Last year's Carroll County Sun scholar athlete-roster was an abundance of riches.
Four candidates had perfect 4.0 grade-point averagesand three others were above 3.5. Several had Scholastic Aptitude Test scores of 1,200 or more.
So, county high school athletes, can you top that?
It's time for our seventh annual scholar-athlete program. Each year, the CarrollCounty Sun honors the top male and female student athletes at each of the five public high schools, Western Maryland College and Carroll Christian High.
Each school winner earns an attractive plaque.
From that pool, we select the county's top male and female athletes and award those two a U.S. Savings Bonds.
But, just as with the lottery, you have to play to win.
And while we think we hear from most of the top scholar-athletes in the county, we often discover a few who fall through the cracks each year.
So parents, make sure your multitalented sons and daughters are entered.
Coaches, get your athletes who are good students to send in an application.
We will profile each of the school winners in a future edition of the Carroll County Sun, and we'll mention all varsity athletes with a 3.0 or better grade-point average.
But we can't let people know about good athletes if we don't receive an application.
We ask that students fill out an application (one is on Page 27, and they will run often until the May 18 entry deadline) which gives us some idea about their academic, athletic and community service honors. We also ask applicants to submit a short essay explaining their academic and athletic goals and how they hope to be thought of by peers, teachers and family.
Students are invited to send letters of recommendation from teachers,coaches and others to be used as part of our evaluation process.
Teachers and coaches need not write special letters just for our scholar-athlete program; letters written for college admissions offices may be used.
Students also are requested to include a copy of theirmost recent academic transcripts (they need not be certified as official) and we must receive a sharp color facial portrait that is approximately 2 1/2 inches by 3 1/2 inches. Photos cannot be returned.
That's it. For a student who's already gathered much of that information for college, an application for our scholar-athlete team could befilled out in less than an hour.
If you're a top-flight student-athlete, you might win a savings bond. If you're a very good student-athlete, you might receive a plaque. And as long as you are a good student-athlete, we'll make sure everyone knows about it.
By the way,the quality applies primarily to your academic ability. All varsity student-athletes, from third-string bench-warmer to all-metro player of the year, can enter.
Athletic ability might be used to break a tie between two entrants with close academic records, but academics always weigh more heavily in this program.
Which is as it should be.
As far as we're concerned, that's what high school athletics is all about.