and that she and her teammates had been thinking about her.”
A former basketball coach of Macie’s discussed a situation where other athletes may have had a hard time maintaining their composure. The incident took place after the coach had taken a new job at rival Fort Zumwalt South. “Early in the second quarter, Macie had the ball stolen and, in her attempt to get it back, knocked the player over, and immediately helped her up. As the student section chanted against me, Macie stood in line first to shake my hand.”
Macie’s coaches characterized her as a four-sport athlete whose compassion has always outweighed her competitiveness. Macie confirmed their assessment by saying, “I embrace the honor of being an athlete with integrity by caring and demonstrating respect for all people involved. You will find me cheering on other athletes. I have developed many friendships with competitors, coaches, and referees throughout my athletic career.” Macie embodies the principle that everyone deserves respect regardless of the uniform they wear or the role they play.
The athletic director at John Burroughs said the following about Ben Cummings. “He is a ‘glue-guy’ who does all the little things that honors competition, honors opponents, honors process and honors the spirit of the game.” With a sports resume that includes football, soccer, basketball and golf, Ben understands that people are more important than awards and relationships are far more valuable than recognition. During a district golf match, Ben’s opponent scored an 11 on a hole, which is a devastating score in a crucial match. Ben took the time to console his opponent and tell him about how he scored an 11 just a year earlier at State. The strength and skill athletes gain from sports can be used to hold others down or to lift them up. Ben chose the latter.
His soccer coach expressed a similar sentiment about Ben after defeating a rival school in a shootout. While his teammates displayed a natural joy and euphoria over the victory, Ben rushed to the opposing goalie to offer empathy. The coach said, “Upon inquiring about the nature of their conversation, Ben later told me he was simply letting the opposing player know how much he had enjoyed the years of competition with this school. And that his thoughts were with him and his teammates as this was likely their final home game ever and the end of their season and career was upon them. Ben Cummings exemplifies the sportsmanship and passion for the game we hope many players in the future emulate.” Ben will continue his studies at the University of Wisconsin.
Arielle Adams understands the meaning of sportsmanship. The Hazelwood Central senior said, “The character you exhibit in settings that involve others will not just read as ‘your’ character, but it will reflect on the team’s character as a whole. Regardless if I have taken home a win or a loss, I have always made sure to exude the same positive energy I would want to feel if the tables were turned.” Competitive dance and tennis are worlds apart athletically, but Arielle knows that respect and fair play are key to success in both. Hazelwood Central’s tennis coach said, “In tennis, the students have to be their own referees. Arielle consistently made good calls to determine if the balls were in or out and I was never asked to be a line judge in her matches. If there was a dispute on the court, Arielle would always be the one with a great attitude, redo the point, and gently remind them of the rules if they were less-experienced players.”
In competitive dance, opponents do not share the stage, so sportsmanship is often displayed backstage, in dressing rooms or in other common areas. Arielle’s dance coach said of her, “Our competitive group has received the sportsmanship award numerous times in the years Arielle has been on the team, and she has been an integral part in acquiring these awards. She has always done a good job of preserving the expected values amongst the younger dancers, as well as setting a positive example for dancers her same age.” Arielle’s actions line up with the principles she professes. She is a good sport and acts like one. Arielle will continue her studies at Southeast Missouri State University.
“Shea has demonstrated a track record of sportsmanship by being recognized by players of the opposing team for her civility and kindness,” Hillsboro’s volleyball coach said of varsity captain Shea Luby. With a body of work that goes back to middle school, Shea embodies the principles necessary for a Sportsmanship Scholarship recipient. The volleyball coach went on to describe Shea’s selflessness in greater detail. “Before playing in the Seckman volleyball tournament this season, we learned of the passing of one of the players from one of the opposing teams. Shea, along with her teammates, wanted to do something to show their sympathy and compassion to the other team. They made volleyballs with encouraging notes on them and handed them to the opposing team as they clapped under the net after the match.”
Hillsboro’s assistant principal has also taken notice of Shea’s positive behavior. “At the end of one particular volleyball competition, I observed Shea going through the handshake line. Not only did she make eye contact with every player and coach on the opposing team, she spoke to each of them as she passed. Sometimes, she gives the opposing team’s players a compliment, a word of encouragement, or a hug. This is the epitome of sportsmanship and class.” Whether it’s on the court, in school or as a member of the larger community, Shea conducts herself with integrity and a humble spirit. Shea will continue her studies at Central Methodist University.
The way Jalen White views his sports participation is akin to the Golden Rule. The St. Louis University High senior said, “Competition is healthy, but you should still treat others how you would like to be treated.” Jalen is described as a servant-leader by his teachers and coaches, which means he leads by serving others, by giving them what they need to succeed. There was no greater example of Jalen’s servant-leadership than in a track meet in which he lent his starting blocks to a sprinter on an opposing team. The sprinter had forgotten his starting blocks, which put him at a disadvantage during the race. Sprinters without blocks must start from a “stagger” position, which is almost like standing up. Blocks allow sprinters to have a more explosive start and potentially run a better time. Jalen not only allowed the opposing sprinter to use his blocks, he held them in place, so the sprinter could get the best start possible. This is almost unheard of in track and field because placing in early heats is based on time. The sprinter Jalen helped could not only have knocked Jalen out of contention, but several of his teammates as well. It’s the kind of display that shows Jalen cared more about the person than his placing.
St. Louis University High’s track coach delved further into Jalen’s character. “I always saw him reach out to competitors from other schools. If he was in the lead, he would not flaunt it in the face of the competition. And if someone passed him, he would not only congratulate the opponent, he would be genuinely happy for them.” Jalen’s compassion starts quicker than his sprint and his humility extends farther than he can jump. Jalen will continue his studies at Morehouse College.