2011 Scholarship Winners announced
April 25, 2011
State Farm Holiday Classic announces scholarship winners
Bloomington, IL – The Classic Tournament, Inc., which organizes the largest, coed high school holiday basketball tournament in the nation called the State Farm Holiday Classic, has selected four winners as recipients of the 2011 Holiday Classic Scholarship award. Each of the winners will receive a $1,000 scholarship to go directly to their college of choice to help pay for tuition costs.
Established to recognize and award scholarships to eligible high school seniors who participated in this past year’s tournament, a selection committee of former educators chose the winners based on their leadership skills and academic performance. Applicants were also asked to demonstrate their experiences in student activities and community service, and required to submit an essay titled “How my high school sports experience helped prepare me for success in higher education.”
The 2011 Holiday Classic Scholarship awards go to (in alphabetical order):
- Nickolena Coop, Downs Tri-Valley High School – Nicki played basketball all four seasons and on the Viking track team for three. This Illinois State Scholar was on the high honor roll all four years, was a member of her church’s youth leadership team and has volunteered for the Gingerbread House, Dooley Park, and the Giving Tree. She also overcame adversity with ACL injuries to both knees during her past two basketball seasons. Nicki will attend St. Louis University in the fall and major in Nutrition and Dietetics.
- Blake Doane, Quincy Notre Dame High School – Blake ranks first academically in his class and played basketball, football and baseball all four years. He is an Illinois State Scholar and a member of the National Honor Society, and volunteers for various organizations like the Knights of Columbus, Exchange Club and St. Anthony’s Parish. He plans to attend Illinois State University in the fall and major in Actuarial Science.
- Kayla Moore, Sterling Newman Central Catholic High School – Kayla played basketball and softball all four seasons, earning all-conference honors in both sports and was co-MVP this past season in basketball. She also participated in volleyball and cross country, and currently ranks fourth academically in her class. Kayla is secretary of her Key Club, and had lead roles in her school musical the last three seasons. She plans to attend the University of Illinois and major in Bio-Chemistry.
- Ryan Schmidt, Bloomington Central Catholic High School – Ryan was a three-year varsity letter winner in basketball and four-year varsity letter winner in soccer for the Saints, being named MVP for both teams this past year. He is secretary for his Interact Club, attended the Catholic Student Leadership Conference, is on the National Honor Society and is an Illinois State Scholar. He has served as a vacation bible school camp counselor and volunteers at the Bickford House. Ryan will major in Business at the University of Illinois in the fall.
“We have honored many fine student-athletes in the past six years, and this year’s group of recipients is no exception,” said tournament vice-president Dave Oloffson. “Each year is a tough process for our selection committee, but these four student-athletes stood above the rest based on their involvement in school and their communities.”
For more information about the State Farm Holiday Classic, visit the official tournament Web site at www.theclassic.org.