The Carl Fricks Sportsmanship Scholarship
Presented by the St. Louis Sports Commission Associates
The Carl Fricks Sportsmanship Scholarship is presented annually to graduating high school seniors from the St. Louis metro area who embody outstanding sportsmanship. Administered by the St. Louis Sports Commission Associates – the Sports Commission’s young professionals group – the scholarship recognizes individuals who exemplify honesty, integrity, civility, selflessness, kindness, compassion and class in athletic competition. Candidates are evaluated strictly on their approach, character and respect for others on the playing field. Athletic performance (wins and other stats) does not factor in the selection – making the scholarship unique.
The Associates launched the Sportsmanship Scholarship in 2009. The group raises funds for the program and selects its recipients. In eight years, the Associates have awarded $75,000 in academic scholarships to 26 college-bound students. The scholarship program is part of the Sports Commission’s efforts to promote and encourage sportsmanship in the community.
Celebrate sportsmanship by nominating a deserving student who has demonstrated outstanding sportsmanship and character in athletic competition. You can view the bios of past Sportsmanship Scholarship recipients to see the type of attributes and actions the scholarship committee seeks to recognize. Please check back in January for 2018 scholarship information. For more details, call 314-345-5130 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
2017 Scholarship Recipients
Ladue High School
The Sports Commission Associates awarded Leor Goldfarb its top Sportsmanship Scholarship honor for 2017. The Ladue varsity wrestling and lacrosse captain will receive $10,000 to begin his college education. Leor’s class, humility and selflessness eclipse any feat he has achieved on the field or on the mat. In the semifinals of the district wrestling tournament, Leor was down seven points to his opponent from Hannibal. Late in the second period, Leor was injured by an illegal slam from his opponent. The referee gave him two options: He could have his opponent disqualified for the illegal move and automatically advance to the state finals or forfeit the match and allow his opponent to advance. Leor chose to forfeit the match and let his opponent move on to state. In a letter to the Ladue superintendent, Hannibal coach Derek Greening said, “I am not sure how many individuals and coaches would make the same decision. It takes an enormous amount of character and class to make a decision like this. In 16 years of coaching, I have seen many students default for much less to guarantee themselves a win.” This is just one instance that exemplifies Leor’s sportsmanship. He’s known for being supportive of teammates and opponents alike, and as relayed by his athletic director, Leor “knows what happens in sports is greater than the outcome of the game or match being held.”
Lafayette High School
Matt Ference played football and baseball at Lafayette High School, but it is the way he channeled his talent into remarkable kindness that makes him worthy of the Sportsmanship Scholarship. Matt started the “Kick for Kel” campaign to raise funds for the Jack & J.T. Snow Foundation to fight Wolfram Syndrome, a rare form of Type I diabetes. Kel is a seventh grader and friend of Matt’s who suffers from the disease. Whenever Matt made a field goal or an extra point, punted the ball more than 40 yards, or landed a punt within the opponent’s 20-yard line, donors pledged money to the campaign. Due to Matt’s stellar punting and kicking, “Kick for Kel” raised more than $12,000 for the Snow Foundation in 2016. Matt’s head football coach, Boyd Manne, said, “I have been a coach for 25 years and have never seen an athlete show so much compassion, kindness and selflessness as Matt did for (Kel) this season.”
Fort Zumwalt West High School
Natalie Rushing’s basketball skills are only exceeded by her leadership as team captain and the compassion she has for her teammates, coaches and opponents. Fort Zumwalt West girls’ basketball coach Amanda Krueger recalled Natalie’s selfless behavior in the heat of competition: “One teammate recalled Natalie stealing a ball during a game in which the opposing player was injured trying to get the ball back. Instead of taking the advantage, Natalie stopped play to make sure her opponent was OK. On another occasion, I was complaining to a referee about a call that I thought should have gone our way. Natalie pulled me aside and said it was her error and the referee was correct. This led to my subsequent apology to the referee for being a poor sport. In Natalie’s case, it is not one great act of sportsmanship that makes her worthy of this scholarship. Rather, it is her continuous display of honesty, integrity, kindness and class that makes her a very special person, worthy in every way of this great recognition.”