Colts to Honor 24 High School Student Athletes
INDIANAPOLIS – Throughout this past football season, they excelled on the football field. Throughout their high school careers, they did so in the classroom.
On Sunday, they will be honored by the Colts.
The Colts, in conjunction with the Indiana High School Athletic Association and the Indiana Football Coaches Association, on Sunday will cite 24 outstanding student-athletes with an award called the 2008 Indiana High School Academic All-Stars.
The citation, now in its 10th year, comes two weeks after the Indiana high school football championship games, which took place Thanksgiving weekend at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The 24 Academic All-Stars will be honored Sunday morning, then presented at halftime of the Colts-Detroit Lions game on Sunday at 1 p.m.
"On behalf of Jim Irsay and the Irsay family, and with deep appreciation for the IHSAA and IFCA, the Colts are pleased to honor 24 outstanding football players who represent their families and schools in an outstanding manner," Colts President Bill Polian said.
"The dedication it takes to be an excellent achiever in the classroom and on the playing field is something that goes unnoticed too often. This award honors those young men who carry themselves with dignity, integrity and a sense of purpose.
"They, like many other students, possess the values cherished in young adults. We are pleased to identify these individuals, and it will be an honor to recognize them on our playing field this Sunday."
Said Mark A. Miller, athletic director and head football coach at Rochester High School and past IFCA president, "As it has been for the past nine years, it was a very difficult task to honor the top 24 student-athletes by position for the Indiana High School Academic All-Stars. As the executive secretary of the Indiana Football Coaches Association, I want to thank the committee members for taking time out of their schedules to meet on a recent Sunday in Indianapolis to select this unique team. I also want to thank all of the head coaches throughout the state who took the time to nominate these outstanding student-athletes for this very prestigious team. Finally, on behalf of the Indiana Football Coaches Association, I would like to thank Bill Polian and the Indianapolis Colts organization for recognizing and honoring our top student-athletes in the sof football throughout the state."
The honorees on offense:
Offensive lineman Mark Kalinich (Lake Central), offensive lineman Trent Gutting (Wayne), offensive lineman Jared Buck (Evansville Central), offensive lineman Jared Kahle (Southridge), offensive lineman Noah Currie (Attica), wide receiver Nate Hungate (Eastern Hancock), wide receiver Carson Spesard (Carroll), tight end Nick Scheidler (Whiteland), Travis Carlile (Evansville North), running back Eric Jackson (Valparaiso), quarterback Billy Wellman (Jay County) and quarterback Graham Saiko (Castle).
Defensive lineman Joe Crawford (Guerin Catholic), defensive lineman Andrew Pittman (South Decatur), defensive lineman Alex Swenson (Cloverdale), defensive lineman Kyle Stuard (Frankfort), linebacker C.J. Hansen (Northwestern), linebacker Nick Hutchinson (East Central), linebacker Brett Hunter (Goshen), linebacker Paul Fesenmeier (Cardinal Ritter), defensive back Eric Zeltwanger (Bremen), defensive back Michael Ingram (Richmond), defensive back Jacob Egan (Rensselaer) and punter/place kicker David Johnson (Connersville).
The IFCA polled high school head coaches around the state, and the coaches drew from approximately 90 players who ranked in the top five percent of their respective classes. The selection committee then narrowed the list to 24 winners.
Eighteen of the 24 honorees are either class valedictorian (14) or salutatorian (four).
All of the 10 high-school regions throughout the state have an award-winner, and each of the state's five classifications is represented.