INDIANAPOLIS --Prior to Sunday's Colts game vs the Houston Texans, the 2016 Indiana High School Academic All-Stars presented by American Family Insurance were honored on the field of Lucas Oil Stadium. Sporting letterman jackets representing high school football programs throughout Indiana, 26 student-athletes were recognized as role models of both academic and athletic excellence by the Indiana Football Coaches Association (IFCA), the Indianapolis Colts, and American Family Insurance.
The honorees were selected through IFCA's polling of high school football coaches around the state; ultimately, the group compiled a list of 26 student-athletes who ranked in the top of their respective classes. As a group, they've reached an extraordinary level of academic accomplishment, with 18 individuals being valedictorians, 6 salutatorians, and all 26 are in the top 1.5% of their graduating classes.
The 26 student-athletes were invited to Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday, where they participated in a full morning's worth of events, which honored them for their achievements both on and off the playing field. The celebration included a continental breakfast, an awards ceremony featuring remarks from Toby Jacobs, Chairman of the IFCA Colts Academic All-Stars committee, Bill Maynard, Sales Director for American Family Insurance and Bill Brooks, Indianapolis Colts Ring of Honor member, as well as a pre-game field visit for the student-athletes, their family and friends.
Jacobs, the first to address the audience, described the difficulty in choosing the recipients and thanked the coaches for their nominations and committee for their hard work during the selection process. He also thanked American Family Insurance and the Colts organization, "who are invaluable in what they do for Indiana High School Football." Jacobs congratulated the team members on their academic successes but also encouraged them to "thank your parents, teachers, coaches and mentors who have helped them along the way."
Speaking on behalf of American Family Insurance, the WI-based insurance company dedicated to inspiring the dreams of local high school students, their families and communities, Maynard remarked, "Your aptitude will only take you so far in life. Like many other adults here in this room, I've learned that having the right attitude will propel you further and farther in life, your career, and in your communities and families that you'll lead one day." He continued, "A strong aptitude combined with an amazing attitude… now that's an equation that equals success, which leads to dreams coming true!"
Brooks, who attained an MBA during his playing days and accomplished a law degree after football, closed the event by stressing the importance of "being a lifelong learner." Brooks added: "Continue the same dedication, determination and drive you have shown on the football field and in the classroom, and opportunities will always be there for you."
After the awards presentation, the student-athletes received on-field recognition during the pre-game ceremonies, and the All-Stars also assisted with opening and presenting the full-field American flag for the National Anthem. They then joined their families in the stands to watch the Colts battle the Texans.
2016 marks the 18th year the Colts, the IHSAA and the IFCA have partnered to present this annual award to Indiana's top football student-athletes. Congratulations again to the 2016 Academic All-Stars!
Prior to Sunday's Colts game vs the Houston Texans, the 2016 Indiana High School Academic All-Stars presented by American Family Insurance were honored on the field of Lucas Oil Stadium.
ACADEMIC ALL-STARS BY POSITION
Wheeler High School
Mitchell High School
North Putnam High School
Fountain Central High School
East Chicago Central High School
Northwood High School
Ben Davis High School
West Lafayette High School
Elwood Community High School
Roncalli High School
Carroll (Flora) High School
Sullivan High School
Winchester Community High School
Monroe Central High School
Fishers High School
Seeger High School
Penn High School
Eastbrook High School
Heritage Hills High School
Jay County High School
South Bend St. Joseph High School
Winamac Community High School
Perry Central High School
North Knox High School
South Putnam High School
Culver Community High School