December 19, 2006

2006 Scholar Athlete Award winners announced

LOS ANGELES Warner Bros. Pictures and Rivals.com, the Internet's leading college sports and recruiting Web site, have announced the six winners of the Scholar Athlete Awards for 2006.

These scholarship awards were presented in conjunction with the Dec. 14 Hollywood premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures' highly anticipated film release, "We Are Marshall," which debuts nationally on Dec. 22. The winners were recognized in a formal presentation ceremony at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills.

Competition for the 2006 Scholar Athlete Awards was open to U.S. high school seniors and college freshmen and sophomores who have compiled an outstanding record of academic achievement, extracurricular activities and community service as well as excellence in one or more varsity sports. One national winner and five regional winners (all of whom are high school seniors) were selected from among more than 1,100 applicants on the basis of their commitment to overall excellence and an essay in which they were asked to describe how sports has helped them succeed in school and in life.

The national winner, who receives a $2,000 scholarship, is David Rasicci of Weirton, W.Va. The five regional winners, who each receive a $1,000 scholarship, are as follows: Northeast Ashley White, Walkersville High School, Thurmont, Md.; Southeast Marshall Overton, Walter Hines Page High School, Greensboro, N.C.; Midwest Jessica Dick, Romulus High School, Romulus, Mich.; Heartland Chad Bauman, Klein High School, Spring, Texas; and West Paul Jones, Nyssa, Ore.

Based on true events, "We Are Marshall" stars Matthew McConaughey in the inspiring story of how a small town in West Virginia, steeped in the tradition of college football, struggled to restore their community after a devastating plane crash that took the lives of nearly the entire Marshall University football team.

"These six scholarship recipients represent the highest level of commitment to academic and athletic success," said Bobby Burton, chief operating officer and editor in chief of Rivals.com. "Their achievements and qualifications are exactly what we were seeking when we established the awards, and we believe their record of excellence is a fitting tribute to the Marshall team that was portrayed in the film. It is our honor to recognize these six student-athletes and to support their continued success with these awards."

National Winner - David Rasicci, Weirton, W.Va.
As team captain, David played tight end and middle linebacker for the Weir High School football team in Weirton, W.Va., which won the AA State Championship in 2005. He maintains a 4.0 GPA and is a member of the National Honor Society, vice-president of the Hi-Y service club, president of the Chem Club, representative for West Virginia Youth in Government, and a member of the Student Council, the Environmental Science Club, and JETS Academic Team. He is a Lion's Club Scholar; was selected to the National Society of High School Scholars, Who's Who Among High School Students, the National Honor Roll, and the US Achievement Academy. David is a recipient of the Bausch & Lomb Science Award. He has served as a peer tutor; participated in service to the youth, handicapped and elderly community; and organized and participated in several student fundraising events which benefited the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society and the Salvation Army. David plans to attend the University of California, Santa Barbara in the fall of 2007 to major in mathematics and pursue a degree in Engineering.
Northeast Region Winner - Ashley White, Thurmont, Md.
Ashley played both lacrosse and soccer at Walkersville High School. She was a four-year starter for and captain of the lacrosse team and was chosen first-team All County as well as All-League and All-Area. She also set the school's all-time records for scoring, assists and points and was a two-time team MVP. She currently ranks first in her class academically and was recognized as a Maryland Distinguished Scholar, a National Merit Scholar and a National AP Scholar. She has worked with youth lacrosse in her community as a mentor, coach and referee. She will be playing Division I lacrosse at Johns Hopkins University.
Southeast Region Winner - Marshall Overton, Greensboro, N.C.
Marshall has been captain of the lacrosse team and a member of the football and swimming teams at Walter Hines Page High School. He has maintained a 4.3 GPA so far, is a member of the National Honor Society and Young Life, and serves on the Student Council - for which he organized a blood-donation drive - and as the Senior Sports Editor on the Yearbook staff. He's also an Eagle Scout.
Midwest Region Winner - Jessica Dick, Romulus, Mich.
Jessica has participated in softball, tennis and volleyball at Romulus High School. In softball she was chosen Newcomer of the Year, Most Valuable Player and Best Defensive Player, and she received the Sportsmanship Award and All Conference nominations. She was on the school's Quiz Bowl team, was selected to the National Honor Society, played in the Symphonic Band, was a member of the Drama Club, and was a Romulus Booster Club volunteer. She also received a grant to take an online Chinese course and served as a tutor to second graders. She participated in the WALK for Hunger and Community Baby Shower, initiated a prayer group at school, made the "All A" Honor Roll, was recognized for Perfect Attendance, and received the school's Principal's Award and Scholar Athlete Award. She plans on attending Grand Valley State University in the fall, majoring in Early Childhood Education.
Heartland Region Winner - Chad Bauman, Spring, Texas
Chad, who was a captain and three-year letterman in both soccer and football at Klein High School, was recently named the Texas State Soccer Player of the Year by the National Soccer Coaches Association and was also chosen as a High School All-American. He was selected as the MVP (offense) of the soccer team and was the District 14-5A Men's Soccer Offensive Player of the Year. He received the Leadership Award in football, was winner of Mr. Top Kat and Most Athletic nominee, recipient of the 2006 Butch Theiss Dedication Award in varsity football, and was recognized for PALs Peer Assistance Leadership. He served as a Hurricane Katrina victim volunteer, participated in Northwest assistance ministries, and was chosen to Who's Who of America and the National Society of High School Scholars.
West Region Winner - Paul Jones, Nyssa, Ore.
Paul has been a standout in football, basketball and baseball at Nyssa High School. In football, he was named the Oregon 3A Defensive Player of the Year and 2A Offensive Player of the Year on a team that won state championships in both 2005 and 2006. He also was a first-team all-state selection at both running back and linebacker and was named Wapiti Offensive Player of the Year. In basketball, he was named to the first team of the all-state tournament team and was Honorable Mention All-State. In baseball he was chosen second-team All-State. He currently ranks No. 1 in his class with a 4.0 GPA and has been named Nyssa's Student of the Year in Mathematics, Civics, Wellness Management, Chemistry and Advanced Agriculture. He is a member of the National Honor Society and FFA and has been a volunteer for the local Little League and football camps and in tutoring and mentoring.

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