2013 Spirit of Sport Award Finalists

The 7th annual Spirit of Sport Awards honored 187 nominations, including over 680 individuals, spanning across 36 different schools and organizations. Read the finalist's stories below.

  • Service of the Poor Award

    • Ryan Betz

      Ryan Betz has been nominated for the Service of the Poor Award by Betsy Bradley.

      Ryan is a junior at Park Tudor High School and in his third year of participating in cross country and track and field. Ryan started running half marathons the summer prior to his freshman year and has a goal to run a 13.1 mile race in all 50 states by the time he graduates high school. Ryan has a passion for running and recognized a need within Park Tudor School's Financial Aid Package.

      Ryan worked with administrators at Park Tudor to establish his own 501(c)3,, to fund scholarships for kids who would like to attend Park Tudor but are financially unable to do so. Donations are made as Ryan works through running half marathons in all 50 states. 100% of the proceeds go towards funding the endowment.

      Ryan recognizes the importance of a quality education and has combined it with his love of running. He acknowledges the many privileges of being able to attend Park Tudor and has made a very mature decision to obtain a difficult goal alongside helping others. These donations will not help just one student but several, as the endowment will remain even after Ryan graduates from Park Tudor.

      Ryan believes that to achieve success, you must somehow make life better for another human being with your actions. His actions will impact future students in the community he cares so much for. To date, Ryan has run 37 of his 50 planned half marathons.

    • Center Grove Women's Soccer

      The Center Grove Women's Soccer Team has been nominated for the Service of the Poor Award by Todd Sheely.

      The Center Grove Women's Soccer program is not only focused on the game, but also on developing the women as great human beings and ambassadors to their community. The team uses their camps each summer to collect toiletries and canned goods to be donated to local pantries, and contributes time each year to work at a local food pantry to help clean and organize donations. The team also makes blankets for Project Linus to donate to children in need at hospitals, police organizations and those that have been affected by national disasters.

      Four years ago, the team was rocked with the sad news of a teammate's diagnosis of cancer. The team immediately stepped up to sell t-shirts and participate in a local walk-a-thon in support of their teammate.

      The team has also had parents of three different teammates diagnosed with cancer, and as a result, the team established their annual event, "In the FIGHT." This brings the community together to raise funds for the American Cancer Society and focuses on cancer education and prevention. The team has raised a total of $6,000 through the "In the FIGHT" event.

      If asked what they have taken away from their time in the Center Grove Women's Soccer program, there is no question the girls would say having the opportunity to come together as a team to give back to the community they live in.

    • Christy Kettler *AWARD WINNER*

      Christy Kettler has been nominated for the Service of the Poor Award by Jan Clifton.

      High-energy, focused power in a small body! Not to be taken lightly, Christy is the epitome of grabbing up the bootstraps and getting it done.

      Christy once said, "Local hunger really grinds my gears, there is no excuse why this is happening." Active in 4-H and as an FFA officer, Christy has spent a great deal of time focusing on ending hunger through her speaking platforms. She was a member of the 2012 Hamilton County Fair Queen Court where her speech outlined ways to stop members of the local community from going without food. This past summer, Christy developed a community service project for the Hamilton Heights Football and Cheerleading Programs. The programs went to Henryville, Ind. two months after the devastating tornados to help clean up debris and re-build fences.

      She teaches Sunday school and in the past year she personally prepared 280 coats to be distributed by the Carmel United Methodist Church. An outstanding student with a GPA over 3.8, she will enter Purdue University with over 10 college credits this fall having spent 15 years in competitive cheerleading. Christy is excited to have made the varsity co-ed cheerleading squad at Purdue.

      Christy is giving, intense, focused and involved in local and international causes and will continue to make a difference wherever she goes.

    • Zionsville Baseball

      The Zionsville Baseball Team has been nominated for the Service of the Poor Award by Beth Kocher.

      The Zionsville Baseball Team is a phenomenal group of young men. They have spent many hours volunteering with youth baseball players during baseball camps earlier this year as well as getting the Little League fields ready for the upcoming season. They have also spent many hours getting their own field ready for play by picking weeds and doing general maintenance.

      One night during a rainstorm, the team used a shop vacuum to get rid of standing water in right field. This showed their dedication to play the game. Most importantly, they also host an event, which benefits the Peyton Manning Children's Hospital. The team invites former pediatric patients to attend the game and throw out the first pitch. This year the event raised $12,000.

      The team volunteers at Relay for Life and they have donated two youth experiences to the Zionsville Education Foundation and Zionsville Boys and Girls Club.

      The team does a lot of great things in their community. This group of men show great sportsmanship and teamwork during the games, which is a great example for the younger players. They show encouragement to one another repeatedly throughout the game and warm ups. There are no attitudes or hanging heads if they fail. Most importantly, there are no individuals on this team. They truly care and have concern for one another and the community.

  • Reverence Award

    • Conner Crawford

      Conner Crawford has been nominated for the Reverence Award by Jill Noblitt.

      Conner has participated in many athletic programs at Sheridan High School. He has been a manager for the women's basketball team for two years, is a four-year varsity soccer player, a three-year track participant and a member of Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Being active in these organizations didn't deter Conner from his grades. He is currently ranked 11th in his class.

      While managing the women's basketball team, Conner was asked to fill many roles. He took stats, cleaned up after the team, prepared equipment before each game and filled in during practice when the team needed an extra "man." He would ensure that the coaches had everything they needed in order to coach efficiently. Not only did Conner complete the physical tasks to prepare the team for games, but also helped the girls mentally prepare for games through pep talks.

      Besides sports, Conner stays occupied with in student organizations, church and mission trips. Conner helped raise over $500 to support "In His Steps" a non-profit organization for at-risk children and their families.

    • Lauren Qualls

      Lauren Qualls has been nominated for the Reverence Award by April Schilling and Sherry Manzelli.

      Lauren has served as the manager for the Roncalli High School Women's Basketball Team all four years. She has put in 15-20 hours per week working with the team. With coaches, players, administrators and athletic trainers, Lauren has been invaluable to the team.

      Some of her duties have included keeping stats, filming, working the scoreboard, court and bench preparation, filling water bottles and providing towels. Along with her leadership to the basketball team, she has been a leader throughout the school, serving as the Student Council Co-President, French Club Publicity Officer and is a member of the Roncalli Strategic Planning Committee.

      What makes Lauren unique is the combination of academic talent and work ethic with her passion to serve others. She is a well-balanced, committed, responsible and mature young woman with a genuine concern and care for those around her. The players this past season called her "Coach Q," because she is well respected by teachers and peers alike.

      She hopes to attend college next year and study pharmacy. Lauren is a highly motivated student and has shown great diligence every day over the past four years in faithfully serving as the manager for the women's basketball program.

    • Joe Rocchio *AWARD WINNER*

      Joe Rocchio has been nominated for the Reverence Award by Eric Rauch.

      Joe has been a manager of the Westfield High School basketball program for the past five years. While at Westfield, he has been an excellent role model for the students.

      Although he is physically unable to compete in high school basketball, he brings a spirit and passion to the game that is easily seen by everyone around him. Joe is so impressive as a manager, he was offered a managerial position with the Purdue Boilermakers during his sophomore season in high school.

      Joe is amazing in how he treats everyone and makes them feel good about themselves. His work ethic is amazing, and when he puts his mind to something, he is going to achieve it. His enjoyment comes from serving others on the team, and does it with great leadership and character qualities that command respect.

      Joe will be a leader of tomorrow with the plethora of characteristics and convictions he holds true. He is a great role model in the community with his involvement in school activities and volunteering time to the youth. Whenever people think of Joe, words such as discipline, character, work ethic, pride and respect come to their minds.

    • Amanda Rulong

      Amanda Rulong has been nominated for the Reverence Award by Jason Morgan and Mike Bradley.

      Amanda joined the Student Athletic Training Program at Bishop Chatard High School three years ago. She has been a huge part of the football and cross country team's recent success. She is the go-to person on the staff, and whenever someone needs medical attention, she is always the first to respond.

      A typical week for Amanda involves the school day and homework. She also commits 20-25 hours as a student athletic trainer, nannies three children and works as a hostess at a local restaurant. Amanda serves as the Outreach Coordinator for Bishop Chatard's Student Council where she led a canned food drive that raised 30,000 cans for various charities.

      Amanda's reach goes beyond Bishop Chatard and her community. She feels that service is what we are called to do and helps her enrich her relationship with God. She is truly an exceptional young woman with a bright future ahead of her. Amanda's dedication improves the performance and lives of those she touches.

      Whether it is her faith, family, school or work, Amanda approaches everything with passion and a conscious effort to put others first. However, she is able to balance and manage her time while striving for excellence in every endeavor.

  • Integrity Award

    • Gregory Nunley Jr.

      Gregory Nunley Jr. has been nominated for the Integrity Award by Jenny Brennan.

      Gregory was the Assistant Men's Basketball Coach at Pike High School for six years before stepping away from coaching last season. To hear him speak to the players was truly inspirational. He would coach the players in each of their roles as young men, students and athletes, and explain how each contribute to their success as a whole.

      Daily, Gregory challenges his athletes to become better on and off the court, making them reflect on their actions and the decisions they made that day. His coaching style is a "life" coaching style. Not only does he develop these young men's basketball skills, he is developing critical thinking off the court, which helps prepare them for life. He prepares them to be upstanding citizens, students and respectful members of their families.

      He is in the profession of "developing" these young men, not just coaching them or teaching them basketball. While he is now a guidance counselor at Pike, his mentoring continues. The basketball players still come to him seeking counsel and advice. His legacy follows him outside the walls of Pike High School and can be seen in professional athletes like Marquis Teague.

      He continues to be a valuable mentor to Marquis as he moves through the different stages of his career. That relationship and mentorship started at Pike years ago. This is a true testament to the value of his coaching style. The respect he is given and the wisdom he gives in return is awe-inspiring to watch.

    • Bruce Scifres

      Bruce Scifres has been nominated for the Integrity award by Chuck Weisenbach.

      Bruce's accomplishments as Roncalli's head football coach are unparalleled in the state of Indiana. Bruce has won six State Championships, seven Semi-State Championships, nine Regional Championships and 10 Sectional Championships. With the number of wins that he has amassed over his career at Roncalli, he has placed himself into an elite club of coaches within the state of Indiana.

      While Bruce is familiar with success on the football field, He has long been about much more than just winning championships. Bruce has authored two books, "Beyond the Goal Line: The Quest for Victory in the Game of Life" and "A Real Man: A Guide to Becoming the Men Our Wives, Children and God Want Us to Be." Through these books, Bruce focuses in on his primary goal to help young boys grow into young men who will use their God-given gifts to serve the world.

      Bruce has shared his passion for faith, family and working toward being the best person you can be by speaking at countless prayer breakfasts, parish events, retreats and coaching clinics. His teaching, coaching and speaking has inspired thousands of young people and adults in their efforts to stay focused on those aspects of life that matter most.

      Bruce has proven to be more than just a highly successful coach. He has invested the majority of his professional life helping people be the best version of themselves they can be.

    • The Staton Family

      The Staton Family has been nominated for the Integrity Award by Sarah Luken.

      In the summer of 2011 Chris Williams (Staton) frequently found himself in an empty house with an empty fridge. He began to hangout at his teammate Jon Staton's house. Jason and Michelle Staton, Jon's parents, quickly realized that Chris was craving to be a part of something. "He deserves a safe place and somebody to love him," said Michelle.

      Throughout the school year, Chris went from spending the night at the Staton's once a week, to three or four times. During that time he seemed to quickly transition from friend to family. Jon and his younger brother Austin made space for another bed in their room and were excited to have another brother.

      Chris developed responsibility and learned quickly what it was like to be accountable. He picked Austin up from school every day after volunteering at the elementary school in the special education classes.

      Although he had turned 18, Chris asked in June 2012, if the Statons would adopt him. Michelle said they were pushing to adopt him so he could have people to call his family.

      This football season there were two Statons on the Tri-West High School roster, and although very different athletes (Jon a North South All-Star lineman and Chris a receiver) they both brought a newfound love to the game and helped the entire team become a family. The Bruins went 8-3 on the season and were Co-Conference Champions.

    • Stephanie Theis *AWARD WINNER*

      Stephanie Theis has been nominated for the Integrity Award by John Shaughnessy and Mike Ford.

      In sports terms, Stephanie Theis is a triple threat. As a teacher, she influences the lives of her students in Advanced Placement and honors science classes at Bishop Chatard High School. As a coach, she helps train and motivate student-athletes in track and cross country. As a volunteer at Brooke's Place, Stephanie counsels and provides support for grieving children who have lost a parent or a close relative.

      Sometimes, Stephanie fulfills all three roles in one day, starting in school at 7:15 a.m. and ending at Brooke's Place at 9 p.m. Her care for the children at Brooke's Place has had a major impact on the way she teaches and coaches students at Bishop Chatard.

      "It has changed me," Stephanie said. She has learned to try to help people be who they are, and accept others for who they are. She shows the high quality of integrity in her roles as a teacher, coach and volunteer. Even more importantly, she serves as an example of integrity to the children and youth whose lives she touches.

  • Wisdom Award

    • Tanner Dye

      Tanner Dye has been nominated for the Wisdom Award by Cheryl Betten.

      Tanner is one of the most accomplished students to ever attended New Castle High School. He will have taken seven Advanced Placement courses by the time he finishes high school, is ranked first in his class of 222 with a GPA of 4.48 on a 4.33 scale and is a National Merit Scholar. These academic achievements are even more impressive considering his accomplishments in athletics.

      He is a four-year varsity player in soccer, cross country and track. Tanner's ability to maintain unbelievable academic success, as well as excellence in athletics, is a testament to his talent and level of commitment. He is a highly motivated, well-organized and self-disciplined student-athlete.

      His coaches describe Tanner as a "quiet, well respected leader." Tanner is one of the few students who does not study for grades, but rather studies for knowledge of the content.

      Teachers and coaches agree that Tanner Dye is not your average, run of the mill student-athlete. Awards aiming to highlight the best from high schools can do no better than to select Tanner Dye.

    • Paige Stansell

      Paige Stansell has been nominated for the Wisdom Award by Lee Lysiuk.

      Paige is ranked third in her senior class of 584 with a 4.5 GPA. She has been a four-year varsity soccer player for Pike High School, and has been involved in activities, both inside and outside of school.

      Paige has been a member of Pike Encores Show Choir, wind ensemble, Sierra Club and National Honors Society. Outside of school, Paige has been involved in her community and church. She has been a part of Bridgeport United Methodist Youth Group and the Indianapolis Youth Chorale.

      In what is left of her spare time, Paige has volunteered for many activities. She has helped distribute food at the Lord's Pantry and assisted with building houses for Habitat for Humanity. Paige raised money for Hope for Haiti and volunteered at St.Vincent's Play 60 summer camp. Because of her dedication to her studies and athletic activities, it is no question Paige will go on to accomplish great things.

    • Joseph Sweeney

      Joseph Sweeney has been nominated for the Wisdom Award by Alice Rector.

      Joseph has always been a good football player and a very bright kid. He played football for Cardinal Ritter High School all four years, and is second in his class with a 4.5 GPA. He scored a 35 on his ACT and achieved a 720 on the reading section, a 700 on the writing section and a perfect 800 on the math section of the SATs.

      Joseph has participated in the Brain Game, and is a part of National Honor Society and White River Academic League. He has also received the Phil Eskew Mental Attitude Award and has been named the National Football Foundation Indianapolis Chapter Scholar Athlete, Indianapolis Colts Scholar Athlete, National Merit Finalist, Indy Star Academic All-Star and Kiwanis 2013 Academic MVP.

    • Jimmy Wang *AWARD WINNER*

      Jimmy Wang has been nominated for the Wisdom Award by Jennifer Cox.

      Jimmy is among the brightest students at University High School. He has a 4.62 GPA, scored a perfect 2400 on the SAT and is ranked first in his class. He has scored a perfect score on the five AP Exams he has taken thus far. He has a love of science, having taken AP Chemistry last year as an independent study and AP Physics this year.

      One would think Jimmy only has time for schoolwork. However, he is very active in the school and community. He is one of the hardest workers on the University Cross Country Team. His dedication to the sport is so great that he would wear ankle weights to each practice. He has spent time working in the neurology department at IUPUI researching Alzheimer's disease. He spends countless hours in the plays and musicals, he plays in the Pep Band, peer tutors and is a varsity member of University's competitive academic team. For all of these reasons, Jimmy is a perfect candidate for this award.

  • Creativity Award

    • Morgan Hagee *AWARD WINNER*

      Morgan Hagee has been nominated for the Creativity Award by Mark Hagee and Steve Hagee.

      "Kendra's Call for Komfort" is a local foundation founded by Kendra Springs, an 11-year-old Plainfield girl who is currently battling Neuroblastoma. While at a local Relay For Life event, Morgan noticed the t-shirts Kendra's Call For Komfort team members were wearing. The shirts displayed their slogan, "Kick It." Immediately, Morgan, a football place kicker and punter, felt a connection.

      Morgan decided that he needed to get involved and began to brainstorm ideas. He ultimately decided to raise money with his kicking ability. He partnered with four local companies who were willing to donate $20 for every extra point and $60 for every field goal Morgan made during his football games. By the end of the season, Morgan raised $2,960 for Kendra's Call for Komfort and developed a close friendship with Kendra and her family.

      Believing more could be done, Morgan formed a student board at Plainfield High School to further his mission. The board, made up of one male and one female from each grade, has played a key role in the foundation's fundraisers.

      Morgan's goal for his 2013 season is to raise over $10,000 for Kendra's Call For Komfort. While he is an incredible kicker and punter, Morgan used his passion and creativity to help others.

    • Ken Martin

      Ken Martin has been nominated for the Creativity Award by Scott Hudson.

      Ken has been competing in endurance events for over 20 years. He was named the USA Men's Marathon Champion in 1984 and 1985. He's raced in countless marathons, including placing second in the 1989 New York City Marathon.

      But Ken is currently competing in a completely different kind of race. He is being treated for an aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and is striving to find a connection between exercise and cancer physiology. For 30 minutes a day he would ride his stationary bike, monitor the change in his vitals and send the information to researchers who are studying how exercise can improve the side effects of cancer.

      In his quest to beat this disease for the second time (Ken suffered from Hodgkin lymphoma three years ago), Ken created a nonprofit group to aid in raising money to support research studying the effect of exercise on tumors and cancer treatments.

      Using his struggle to act proactively to help himself and others, all while fighting through this tough time for a second round, makes Ken a strong candidate for the Creativity Award.

    • North Central Women's Rugby Team

      The North Central Women's Rugby Team has been nominated for the Creativity Award by Megan McCarty.

      The North Central Women's Rugby Team has a long history of success on the pitch. At the conclusion of the 2012 season, the team had earned four consecutive State Titles, 47 consecutive wins and graduated 16 starters. When the 2013 season began, the team returned only ten players from the previous year, but gained 33 new players.

      A lack of playing experience could deter some from playing, but the coaches and athletes of North Central creatively worked together to improve skills, fitness and rugby knowledge to continue to set the bar high for high school rugby in the state of Indiana. Teaching, listening and learning were vital in this year's success, and it paid off. On May 11, 2013, North Central Women's Rugby defeated the Warsaw Lady Tigers in an intense match to take home their fifth consecutive State Championship Title.

      In a sport not widely played in Indiana high schools, the ladies of the North Central Women's Rugby show escalating passion for their teammates, the team and the sport each and every day.

    • Jesse Smith

      Jesse Smith has been nominated for the Creativity Award by Courtney Cooley.

      Jesse is a student-athlete that believes making a difference in his community is important. He is very passionate about his work and continues to inspire those around him. Jesse co-founded the annual "5k Family Fun Run" to benefit Peyton Manning Children's Hospital at St.Vincent. The 5k raises thousands of dollars for the children's hospital every year, and does a tremendous job getting the community involved. It is not only a run, but also a family-oriented event with games, raffles, awards, music, food and more.

      But Jesse did not stop there. He decided to raise additional money to become a sponsor for the event. Jesse has a sports network Twitter page and he began selling sports network t-shirts and wrist bands, with all proceeds going to Peyton Manning Children's Hospital. With this, he has increased participation in his cause and motivated others to get involved.

      Jesse continues to work year-round on donations to Peyton Manning Children's Hospital. He encourages others to get involved while also participating in extra curricular activities and getting good grades. He believes he can make a difference and continues to show leadership skills beyond his years. Jesse is truly an inspiration to everyone who meets him.

  • Dedication Award

    • Carmel Women's Cross Country Team

      Carmel Women's Cross Country has been nominated for the Dedication Award by Dawn Ellington.

      The Carmel Women's Cross Country Team has been a dominating force in Indiana high school cross country. They have won three State Championships in a row and are a team that is constantly rebuilding and adding new faces to the starting line.

      There weren't two races this season where the same seven girls started for the varsity team. This is because they ran as a team and not as individuals. They all knew their role and knew their job on the course. The team also knew that someone who was not their strongest runner could play a role in giving a varsity "starter" a day off to rest from racing.

      The team's major accomplishments have not just been here in the state of Indiana. The team qualified for Nike Nationals in 2010. They ran against 22 of the best teams in the country and came in seventh place. They followed that performance with a fifth place finish in 2011 and a third place finish in 2012. The third place finish was the highest place a team from Indiana had ever finished at Nike Nationals. This finish was even more impressive, as the team had graduated three of their top four runners from the previous year.

      They are quite the team who has set the bar high for all others in the state to strive to achieve.

    • Jamonte Hampton *AWARD WINNER*

      Jamonte Hampton has been nominated for the Dedication Award by Pam Dorner-Saxhaug.

      Jamonte epitomizes character, maturity and the knowledge that serving others is of utmost importance. One would be hard pressed to find another young man who has embraced these concepts more deeply or more wholeheartedly. Jamonte is an honest, hard working, determined, charming, self-evasive young man who is easily liked by his peers and those he meets. He has held a job while excelling in academics and athletics, working to pay for his own essentials and food, since the age of fifteen.

      Jamonte's involvement and honors speak for themselves. His dedication to Broad Ripple High School is evident from his involvement in National Honor Society, football and track. Jamonte is graduating with a 3.964 GPA and will be attending Marian University this fall.

      He exhibits maturity in fulfilling commitments with his high level of intellectual ability, commanding new and challenging tasks. In short, Jamonte is a dedicated, hard worker no matter the task.

    • Stuart Schultz

      Stuart Schultz has been nominated for the Dedication Award by Coach Pete Smith.

      Stuart was the center on Guerin Catholic Freshman Basketball Team during the 2009-2010 season, and helped the team earn runner-up in the Hamilton County Freshman Tournament at the end of the season. Stuart had the potential to make the junior varsity team the following season, however, he was diagnosed and treated for Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Due to his illness and subsequent treatment, during the 2010-2011 school year, Stuart was unable to attend school and earn any credits toward graduation from Guerin Catholic High School. His illness not only caused him to become very ill, but to spend the year fighting for his life.

      He returned to school for the 2011-2012 school year, but doctor's orders did not clear him to return to physical activity as he continued chemotherapy.

      His class schedule was predicated by all his treatment phases, and he was hospitalized during this year as well. Despite the treatments, he wanted to be a part of the team, knowing he may never play again. He served as a manager and was the team's inspiration as they won the 2012 IHSAA 3A State Championship. Though he still had weekly and monthly chemotherapy treatments, Stuart was given the OK to play basketball this past season.

      Now a junior academically and athletically, Stuart earned a spot on the JV team. But in the first game he broke his foot just five minutes into the contest. He vigorously rehabbed his foot, and after missing 15 games he returned to play the last four games, helping the team to their holiday tournament title. Stuart's dedication is an inspiration to all in the community.

    • Sam Thornton

      Sam Thornton has been nominated for the Dedication Award by Mike Harmon.

      When Sam was nine years old, his upper left arm stopped growing due to a bone cyst, and is now about five to six inches shorter than his right arm. With this debilitating injury and the difficulties from social pressure of trying to "fit in," it would have been easy for Sam to give up on his athletic dreams. But that wasn't part of Sam's character.

      Sam underwent major reconstructive surgery to regain some of the mobility in his arm. After six months of rehab Sam was back on the baseball diamond playing and excelling at the elite travel level.

      Currently a junior at Bishop Chatard High School, Sam has already achieved success at the very highest levels of sports competition available to a young athlete. Sam is currently a pitcher and shortstop for the Bishop Chatard Varsity Baseball team. He became only the fifth player in history to play twice in the Babe Ruth League Major World Series. Sam also helped his travel basketball team win a city championship in 2010.

      On top of his physical challenges, Sam has been forced to deal with regular relocation of his family. He has lived in San Diego, Sacramento, Cleveland and Baltimore before moving to the Indianapolis area three years ago, where he began his high school experience as a complete outsider. The constant relocation and attending seven different schools in eleven years has forced Sam to continuously readjust to new social environments.

      After all of the physical and social challenges Sam has had to face, he has kept a smile on his face, a "never say can't" attitude and continues to turn it all into success on the field.

  • Spirit of Sport Award

    • Brebeuf Jesuit Ice Hockey Team

      The Brebeuf Jesuit Ice Hockey Team has been nominated for the Spirit of Sport Award by Jan Clifton.

      The Brebeuf Jesuit Ice Hockey Team's history of academic greatness was verified by winning the Indiana State High School Hockey Association Schallert Award for Academic Excellence for the 10th time in the past 11 years. They have three Academic All-State players, four members of Team Indiana for 2012-13, multiple individual academic awards and the Mental Attitude Award winner from the ISHSHA. This season, the team claimed victory in the 2013 4A State Championship.
      The players practice at 5 a.m. and then proceed to a rigorous schedule at Brebeuf Jesuit High School. The team plays three or four games within 48 hours every weekend. Decimated by injuries, the 12 healthy players chugged through two weekends in February.

      They bonded together to support a teammate and his family during their tragic loss of a loved one in the most heartfelt ways. They met all of these challenges head on with energy and dedication.

      Perhaps the most prophetic measure of their greatness is their involvement with Wheeler Mission each Thanksgiving. At their annual Turkey Bowl, they challenge a local rival team to play on the ice, but more importantly they compete to bring the most frozen food. The Turkey Bowl is one trophy in the locker room that is held in great esteem. These gentlemen all display the St.Vincent Core Values of Service of the Poor, Reverence, Integrity, Wisdom, Creativity and Dedication at the highest levels.

    • Jeffery Scott

      Jeffery Scott has been nominated for the Spirit of Sport Award by Chris Vawter.

      Jeffery has exemplified service as he has volunteered his time assisting in numerous football, wrestling and baseball camps to help younger and less privileged athletes develop. He has also spent time working with special needs students at Clinton Central, helping them with their school work and classroom activities.

      With regards to reverence, there is no better team player than Jeffery, as he gives everything he has to the sports and teams for which he competes. Even when he was injured, he was always there to encourage his teammates and coaches. Integrity is something that is hard to find with many of today's young athletes, but Jeffery displays it in everything he does.

      Having been involved in multiple sports since he was able participate, he has always handled himself with the utmost class and is the epitome of a role model. Even more impressively, Jeffery has excelled in the classroom with a 3.87 GPA and is involved in numerous other school activities. He has used his creativity to help support his teams with fundraisers such as a Hit-a-Thon for baseball and selling t-shirts in wrestling.

      Finally, his dedication to everything that he does is outstanding. Jeffery suffered a severe concussion at the end of football season and worked hard to make it to the State Tournament the next season in wrestling.

    • Jacob Tebbe *AWARD WINNER*

      Jacob Tebbe has been nominated for the Spirit of Sport Award by Stacy McGuire and Jake Gilbert.

      Jacob is a rare find. He has a profoundly positive impact on his classes, his football team, his school and his community. He is a hardworking and talented student who has earned a 4.4 GPA on a 4.0 scale. His GPA was possible as Jacob filled his schedule over the years with honors and Advanced Placement classes. He has placed academics as a priority in his life and refuses to let obstacles get in the way of his success.

      Despite a rigorous academic schedule, Jacob has been involved in many activities at Westfield High School. He is a varsity letter winner on the football team and was selected by his coaches and peers to serve on the team's Leadership Council. He has also served as a member of the Principal's Advisory Committee and as a two-year member of the Executive Committee, the most elite and prestigious student government team at Westfield High School.

      Jacob is a leader among leaders, willingly giving up his free time to participate in community service projects. After a mission trip to help tornado victims in Henryville, Ind., Jacob saw the potential for his teammates to help. In the summer of 2012, Jacob led the football team in a blood drive for the Central Indiana Blood Center. Westfield High School had the best results in the state due to Jacob's leadership.

      Jacob makes Westfield a special, successful place and sets an incredible example for all students to follow. His dedication to academics, athletics and philanthropy is beneficial for everyone. You cannot spend time with Jacob Tebbe without him touching your life in a positive way.

    • Charis Webb

      Charis Webb has been nominated for the Spirit of Sport Award by Kathryn Zielinski.

      Charis Webb is a dedicated rugby player at Brownsburg High School. She has played sophomore year through her senior year, and plans to continue playing for the Indianapolis women's team. She has a passion for rugby that is not found in many athletes in any sport.

      Charis suffered a torn ACL and meniscus injury the fall of her junior year. She had surgery in the fall of 2011 and spent most of her time on the sideline for the 2012 rugby season. She helped her coach and guided her team to become a top four team in the state. By the end of the season, Charis recuperated and was playing with the team for the State Title.

      This season she was voted a Team Captain, and it was the best decision the team could have made. Throughout her career as an athlete, she spent time in South Africa and Ethiopia. In South Africa she began to get involved with the Crystal House Academy and led a fundraiser that allowed her community to help create a rugby field in South Africa for the children.

      In Ethiopia, Charis spent her time building and modeling a new recreation center for orphans around the area. As well as being an outstanding athlete, she performs impeccably well in her academics. She is as talented in the classroom as she is on the pitch. Through her love for rugby, Charis has not only impacted her teammates, but has given kids around the world a chance to get involved.


    This professional is a member of the sports community who has made a significant contribution to the sports performance industry in the past year. This person is a non-St.Vincent associate.

    • USA Football – "Heads Up Football" Program *AWARD WINNER*

      Nick Inzerello and the USA Football - Head's Up FootballSM program are presented with the Defining Sports Performance Award. They were nominated for this award by Dave Weikel.

      Concussions have become a major area of concern in the sporting world. Educating athletes, parents and coaches on the signs and symptoms of concussions has become top priority for athletic trainers, physicians and other health care professionals, but more needs to be done.

      Nick Inzerello and USA Football have addressed this issue by creating the Heads Up Football program. This revolutionary program completely changes the way players are taught to tackle, and greatly reduces the chances of sustaining a concussion by "taking the head out of the tackle."

      Numerous medical professionals, coaches and NFL players endorse this program across the country. Youth leagues across the nation, including several here in central Indiana, have signed on and will be teaching this new technique.

      While education and awareness of signs and symptoms need to continue to be addressed, the Heads Up Football program is the first program that actually changes the culture of the sport, and by doing so, will help ensure that youth can safely play the sport that they love. Nick Inzerello and the staff at USA Football are "Changing the Landscape" and are most deserving of the this award.


    This individual, through his/her involvement in sports, has inspired, moved, or challenged the sports performance industry in a unique and personal way on their journey to heal their body, mind, and spirit.

    St.Vincent Sports Performance is proud to name Tamika Catchings the recipient of the 2013 Trinity Dove Award.

    Tamika was a Kodak All-America honoree for four consecutive seasons at the University of Tennessee. She then went on to be drafted by the Indiana Fever in the first round of the 2001 WNBA Draft, going third overall. Since then, Tamika has not disappointed.

    In her first season with the Fever, she won the 2002 WNBA Rookie of the Year award, and that was just the beginning. Since then, Tamika has been on the WNBA All-Star Team seven times, has received All-WNBA honors 10 times, has been named the WNBA's Defensive Player of the Year five times, and in 2010, she was awarded the WNBA's Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award. Additionally, in 2011, she was named the league's MVP.

    In 2012, the Indiana Fever brought home their first WNBA title in the organization's history. Tamika was a big part of the Fever's success in 2012, and was named the WNBA Finals MVP. She led the team in scoring with 17.4 points per contest, led the team in steals with 2.06 per game and served as the team's leading rebounder, grabbing 7.60 boards per contest.

    Outside of her work with the Indiana Fever, she has also been a key contributor on several USA Women's Basketball Olympic Teams. In her time with Team USA, she helped bring home three consecutive gold medals from the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games. While a member of Team USA she played in every game for the past three Olympics and was a tri-captain for the 2012 games.

    While her numerous on-court awards and accomplishments are impressive, her work off the court is just as profound. Tamika has been named a three-time WNBA Community Assist Award winner for her involvement in the community, and became the first recipient of the Dawn Staley Leadership Award for being a positive role model and bettering the community. Tamika's contributions to society also earned her the honor of being a finalist for the Coach John Wooden Citizenship Cup Award.

    During the off-season, it's common to see Tamika fulfilling her promises to young fans that she'll cheer them on. She spends countless hours teaching and motivating youth. Following the success of her own camps and clinics, she created the "Catch the Stars Foundation" in the spring of 2004. The foundation's goal is to provide academic and sports related programs for at-risk youth.

    Through all of her work and accomplishments, Tamika has had to work through a significant personal obstacle – deafness.  As a child wearing external hearing aids, she was bullied for her differences and struggled internally with fitting in.  As a teenager, she stopped wearing her hearing aids, tired of being "different." But under the guidance of her college coach, Pat Summitt, Tamika learned to accept her differences and excel despite them.  She now wears internal hearing aids and enjoys teaching youth about self-confidence and valuing each other's gifts.

    Tamika fully embodies what the Trinity Dove Award is all about, through her work on the court and in the community, as she continues to make a difference.