MEDIA INFORMATION                                                                                                            

April 9, 2008

Contact: Jason Wille, Sports Information Director







Thirteen outstanding Indiana high school student-athletes have been selected as recipients of this year’s IHSAA Centennial Scholarships.


Each individual, believed to embody everything that is right about high school sports, will receive a $2,500 scholarship for their prep accomplishments. All applicants are expected to be well-rounded, positive role models who have demonstrated excellence in academics, school and community involvement, character, sportsmanship and citizenship.


The recipients will be honored during the Thomas A. Brady Sports Achievement Awards Dinner on Tuesday, April 15, at the Indiana Roof Ballroom in Indianapolis.


This year’s honorees, listed in alphabetical order, include: Alexandra Banfich, Culver Academies; Nicholas Buesking, Northwestern; Jonathan Childress, Eastern Greene; Maya Espada, North Central (Indianapolis); Daniel Frascella, Carmel; Elizabeth Heuss, Covenant Christian (Indianapolis); Bonnie Kaminsky, Muncie Burris; Kreigh Kamman, South Bend Clay; Anne Lehman, South Adams; Micah Raebel, Kankakee Valley; Abbey Schmahl, South Dearborn; Patrick Stropes, Pike; Katie Zupancic, Indianapolis Cathedral.


The IHSAA partnered with Methodist Sports Medicine, Jostens, Taco Bell and Pacers Sports and Entertainment in sponsoring the program, now in its fifth year after it originated as part of the Association’s 100th year of service to its member schools. To date, the IHSAA has recognized 53 outstanding student-athletes with scholarships totaling $132,500.


Each student had to meet certain criteria to qualify including: 1) be enrolled and participate in interscholastic athletics at an IHSAA member school; 2) be a senior who will graduate this school year; 3) win a varsity letter in one of the 20 IHSAA- sanctioned sports; 4) be nominated by his or her principal; 5) carry a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale or the equivalent; 6) have no violations of the school’s athletic code of conduct; 7) must not have been ejected from any IHSAA contest due to unsportsmanlike behavior and; 8) verify that he or she has made a commitment to remain substance-free throughout high school.


One hundred ninety-nine applications were submitted for the scholarships and a panel of five individuals, through much time and effort, decided upon the deserving students. That panel consisted of: Dr. Mark De Carlo, Vice President of Clinical Services, Methodist Sports Medicine; Bob Kanaby, Executive Director, National Federation of State High School Associations; Patty Poehler, Senior Vice President, Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance; Dr. Suellen Reed, Superintendent, Indiana Department of Education and; Blake Ress, Commissioner, Indiana High School Athletic Association.





Alexandra Banfich

Culver Academies


“Respect for each other breeds respect for the sport, thus resulting in sportsmanship.  Sportsmanship involves competing with fairness, showing grace in losing, accepting wins humbly, appreciating opponents, and perhaps most importantly, respect.  Because sports are like a microcosm of life in general, all of these expectations of sportsmanship in competition translate over into ‘real life’.”


A three-time state champion in both track and field and cross country, Banfich excels in the classroom and in her community.  The National Honor Society member has achieved a cumulative 3.8 GPA throughout her four years.  She has served as head of the Senior Advisory Board, is a member of the French Honor Society, and has been a staff writer for the school newspaper for three years.  Banfich’s community activities include her involvement as a peer tutor, a member of the Community Service Council, and an integral role in the Leadership Committee for Africa.  This past fall, she was presented the Mental Attitude Award at the Girls Cross Country State Finals by members of the IHSAA Executive Committee following her third consecutive state championship in the sport. She is the daughter of Marilyn and Peter Banfich of Plymouth.




Nicholas Buesking

Northwestern HS


“The discipline I have learned from athletics will have an impact on my future.  Sports have also shown me that I need to work hard in order to accomplish my goals.  This type of discipline will help me strive for excellence both in college and in a future job.”


Buesking is a four-year member of the soccer and wrestling teams.  He carries a 4.6 GPA and has been involved in many school activities, among them, the Art Club, Debate Club, and National Honor Society.  He placed first in the Ball State Regional Science Fair and also took home a blue ribbon at the Indiana Junior Academy of Science.  Buesking has volunteered his time as an elementary school wrestling coach and with the youth group at this local church.  This year, Buesking was named President of Rotary Interact. He is the son of Paul Buesking of Kokomo.




Jonathan Childress

Eastern Greene HS


“My career as a high school student-athlete has greatly prepared me for life in college and as an adult.  While participating in sports, I have learned how to balance necessities and desires.  Sacrifices must be made.  By applying my experiences in high school sports, a satisfying future awaits.”


Childress has excelled in both football and baseball during his career at Eastern Greene.  The National Honor Society member owns a 3.99 GPA and has participated in the Academic Quiz Bowl, Marching Band and Pep Band.  He was the Greene-Sullivan Quiz Bowl Tournament Champion in 2005 and 2007.  Childress has been actively involved in his church youth group for four years, and has also been a part of the church worship band, Boy Scouts, and Special Olympics.  When not busy with athletics, academics, and community outreach, Childress works as a private tutor.  He is the son of Ron Childress of Bloomfield.




Maya Espada

North Central HS (Indianapolis)


“Sportsmanship allows the athlete to have pride in his or her team while simultaneously respecting the opposing team.  Displaying sportsmanship on and off the court, field, or track allows those who support the team to not only be proud of the team’s achievements during the game, but also be proud of the athletes as people.”


Espada is a four-year member of the Panthers volleyball team and was named captain her senior year. She is a member of the National Honor Society, as well as both the French and Spanish honor societies. Maya has earned a 5.2 GPA, was named Academic All-Conference and All-State, AP Scholar with Distinction, and was the recipient of the Service and Pride Award. She is the co-chair of the International Baccalaureate Society and founder of Expand Your Buds Cultural Club. Maya has spent time tutoring students learning English as a second language and helping out with Habitat for Humanity. She was named to the “Who’s Who Among High School Students” list, and assisted in research for possible treatments for the rare autosomal disorder Fanconi Anemia during the summer of 2006 at the Indiana University Cancer Research Center.  Maya is the daughter of Jose and Angela Espada of Indianapolis.




Daniel Frascella

Carmel HS


“Throughout my high school career, I have become increasingly involved in my school and community.  I attribute much of this productivity to my experiences with sports and the lessons and values learned from my coaches.  Sports have taught me the value of hard work and working as part of a team, which have contributed to my personal growth as a member of the community.”


A four-year varsity wrestler, Frascella has achieved a 4.4 GPA during his career at Carmel.  The Student Body President is also a member of the National Honor Society, the Indiana Association of Students of German, Delta Epsilon Phi German Honor Society, and was named as a Hoosier Boys State delegate.  Daniel was also a recipient of the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Award.  In his community, Daniel has participated in the Best Buddies International Organization, Youth Group Leadership Team, and is a volunteer for DAMAR services.  He is the son of Dr. and Dr. Paul Frascella of Carmel.




Elizabeth Heuss

Covenant Christian HS (Indianapolis)


“Although some view a sport as ‘just a game’, my athletic participation has been a key component in my development of certain skills that help me to be a productive member of society.  Athletics have taught me the value of teamwork and the importance of cooperating with others to achieve a goal, a skill that never ceases to be essential in every aspect of a society.”


Heuss has excelled in basketball, soccer, and track and field at Covenant Christian.  The National Honor Society President holds a 4.0 GPA and is a member of the Student Council and Civics Club.  She volunteers at the Central Indiana Crisis Pregnancy Center and Mission Indy, and has been a part of youth group activities at her church throughout her high school career.  Elizabeth has also been a part of several out-of-state mission trips.  She is the daughter of Matthew and Judy Heuss of Indianapolis.




Bonnie Kaminsky

Muncie Burris HS


“Because athletics have been so prevalent in my life, I have never had the inclination to resort to the destructive behaviors that afflict so many youth in today’s society.  Participation in athletics has coincided with my personal desire to maintain academic excellence and my reputation as a hard working, focused individual.”


Kaminsky is a four-year varsity letter winner in volleyball and track and field.  In volleyball, she has been a part of a state championship team in each of her four years and was named the winner of the Mental Attitude Award by the IHSAA Executive Committee following this year’s state finals. Kaminsky maintains a 4.0 GPA, is President of the Student Council, and has been a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Key Club during her time at Burris. She has also volunteered at Ball Memorial Hospital, the Minnetrista Cultural Center, and the First Presbyterian Church. She is the daughter of Mary and Lenny Kaminsky of Muncie.




Kreigh Kamman

South Bend Clay HS


“Throughout my athletic experiences, I have encountered numerous challenges.  I’ve learned there are no shortcuts in overcoming them; determination and perseverance are necessary to succeed.  Using determination and perseverance to overcome challenges applies not only to athletics, but also to my endeavors in school, family, and any future career I may choose to pursue.”


Kamman is a four-year letter winner and captain in soccer and track and field.  The 4.0 valedictorian is the Treasurer of the National Honor Society, a member of the Academic Quiz Bowl and the Peer Mentoring Activities Committee, and is the Class President.  He is involved with his local youth group at Clay United Methodist Church, and has participated in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.  He also has participated in Rotary International and the Proclaimers Drama Outreach Group, which has performed theatrically for a number of organizations, among them, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America.  Kreigh is the son of Kean and Jill Kamman of Granger.




Anne Lehman

South Adams HS


“In athletics, I have been stretched socially.  As I leave high school, I will have a more open mind, and will be able to relate to and work with others around me who may not have the same personality or values.  I am no longer limited to working only with certain people; I am an adaptable person willing to team up with others who are different than me.”


Lehman has been a member of the Starfires basketball, softball, and cross country teams.  The National Honor Society Treasurer has a 4.0 GPA. She is a four-year member of the concert, jazz, marching, and pep bands.  Anne volunteers her time at the First Mennonite Church Youth Group and works as a Sunday School helper for children with special needs.  Anne has assisted with the South Adams Shooting Stars Basketball Program, and has been employed by the Swiss Village Retirement Community for three years.  She is the daughter of Scott and Greta Lehman of Berne.




Micah Raebel

Kankakee Valley HS


“I know that my future has been greatly impacted by my athletic experiences.  I have learned how to cooperate with others and stay patient through times of difficulty.  I have also learned to do things I do not want to do but that are necessary for achievement and success of my future goals.”


Raebel has participated in baseball, basketball, soccer, and tennis for the Kankakee Valley Kougars.  The valedictorian of his class carries a 4.63 GPA.  He is the President of the National Honor Society, Senior Class President, a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and the Kankakee Valley representative for the IHSAA drug prevention program. Raebel has completed 100 hours of community service through the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership group and continues to add to that total through activities such as cleaning inner city parks in Indianapolis and Washington D.C., Relay for Life, and numerous events at Faith Lutheran Church.  In addition, Raebel works as a part-time organist for two churches in his community.  He is the son of Jared and Cecilia Raebel of DeMotte.




Abbey Schmahl

South Dearborn HS


“Sportsmanship, in a contest, is the respect given by a player to the opposing players, officials, fans, coaches, and the game itself.  The best rivalries are formed from two schools that both respect each other and also want to show some form of superiority over the other.  That one game can be victorious for the whole community, even if it only lasts a short period of time.  Sportsmanship has such an impact on the way a game can be played; it is no wonder that a good game always begins with respect for the other team and the environment surrounding the game.”


Schmahl has excelled in basketball, soccer, and softball at South Dearborn. She is ranked first in her senior class and carries a 4.10 GPA.  Abbey is Secretary of the Student Government, Treasurer of the National Honor Society, and is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Science Club, and Knight Spirit Association.  She has volunteered for the Aurora Clearinghouse, Salvation Army, Ohio River Sweep, and Run-N-Gun, a basketball tournament that raises money for scholarships.  Abbey is the daughter of Kurt and April Schmahl of Aurora.




Patrick Stropes

Pike HS


“Athletics have made me a less selfish person and made me realize that there are other people in the world counting on me.  This has been shown to me through the efforts as a team.  I am able to realize when I need to step aside and let someone else take over, or adversely when I need to step up as a leader and take charge.  Playing for a reason other than to win for myself is what puts my heart into the game and allows me to play the best that I can.”


Stropes is a four year varsity tennis player for the Pike Red Devils. The salutatorian of his class owns a 4.54 GPA.  He is a member of the National Honor Society, Hispanic National Honor Society, Key Club, and Sierra Club. He has volunteered at food drives, the local soup kitchen, and at many activities sponsored by the Key and Sierra Clubs.  Patrick is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Michael Stropes of Indianapolis.




Katie Zupancic

Indianapolis Cathedral HS


“Ultimately, I have discovered that the most important gains from athletics are not records, medals, playing time or even the win-loss record…the biggest impact athletics has had on me is learning how to integrate leadership qualities I admire in my coaches into myself and how to interact with peers who are working towards a common goal. Winning is a common goal but winning with character and honor is certainly the pinnacle of success.”


Zupancic is a four-year soccer player and also competed in track and field as a freshman and sophomore. After helping her school win the state championship in girls soccer last fall, she was named the Mental Attitude Award recipient by members of the IHSAA Executive Committee. She maintains a 4.4 GPA, is a Presidential Scholar and was honored as the Top Scholar in Spanish I, Spanish II and Theology. She has served as Class President as a sophomore and junior, was a class officer her other two years and also has taken part in the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Conference the last two years. Zupancic has volunteered her time in numerous fundraiser events both inside and outside the school and is a co-founder of Geriaoke, an Indianapolis Colts event at area nursing homes. She is the daughter of Tom and Carrie Zupancic of Indianapolis.






Have an interesting note? A conference or school record, coaching milestone or something else of interest? Please e-mail IHSAA Sports Information Director Jason Wille at for consideration.


Jennings County High School announced the retirement of Athletic Director Steve Arnholt effective June 30.  Steve has served as the athletic director at Jennings County High School for 20 years. Previously, he served as athletic director at Edinburgh High School for 14 years.


Vincennes Lincoln boys basketball coach, Steve Combs, has turned in his letter of resignation.  Combs was head coach for 10 years and accumulated a 146-86 record. Combs will remain in the Vincennes Community School Corporation as an Assistant Principal at Clark Middle School.


Crawfordsville baseball coach John Froedge won his 500th baseball game on Saturday, March 29, by defeating Western Hills (KY), 1-0, in eight innings. Froedge is in his 27th season of coaching, all with Crawfordsville.


Brian Harbin has been named the new head football coach at Franklin Central High School. Harbin comes to the Flashes from Center Grove High School where he served as Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator the last six years. Harbin is a graduate of Richmond High School and Franklin College and played football at the high school and collegiate levels. He replaces Lance Scheib at Franklin Central, who recently accepted the head coaching position at Noblesville High School.


One of the oldest former IHSAA state champions passed away on March 11. Willie Hart, 96, of Gary, was a three-time state champ from Gary Froebel in the 220 yard dash winning in 1930, 1931 and 1932. He also won the 100 yard dash in 1932. He went on to attend Michigan State University and was inducted into the Indiana Association of Track and Cross Country Hall of Fame in 1977.


Lewis Cass boys basketball coach Basil Mawbey announced that he’s leaving the school after eight seasons and varsity boys basketball coaching after 38 years. The Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame coach hasn’t ruled out coaching again some day but is certain it won’t happen next season. Mawbey has accumulated a 645-246 record (.723) winning the 1983 state championship at Connersville and the 2003 2A title at Cass. He also guided Kokomo to two state finals appearances, including a state runner-up finish in 1989. He is one of six coaches to win a state title at two different schools.


Laurie Rhoades has been named head volleyball coach at Concord High School.  Rhoades is a graduate of Ball State University and is currently employed as a physical education teacher at Concord East Side and Ox Bow Elementary Schools.  She has been an assistant volleyball coach at Concord since 2000.  She has also served as a junior varsity girls basketball coach and a junior varsity softball coach at various points in her career at Concord. Rhoades has been a member of the Indiana Coaches of Girls Sports Association since 1985, and currently serves on its executive board.  Rhoades takes over for Jim Routhier, who retired from coaching following the 2007 season.



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