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Select company: Montague’s Claire Meacham, Shelby’s Joseph Hayes earn statewide honors

They have been selected as MHSAA Scholar-Athlete Award winners.

Nine student-athletes from Class B schools statewide were selected by the Michigan High School Athletic Association for the MHSAA/Farm Bureau Insurance Scholar-Athlete Award.

Two of them hail from the West Michigan Conference.

Montague senior Claire Meacham and Shelby senior Joseph Hayes were among 32 overall award winners, who will each receive $2,000 college scholarships.

Students applying for the award must carry at least a 3.5 grade-point average on a 4.0 scale and have previously earned a varsity letter sponsored by the MHSAA. Other requirements include applicants showing active participation in other school and community activities. The candidates also produced an essay on the importance of sportsmanship in educational athletics.

Meacham and Hayes will be among the 32 individuals recognized March 26 during the MHSAA boys basketball finals at Michigan State University’s Breslin Center.

The other Class B Scholar-Athlete Award winners include: Maggie Duba, Grand Rapids West Catholic; Whitney Farrell, Freeland; Rylee Tolson, Stockbridge; Derek Distelrath, St. Clair; Curtis Knapp, Jonesville; Michael A. Meneguzzo, Kingsford; and Jack Rellinger, Grand Rapids Catholic Central.

Here is an overview for Meacham and Hayes, including a quote from hers and his respective essays:

Video by Scott DeCamp | CatchMark


Playing third season of varsity basketball, played two seasons of varsity golf and will participate in her third season of track & field this spring; also played varsity volleyball as a freshman and varsity softball as a junior. Helped golf team to two MHSAA Finals championships, the track team to a Regional victory and the basketball team to league and District titles. Earned all-state recognition in golf and academic all-state in track and golf, and served as captain of track and basketball teams. Participating in second year of National Honor Society and has served as chapter president, and is serving second year as part of student senate. Participated in Future Farmers of America and DECA throughout high school, serving as a DECA officer and reaching state finals competition as part of both. Participates in various volunteer efforts as part of church and community organizations. Is undecided where she will attend college but intends to study civil engineering.

Essay Quote: “No matter the outcome, every athlete, coach, and individual has to remember that we are all part of a bigger game. We are all striving to improve the game and ourselves through personal growth and dedication. We are supposed to be preparing our athletes to be model citizens who set standards for what is right and just, on and off the court.”

Playing fourth season of varsity basketball, played three of boys soccer and will play third of baseball in the spring. Helped soccer team to Regional championship and baseball team to District title. Earned all-league and all-District in soccer and all-conference recognition in basketball. Served as soccer team captain multiple seasons. Participating in second year of National Honor Society and has served as president, and also participating in fourth year of local Youth Advisory Council. Played two years in school band earning “1” ratings, and has participated in 4-H throughout high school earning “A” awards for showing of livestock. Is undecided where he will attend college but intends to study business and entrepreneurship.

Essay Quote: “One of the things that I dislike the most as an athlete is not just losing, but losing to a team full of players that are disrespectful to me and my team. Being a good sport during high school educational athletics is very important. Learning how to control your emotions and demonstrate great sportsmanship at a young age will lead you to demonstrate those qualities as an adult.”

Lead writer for CatchMark SportsNet and Web Services leader for CatchMark Technologies.

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