IHSAA: Twelve Indiana student-athletes to receive Cato Scholarships
March 30, 2012By E. Shawn Aylsworth of Hoosier Authority
The Indiana High School Athletic Association, Inc., is proud to announce that a group of 12 senior student-athletes will be honored with the 2012 IHSAA/C. Eugene Cato Memorial Scholarship Awards.
Each individual will receive a $2,500 scholarship for their prep accomplishments and be recognized Thursday, April 12, at the Indiana Roof Ballroom in downtown Indianapolis as part of the Brady Sports Achievement Awards established by Methodist Sports Medicine.
To reward the efforts of Indiana’s complete student-athletes, the IHSAA, Methodist Sports Medicine – The Orthopedic Specialists, the Indianapolis Colts, and Sport Graphics, Inc., have partnered in sponsoring the program. These well-rounded, positive role models have demonstrated excellence in academics, school and community involvement, character, sportsmanship, and citizenship.
This year’s recipients are:
- Kent Burton, Caston
- JoJo Daghe, Speedway
- Philip Gerber, Bluffton
- Jack Jordan, Bremen
- Ann Kuntz, Oldenburg Academy
- Bradley Moorhead, South Dearborn
- Zak Nusbaum, Hamilton
- Carissa Pekny, West Lafayette
- Julie Riggins, Bloomfield
- Abby Rogers, Bloomington North
- Rebecca Wornhoff, Lebanon
- Tyler Ziliak, Gibson Southern
Each student completed and submitted a formal application and had to meet eight criteria to qualify: 1) be enrolled and participating in interscholastic athletics at an IHSAA member school during the 2011-12 school year; 2) be a senior at an IHSAA member school who will graduate during the 2011-12 school year; 3) win a varsity letter as an athlete in at least one of the 20 IHSAA-sanctioned athletic programs; 4) be nominated by the school’s principal; 5) carry a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale or the equivalent; 6) have no violations of the school’s athletic code of conduct; 7) must not have been ejected from any IHSAA contest due to unsportsmanlike behavior; 8) verify that he/she has made a commitment to remain substance-free throughout high school.
A panel of five individuals decided upon the final recipients. The panel consisted of Dr. Mark DeCarlo, vice president of Clinical Services, Methodist Sports Medicine; Mark Koski, director of Sports and Events, National Federation of State High School Associations; Melissa Mann, manager of advertising, Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance; Chuck O’Hara, senior director of marketing, Indianapolis Colts; and Bobby Cox, commissioner, Indiana High School Athletic Association, Inc.
The scholarship program is named in tribute to the late former Commissioner C. Eugene Cato, who led the IHSAA from 1983-1995. (“Gene” also served as assistant commissioner of the Association from 1976 to 1983.) His passion for athletics and his belief in the intrinsic value of athletic competition on the formation of a child’s character enabled Gene to positively impact generations of young men and women with his well-known “Firm, Fair, and Friendly” approach to caring for others.
Cato died in 2008.
Since 2003-04, the IHSAA has recognized 101 outstanding student-athletes with scholarships totaling $252,500.
NFL Hall of Fame quarterback and retired broadcaster Bob Griese, a native of Evansville, will serve as the keynote speaker for the April 12 awards dinner. Griese and former Purdue University head football coach Joe Tiller will receive Lifetime Achievement Awards that evening.
Biographies of the winners:
Kent Burton is a four-year letterwinner in football and three-year letter winner in golf at Caston, but his frame of work exceeds well beyond the playing field. He serves as president of the Key Club and chapter president of the Future Farmers of America, and he is a member of the National Honor Society. He is an active participant in 4-H, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and the Mid-West Conference Math Contest. In addition, Kent finds time to volunteer with his church youth group, Habitat for Humanity, as well as the Fulton Liberty Lions Club and the Fulton Park Board. He is the son of Wendell and Beth Burton.
Speedway’s JoJo Daghe has excelled in the classroom, on the athletic field, and in her community. This spring she will graduate as valedictorian of her class with a 4.17 GPA. In addition to her work in class, JoJo is a four-year letterwinner in three sports and graduates as the all-time leading goal scorer in Speedway soccer history. She is a member of the National Honor Society, Student Council, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Key Club, and the Academic Team. Her work in the community includes coaching youth basketball and softball and participating in a mission trip to Guatemala. JoJo is the daughter of Bret and Laura Daghe.
Philip Gerber of Bluffton has lettered four times in wrestling and three times in baseball for the Tigers. He has maintained a 4.13 GPA and will graduate as valedictorian. Philip serves as president of Student Council, Business Professionals of America, and the National Honor Society. He is a member of band and has participated in Students Making a Difference and the Indiana Academic Super Bowl. Philip is an Eagle Scout and is involved in many volunteer activities with Youth as Resources, the Christian Care Retirement Center, and the Bluffton Animal Shelter. Philip is the son of Darryl and Jinny Gerber.
Jack Jordan has lettered in cross country every year of his high school career at Bremen. He also has earned three letters in track and two in swimming, all while maintaining a 4.05 GPA. This spring, he will graduate as valedictorian of his class. Jack serves as class president and treasurer of the National Honor Society. He is an active member of marching band and Academic Super Bowl, but his leadership goes beyond the walls of Bremen High School as he volunteers at the Boys and Girls Club, in community food drives, and the Congressional Election Campaign. Jack is the son of Jack and Hope Jordan.
Oldenburg Academy’s Ann Kuntz has excelled in cross country and track & field, earning letters all four years of her career in each sport. She holds three individual sectional championships in cross country and 2010 sectional champion titles on the track in the 1,600 and 3,200 meter runs. Her accomplishments also have followed her to the hardwood, where she’s earned three letters in basketball, and in the classroom, where she carries a 4.04 GPA. At Oldenburg, Ann has been a member of National Honor Society, Academy Ambassadors, Campus Ministry, Recyclones, and Adopt-a-Sis. Ann is the daughter of Bill and Geraldine Kuntz.
Bradley Moorhead will graduate at the top of his class this spring with a 4.1 GPA. In his career at South Dearborn, Moorhead has earned four varsity letters in golf and one in basketball. Bradley has served as his class vice president for four years in addition to being actively involved in Student Government, National Honor Society, STARS Mentor Program, and a youth basketball camp at South Dearborn. Bradley has shown commitment to his community through several volunteer efforts, including the Aurora Lion’s Club, Red Wolf Sanctuary, and the Dearborn County Clearinghouse. Bradley is the son of Rob and Lisa Moorhead.
Hamilton’s Zak Nusbaum has earned a total of 11 varsity letters over the course of his high school career in soccer, cross country, and track & field. The senior valedictorian candidate has also excelled in the classroom and community. He has maintained a 3.9 GPA while serving as a member of National Honor Society, Drama Club, and Science Club, and he has also represented his school in several academic competitions. As an Eagle Scout, Zak helped to create a youth soccer program and has been involved in his community through numerous other philanthropic efforts. Zak is the son of Scott Nusbaum.
Carissa Pekny has been busy throughout her career at West Lafayette, earning 11 varsity letters through participation in basketball, soccer, softball, and track & field. She serves her school and community as president of Student Council and is active in the National Honor Society, Students Against Destructive Decisions, West Side Service Organization, and Church of the Blessed Sacrament. Carissa has also participated in the Purdue Regional Science and Engineering Fair, earning runner-up and champion honors in three years of participation. She is the daughter of Christine and Joseph Pekny.
Julie Riggins, a three-sport athlete at Bloomfield, has earned 11 varsity letters in cross country, basketball, and track & field, all while maintaining her status as class valedictorian. She currently holds a 4.64 GPA and serves as president of the Student Council. She was a representative at Hoosier Girls State and has been active in National Honor Society, band, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Booster Club, and the Church of Christ, where she teaches a weekly children’s class. Julie also participates in 7th grade orientation and Freshman Kick-Off at the high school as a student mentor. She is the daughter of Grant and Cindy Riggins.
A four-year letterwinner in golf and tennis, Abby Rogers has excelled in athletics and academics at Bloomington North. She was selected to the 2011 Academic All-State team in golf, reflecting her 4.39 GPA. For the past two years, Abby has been a member of the IHSAA Student Advisory Committee. She is also a member of National Honor Society, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Bloomington North Habitat for Humanity Club, and the Bloomington North Student Athletic Board. Abby is also very involved outside of school, finding time to volunteer within her church as well as the Monroe County Habitat for Humanity. She is the daughter of Randy and Sarah Rogers.
Rebecca Wornhoff is currently ranked first in her graduating class of 2012 with a 4.08 GPA. In her tenure at Lebanon, Rebecca has earned six varsity letters while participating on the soccer and swimming teams. She stays busy in her school by serving as president of Key Club and vice president of National Honor Society, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and Student Council. Rebecca is also active in the Lebanon community as she coaches youth soccer at the Boys and Girls Club plus the Lebanon Swim Club and is involved in St. Joseph’s Church. Rebecca is the daughter of Michele Thomas and Steve Wornhoff.
A Wendy’s Heisman state winner, Tyler Ziliak is set to graduate at the top of his class with a 4.0 GPA. Tyler has participated in baseball, basketball, football, and soccer at Gibson Southern, earning a total of eight varsity letters. He is an active member of Future Farmers of America and Peers Educating and Encouraging Relationship Skills, and he is a 10-year member of 4-H. Tyler is also heavily involved in the St. Maria Goretti Youth Group and in volunteer efforts at St. James Catholic Church. Tyler is the son of Stan and Kim Ziliak.
About the Indiana High School Athletic Association, Inc.
Founded in 1903, the purpose of the Indiana High School Athletic Association, Inc., is to encourage, regulate, and give direction to wholesome amateur interschool athletic competition between its 408 member schools. The Association provides state championship tournament series in 20 sports: 10 for girls and 10 for boys.
Approximately 160,000 student athletes participate in IHSAA sports on an annual basis.