St. Louis Sports Commission Seeks Applicants for 2024 Carl Fricks Sportsmanship Scholarship

ST. LOUIS – Feb. 29, 2024 – Four years ago, amid a global pandemic, canceled or altered high school graduations, and question marks about what a virtual learning experience might mean for starting a college career, one thing Jordyn Grimes didn’t have to worry about was how she was going to pay for college.  That is due in part to the $15,000 scholarship she received for exuding sportsmanship throughout her high school athletic career.

Now set to graduate from Webster University and a key player on the Gorlocks’ undefeated women’s basketball team, Grimes looks back on the impact of receiving the Carl Fricks Sportsmanship Scholarship.  “It was a blessing to receive the Sportsmanship Scholarship,” Grimes said.  “Financially, it allowed me to focus on school and basketball, without constantly worrying about how I’m going to pay for school.  (It) also gave me a chance to reflect.  I was granted that scholarship because of my sportsmanship in high school.  However, I wanted to continue showing sportsmanship throughout college and the rest of my life.  Because of this, I was named to the Sportsmanship All-Conference team in 2021, and I was voted Best Teammate at Webster University in 2023.”  

Applications are now being accepted for the scholarship that annually seeks to reward St. Louis area high school seniors who demonstrate a penchant for sportsmanship and selflessness in athletic competition.  The St. Louis Sports Commission’s Carl Fricks Sportsmanship Scholarship will award $15,000 in scholarship funds this year, with a top award winner receiving $10,000.  Administered by the Sports Commission Associates – the Sports Commission’s young professionals group – the scholarship program is part of the organization’s efforts to celebrate and elevate sportsmanship in the community.

The Sportsmanship Scholarship application packet can be obtained online at Applications must be received by April 2, 2024.  Recipients will be selected by April 26.  The scholarship will be awarded for the 2024-25 academic year.   

Scholarship candidates should be nominated for embodying the ideals and values of sportsmanship – honesty, integrity, civility, selflessness, kindness, compassion, and class – on the playing field.  Those connected to athletic teams, such as student managers and cheerleaders, are also eligible for the scholarship should their leadership and behavior represent an extraordinary model for all in sports to follow.  While off-field activities and community service are applauded, scholarship candidates will be evaluated for their approach and character in competition.  Athletic performance (wins and other statistics) does not factor in the selection. 

Greatest consideration will be given to nominees who demonstrate a track record of sportsmanship and respect directed at opponents, officials, and the spirit of the game.   “Earning a Sportsmanship Scholarship made me realize that I was more than just an athlete,” Grimes said.  “Many people can be naturally gifted in sports, but the Sportsmanship Scholarship spoke of my character.  It also made me realize that I’m doing something right.”

The Sports Commission Associates created the Sportsmanship Scholarship in 2009 to recognize and reward local high school seniors for their character in competition.  The group raises funds for the program and selects its recipients.  In 15 years, the Associates have awarded $207,500 to 61 area high school graduates.  Their bios can be viewed by clicking here. The Associates host fundraising events throughout the year to support the scholarship, with a golf tournament and game night both planned for later this year.  For more details, visit

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.