MUSKEGON — Annually, a Muskegon Area Sports Hall of Fame panel selects Scholar-Athlete Award finalists and winners from a list of nominees submitted by area schools.
One senior female and one senior male from each Muskegon-area school is nominated for the award.
Scholar-Athlete Award winners for 2022 will be honored during the Hall of Fame’s annual induction ceremony and banquet Saturday, June 18, at Trinity Health Arena in downtown Muskegon.
Tickets for the Hall of Fame banquet are available to the public and cost $40. You maybe purchase tickets by CLICKING HERE.
Here are the male Scholar-Athlete Award nominees, the finalists and the award winner for 2022:
- The numbers next to sports listed denote years of high school participation in that sport, not varsity letters.
- Muskegon Heights Academy did not submit male or female nominees.
- Grant did not submit a male nominee.
- Some accomplishments may not be updated because of when nominations were submitted.
- Josh VanDyke contributed to these capsules.
Ira Jenkins, Whitehall
Sports: Wrestling (4), Football (1)
Athletic honors/awards: 2-time MHSAA state champion; back-to-back undefeated seasons (2021, 2022); 2-time Preseason All-American; 2019 Freestyle State Champion; 2019 Grappler Classic All-American; Fastest MHSAA tournament run in state history; Ranked No.11 in the country at 285 pounds; Career MHSAA record 183-11; 151 pins; helped team advanced to Final 4 in 2022; State Team runner-up in 2021; Division 3 Final 4 in 2019; 4-time all-state Wrestler…Played one year of football at the varsity level in 2020; Named All-Conference at defensive end; Division 3-4 All-State Honorable Mention; Missed 2021 season due to elbow injury.
Academic honors/awards: 3-year Class president; National Honor Society
Extracurricular activities: Coached at youth wrestling camps, MyWay wrestling tournaments, assisted with scoring at multiple youth wrestling events, assisted with dock removal around White Lake.
Future plans: Attend the University of Michigan and join the Wrestling program; ROTC; hopes to eventually become a NAVY fighter pilot.
THE OTHER FOUR FINALISTS
Klay Grant, Reeths-Puffer
Sports: Soccer (1), Cross Country (4), Track and Field (4)
Athletic honors/awards: Division 1 All-State (8th place) in Cross Country in 2021; 3-time City Champion Cross Country; 4-time All-Area Cross Country; 4-time All-Conference Cross Country; Conference Champion Cross Country (2021); 3-time All-Region Cross Country; No. 2 All-time at Reeths-Puffer Cross Country; Mid-East Meet of Champions Team Michigan Qualifier…varsity starter for soccer team as a freshman (2019)…2-time state qualifier in track; school record holder in the 3,200-meter, 1,600-meter and 800-meter runs; became the first male athlete in the 66-year history of the GMAA Track Championships to win the 3,200 meter relay, 1,600 meter, 800 meter and 3200 meter relay at same event (2021); 2022 conference champion in the 3,200-meter, 1,600-meter and 800-meter; West Michigan All-Star Meet 800-meter Champion; earned 9 varsity letters; One of 32 MHSAA Scholar-Athlete Award Recipients.
Academic honors/awards: Freshman year Class President; Student Council Trustee; 5th in Class with a 4.278 weighted GPA; 4.000 unweighted GPA; AP Student; MHSAA Scholar Athlete Award Recipient.
Extracurricular activities: Children’s Ministry Servant at Christ Church; Student Leader at Christ Church Student Ministry; Intern for Christ Church Student Ministry; IMPACT member; STATS volunteer; First Priority Club member; Student Council.
Future plans: Attend Colorado Christian University and run cross country and track; study Biblical Studies with an emphasis in languages and plans to become a University Professor in the field of Biblical Scholarship.
Joseph Hayes, Shelby
Sports: Soccer (4), Basketball (4), Baseball (4)
Athletic honors/awards: 3-time all-conference performer in soccer; 3-time all-district performer in soccer; member of 2020 district championship team; member of 2020 regional finalist team; 2021 West Michigan Conference champions; 3-year varsity starter; 2-year team captain…All-State honorable mention basketball player; first team all-conference (top vote-getter) in 2021-22 season; 2-time honorable mention selection; MLive Muskegon all-area selection; CatchMark Sports Player of the Year finalist; 4-year varsity starter; 1-year team captain…3-year varsity starter on baseball team; 1-year team captain; 10 varsity letters; 2022 West Michigan Student Showcase Athletic Honoree.
Academic honors/awards: Ranked No. 1 in graduating class; 2-year National Honor Society; NHS president for his class; MHSAA Scholar-Athlete Award Winner (2022); College Board National Rural and Small Town Recognition Program winner; College Board National Hispanic Recognition Program winner; 4-time West Michigan Conference Scholar-Athlete Award; 2021 Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen Scholarship Recipient; 2022 West Michigan Student Showcase Academic Honoree.
Extracurricular activities: 4-year member of the Youth Advisory Council; 4-year member of 4-H; Concert and Marching Band (2 years); Shelby Pride Day/Community Service; Youth Basketball Referee; Shelby High School Math Lab Volunteer tutor; Holiday Food Box Packing.
Future plans: Attend Hope College to pursue a business degree; join Hope College men’s basketball program; hopes to start his own business post-graduation and is interested in real estate investing and development.
Ethan Jozsa, Oakridge
Sports: Football (4), Basketball (4), Baseball (4)
Athletic honors/award: 2-time All-state selection in football; Honorable mention All-State by the Associated Press in 2021; 2-time All-conference selection in football; 2-time MLive Muskegon all-area Dream Team selection in football… Honorable mention All-State in basketball in 2022; 2-time All-conference selection in basketball; MLive Muskegon All-area Dream Team selection in 2022.
Academic honors/awards: 2-time academic All-state selection in football; 2-time academic all-state selection in baseball; 2-time academic all-state in basketball; National Honor Society; No. 4 in graduating class; 4-year academic excellence award; Honor Roll all four years.
Extracurricular activities: Junior Hoopsters Volunteer Coach; Volunteered at Chance Stables(Non profit organization); Volunteered at Howling Timbers; Bell ringing for Salvation Army; Worked at cross country meets; Lunch Bags for Kids Food Basket program.
Future plans: Attend HIllsdale College to pursue his academic career and play football
Mark Konecny, Mona Shores
Sports: Football (4) and Baseball (4)
Athletic honors/awards: OK Green All-Conference selection in football in 2021; MLive Muskegon Dream Team Offensive Player of the Year in 2021; Associated Press Honorable Mention All-State quarterback in 2021…two-time OK Green All-Conference selection in baseball; tied school record for home runs in a season (9); one of the Muskegon-area leaders in RBI; selected for MLive Muskegon “Players to Watch” baseball list for the Muskegon area.
Academic honors/awards: Meijer scholar-athlete award; Great American Rivalry scholar-athlete award; Member of the National Honor Society; Gold Cord recipient for the class of 2022.
Extracurricular activities: Wednesday Elementary School reader through the football program; Feeding American food truck volunteer; Peer tutor; Helped Campbell Elementary teachers move out of their classrooms during construction; Volunteer coach at youth football camps.
Future plans: Attend Western Michigan University to play football.
Kelty Blastic, North Muskegon
Sports: Football (4), basketball (2), track and field (3)
Honors/activities: All-conference in the 100-meter dash and 200-meter dash in track and field … Four varsity letters … National Honor Society … Appalachia Service Project volunteer … Vacation bible school volunteer … Landscaper
Future plans: Attend Michigan Technological University and pursue a career in chemical engineering
Kobe Canning, White Cloud
Sports: Cross country (4), track and field (4)
Honors/activities: All-region, state qualifier and academic all-state in cross country … All-conference and state qualifier in track … Seven varsity letters (would have been eight without a season being canceled because of COVID-19) … Valedictorian … Pride Award … National Honor Society president … Perfect attendance 2020-21 … Honor Roll all four years … Student Council treasurer … Senior class president … Voice of Reason … Volunteer for the White Cloud Rotary
Future plans: Attend Central Michigan University and student music education
Mason Cantu, Hart
Sport: Wrestling (4)
Honors/activities: All-state in wrestling three years, finishing second twice and third once … All-conference twice and honorable another time … Career record of 170-24 … Helped team to four district championships and three regional titles … Voted VanDyk Mortgage West Michigan Conference Wrestler of the Year for 2021-22 … Highly involved with youth wrestling program
Future plans: Attend University of Indianapolis and study education while competing on the wrestling team
Cale Coppess, Montague
GPA: 4.286 (4.0 unweighted)
Sports: Football (1), cross country (3), wrestling (4), track and field (4)
Honors/activities: Three-time all-state wrestler, placing eighth, third and fourth … Three-time state finals qualifier in cross country … Three-time all-conference in wrestling and cross country … School record in career wrestling wins with 171 … MHSAA Scholar-Athlete Award finalist … Honor Roll all four years … Academic all-state four years … Captain of wrestling team, which was top 10 academic all-state … Top GPA of any team in Division 3 for wrestling in 2021-22 … Youth wrestling coach … Volunteer at Grace Adventures
Future plans: Attend Wheaton College on an ROTC Scholarship and wrestle at the college with plans to major in business
Austin Fowler, Holton
GPA: 3.808 (3.763 unweighted)
Sports: Football (3), basketball (4), baseball (4), cross country (1)
Honors/activities: All-state and all-conference in football … All-conference honorable mention in baseball … Top 10 in class … National Honor Society … Student Council … Volunteer in Holton Elementary classrooms … Youth baseball umpire
Future plans: Attend Muskegon Community College and play baseball for the Jayhawks
Brock Hearth, Kent City
Sports: Soccer (4), cross country (4), basketball (2), hockey (2), golf (2), track and field (1; plus season canceled by COVID)
Honors/activities: All-conference accolades in cross country, soccer, hockey and golf … Sportsmanship Award … Kent City Senior Boys Athlete of the Year … Rich Tompkins Multi-Sport Athlete Award … 13 varsity letters … National Honor Society … Valedictorian … Kent City Scholar-Athlete Award … MHSAA Scholar-Athlete Award finalist … Academic all-state in soccer … Travel hockey and travel soccer … Volunteered for Mosh Pit rescue, Kent City Ridge Run, Try Hockey for Free, Kent City Cross Country new course/tree planting
Future plans: Attend Calvin University and major in business while playing for the hockey team
Ian Hill, Spring Lake
Sports: Cross country (4), track and field (4)
Honors/activities: All-state and all-conference in cross country, in the process breaking the Spring Lake school record twice as a senior … Won all three conference meets in cross country as well as a few big invites titles and regional championship … Lone loss to a Division 2 runner came at the state finals where he collapsed trying to race through a virus … Considered by some the greatest male cross country runner Spring Lake has ever had … All-state and all-conference in track … School record in the 1600, a record that had stood since 1983 … School record in the 3200 … Won the 1600 and ran on first-place 4×400 relay at the Division 2 state finals this spring … Considered fastest distance runner in Spring Lake track history … Academic all-state multiple years in cross country and track, as well as team captain
Future plans: Attend University of Michigan and run for Wolverines’ track and cross country teams
Jaden Joseph, Newaygo
Sports: Football (4), wrestling (4), track (4), golf (1)
Honors/activities: Lions Pride Award in football … All-conference honorable mention in football and wrestling … All-conference in track … National Honor Society … Student Council … Volunteered at retirement home
Future plans: Attend Western Michigan University and study computer engineering while also trying out for the football team
Jacob May, Fruitport Calvary Christian
Sport: Basketball (5)
Honors/activities: All-conference, all-area and all-state recognition in basketball … Highway cleanup
Future plans: Attend Spring Arbor University
Thomas McCullough, Ravenna
Sports: Football (4), baseball (4), basketball (1)
Honors/activities: All-state honorable mention in baseball … All-region, all-area and all-conference in baseball … All-area and all-conference in football … National Honor Society … Fellowship of Christian Athletes … Volunteer at Wednesday night Awana program
Future plans: Attend Dordt College to play football (major undecided)
Gavin Reames, Fruitport
Sports: Football (4), basketball (4), baseball (4)
Honors/activities: Two-time Michigan High School Football Coaches Association all-state quarterback … Associated Press all-state honorable mention QB … Two-time all-conference, two-time all-region and all-area in football … All-conference and all-district in baseball … Academic all-state in football … Four-year Honor Roll student … Awards for Excellence in Spanish 1 and Spanish 2 … National Honor Society … Participated in DECA
Future plans: Attend Hope College and study sports management while playing football
Elliot Riegler, Muskegon Catholic Central
Sports: Football (4), Basketball (4), baseball (2)
Honors/activities: First-team all-conference and all-region at quarterback and all-area dream team first-team as an athlete during his senior football season … First-team all-conference, all-region and all-state honorable mention as a receiver during his junior season … Academic all-state in football … Meijer Scholar-Athlete … Executive Student Council vice-president … MCC Rotary Interact Club founder … Five years of participation in MCC School Spring Musical … Four AP classes
Future plans: Attend Michigan State University and study kinesiology
River Roberson, Hesperia
Sports: Football (4), wrestling (4)
Honors/activities: State champion in wrestling and two-time all-state, plus four-time all-conference to go with district and regional titles … Student of the Month … Community volunteer … Youth camp volunteer
Future plans: Pursue a career in welding
Maurice Sain Jr., Muskegon
Sports: Basketball (4), cross country (2)
Honors/activities: Team captain in basketball … All-conference and all-area in basketball … Honor Roll … National Honor Society … Volunteer at Moon Elementary School … Lakeshore Youth Leadership initiative member as 10th-grader … Detroit Athletic Club Student-Athlete of the Year nominee … Officiated youth league games and ran youth camps … Kids Food Basket … Feeding America food truck
Future plans: Attend Northwood University and study sports management while playing basketball there
Conor Somers, Fremont
Sports: Cross country (4), track and field (4)
Honors/activities: Eight varsity letters … Cross country individual state runner-up … Three-time all-state in cross country and two-time team state champ … Regional and conference champ in cross country, plus four-time all-conference … Multiple academic all-state honors in cross country … Team captain in cross country and track … Two-time all-region and all-conference in track … Individual conference champ in track … Two-time all-region in track … Individual regional champ in track … All-state in track as well as academic all-state … School Athlete of the Month … Varsity Club … Honor Roll for four years … Church youth group … Packer Pride Day … Volunteer at local road races … Reading Runners participant, where he read to third-grade students once per month
Future plans: Attend Grand Valley State University and pursue a career in exercise science-physical therapy while competing for the cross country and track teams
Sam Timmer, Grand Haven
Sports: Swimming (4), water polo (4), track and field (1)
Honors/activities: Academic All-American in swimming … All-regional honorable mention in water polo … Captain of swimming and water polo teams … National Honor Society … Top 3 percent of class … Honor Roll for four years … Rotary Student of the Month … Student Athlete chosen for West Michigan Student Showcase … Middle school water polo coach part-time in the fall … Camp counselor for YMCA in the summer
Future plans: Attend University of Michigan and study neuroscience
Owen Varnado, Western Michigan Christian
GPA: 4.234 (4.000 unweighted)
Sports: Basketball (4), track and field (1), soccer (1)
Honors/activities: All-conference, all-area dream team second team, all-state and BCAM’s Best All-State in basketball … Participated on school’s Division 4 state championship soccer team in 2018 … Averaged 24.7 points, 10.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 2.6 blocked shots in his senior basketball season en route to 1,057 career points … Academic all-state twice … Top 10 in his class … Estrada Scholarship … Gold cord honor at graduation, which requires 75-plus service hours and a 3.7-plus GPA … Senior Service Project … Volunteered in sixth-grade classroom at Muskegon Christian School … Bethany Church nursery … Church Sunday school volunteer for K-5 … Salvation Army food pantry volunteer … WMC summer and winter basketball camp instructor for four years … Local kids summer camp volunteer with an emphasis on community building … Church Small Youth Group leader inside and outside of school
Future plans: Attend Calvin University and study economics with a Master’s degree in business while playing basketball
Darius Williams, Orchard View
Sports: Football (3; would have been 4, but OV did not field a team his senior year), basketball (4), track and field (4), soccer (2)
Honors/activities: All-conference in soccer, basketball and track … All-state and all-area in basketball and football … Division 2 player of the year in basketball … 13 varsity letters … Orchard View Male Athlete of the Year … Team captain in football and basketball … District and conference titles in basketball and soccer … Volunteer with elementary programs
Future plans: Attend Central Michigan University and pursue a career in education, while trying out as a walk-on on the Chippewas’ basketball team
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Dozens attend the event, sponsored by VanDyk Mortgage and put on by CatchMark SportsNet...
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Banquet is Thursday, June 30, for the event sponsored by VanDyk Mortgage.
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Many of the top Class of 2022 players from lakeshore and Muskegon areas on...