Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Honors for a Young Lion

The Pride of Yorktown (CREDIT: Columbia Athletics)

Columbia freshman defensive end Matt Stotler has been named a National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL SCHOLAR- ATHLETE.

Here's some info on the program:
DALLAS, Nov. 5 2007 - The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) announced today the selection of five exceptional individuals as the best and the brightest in the country for their accomplishments as athletes, scholars and citizens, naming them as the NFF National High School Scholar-Athletes for 2007.

2007 NFF National High School Scholar- Athlete Honorees
(Currently freshmen in college - full bios included below.)

*Ryan Coffey - Northeast Region - Rhode Island Chapter - Burrillville High School - Harrisville, Rhode Island

*Barton Dear - South Region - Touchdown Club of Houston Chapter - Klein Oak High School - Spring, Texas

*Kellen Kiilsgaard - West Region - King County (Seattle, Wash.) Chapter - Auburn High School - Auburn, Washington

*Blake Lawrence - Midwest Region - Sunflower (Topeka, Kan.) Chapter - Shawnee Mission West High School - Overland Park, Kansas

*Matthew Stotler - East Region - National Capital (Washington, D.C .) Chapter - Yorktown High School - Arlington, Virginia

The five scholar-athletes will be honored during the NFF's Annual Awards Luncheon, presented by Sprinturf, on Tuesday, December 4, 2007, at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. First bestowed in 1991, the NFF National High School Scholar-Athlete Award has become one of the most competitive and sought after high school honors in the country. Criteria for the award include but are not limited to academic achievement, athletic accolades and community involvement.

"With the National High School Scholar-Athlete Awards, the NFF annually strives to honor the absolute finest from the gridiron at the high school level," said NFF President & CEO Steven J. Hatchell . "The accomplishments of this year's five nominees make us all proud, and their contributions both on and off the field set the standard for their peers to follow, and I thank Sprinturf for joining us in our efforts to promote what these individuals represent."

With more than one million student-athletes playing high school football each year, the NFF chapter network, comprised of 120 chapters with 12,000 members, annually reviews the credentials of players from more than 4,800 high schools Each chapter analyzes countless local candidates for their academic achievement, athletic performance and exemplary leadership, and collectively the chapters annually award 2,500 deserving student-athletes with more than $800,000 in annual scholarships. From this group of 2,500, a national committee selects five individuals for the recognition as NFF National High School Scholar-Athletes.

Here's the specific info on Matt:

Matthew Stotler
East Region
Yorktown High School - Arlington, Virginia
National Capital Region Chapter

Yorktown High School's Matt Stotler displayed a passion for excellence that has allowed him to succeed on the highest level in academics, athletics and as a leader in the community.

Valedictorian of a class of 355 students, Stotler maintained a 4.16 grade point average on a 4.0 scale. A member of the National Honor Society, he won his school's Academic Excellence Award and claimed the Yorktown's Sportsmanship and Excellence Award, a highly prestigious award and the highest honor that a Yorktown High School student can achieve. Sponsored by the school principal, the honor is based on nine character traits, all of which Stotler more than embodied.

A captain on the football team, Stotler played both tight end and defensive end, earning All-League, All- District, All-County honors in 2005 and 2006. His senior year, he amassed 12 sacks and 18.5 tackles for a loss. The 6-foot-5 and 215-pound Stotler also received the Virginia High School League Academic Excellence Award.

Stotler also earned three letters in wresting; eight in track and one in rifle. Captain of the wrestling team, he was the National District Champion at the 215- pound weight class, posting a 34-4 record with 30 pins in 2007. As a member of the Yorktown track team, Stotler was a Northern Region qualifier in the 110m hurdles, high jump and discus.

Extracurricular activities and community involvement also kept Stotler extremely busy. He participated as a member of the Madrigal singers, served on the school newspaper staff and volunteered 12-16 hours a month with Crosslink International assisting in maintaining inventory, stocks, and preparing medical supply donations for shipment to third world countries. An accomplished pianist, Stotler performed recitals at the Sunrise Retirement Home as well as running bingo night for the residents.

"Matt Stotler is a top student, a top athlete and a top human being," said Yorktown High School Counselor Margaret Brennan. "He is intelligent, he works very hard, he's highly disciplined and he possesses self awareness and self confidence. It is no exaggeration to say that Matt is respected by everyone, including peers and adults, in the Yorktown community."

Stotler currently attends Columbia University and playing defensive end for the Lions.

Congratulations to Matt and thanks to Chuck Burton of Lehigh Football Nation for alerting me to this wonderful story.


At Tue Nov 06, 10:48:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations to Matt and his family. That is quite an honor.

Matt and his parents will certainly have an occasion to remember at the Waldorf-Astoria awards luncheon.

I suggest Matt play Roar Lion Roar on the piano to warm up the audience.


At Wed Nov 07, 01:36:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agree. Has Matt seen action in the JV games? He looks like he could be a player for us once he gains 30 pounds in the weight room.

At Wed Nov 07, 02:41:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations to Matt. We sometimes lose sight of the fact that these are all very talented student-athletes, and not just football players. They are the "cream of the crop", in my opinion.

At Wed Nov 07, 07:08:00 AM GMT+7, Blogger dabull said...

Sounds like an outstanding young man in every way! A great representative of Columbia and Columbia athletics. I saw Matt on campus three weeks ago and he really looks like a rawboned athletic specimen. I'm sure we'll be seeing him do some special things for Lion football too!

At Wed Nov 07, 09:21:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As 1st year parents we were surprised by all the early season comments that athletes were not afforded the same respect as non-athletes at Columbia. We always viewed the best scenario for our son as being a great balancing act between body, mind, and spirit. We often thought it would be a great idea to post some of the non-athletic, off-the-field accomplishments made by our players and so we were really glad to find this posting today.

Imagine displaying a collection of our players' weighted GPA's, SAT/ACT scores, class rank %, major honors/awards, and creative or community accomplishments, published for easy viewing for all to see. The level of respect for how much these guys have accomplished, and will continue to accomplish, would be undeniable and this article just drives the point home so perfectly!

We send thanks to his parents, and wish Matt all the best. What an honor to have student athletes of this caliber on our team for the next few seasons, going out everyday working so hard to be the best they can be in so many areas of life and, at the same time, attempting to bring a combination of enthusiam and excellence to the CU community both on and off the field. EVERYONE benefits from that effort.

That more students, faculty, and alumni do not take a few hours out of their week, for a few weeks a year to show their support is SO regrettable and almost borders on heartlessness.

We all need to work together to find ways to turn this around.

At Wed Nov 07, 07:33:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The player's parents continue to put us ole' regulars to shame with their commitment and spirit.
( see post : nov 6 @ 6:21)

At Wed Nov 07, 10:21:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great posting my parents of first year. The support is out there. The indifference on campus is unfortunately present at all Ivy campuses. But there is a deep feeling of gratitude by more people in the Columbia family than might meet the eye. And when this program does start to win, we will pack the stadium!

At Wed Nov 07, 10:35:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This old Columbia alum would like to add his congratulations to Matt and his family. Obviously, an outstanding young man from a great family.

At Wed Nov 07, 11:02:00 PM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First of all, congratulations Matt. What a fine achievement!

Secondly, I want to elaborate a bit on this latest thread about support, attendance at games etc. I too am a parent of a first year. In recent weeks I have had the pleasure of getting to know many senior parents. Their single biggest complaint is not the the loses, the coaches, the administration, but the lack of attendance and spirit at the games. I will tell you our sons feel your support or lack of it. I have said it before on this board, if we act like losers as a group, we will perpetuate the "losing" mentality. Every one of those kids believes NW will turn this around, everyone of those kids thinks they can win week after week. If we don't believe they can win, if I as a parent don't believe they can win, it makes their job harder.

I don't know what we as a group can do to make up for the lack of attendance at the games. Maybe we can brainstorm on this board in the off-season.

And for those of you who show up week after week, thank you, thank you, thank you! And for those of you who show up week after week and make noise, fantastic!

At Thu Nov 08, 02:13:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The distance and expense is too great for our family to attend games regularly; but we felt we absolutely must be in attendance on the last games of the season, both JV on Friday and Varsity on Sat - regardless of the effort and cost or the weather. Anyone else who can possibly make the trip - please DO!!!!

At Thu Nov 08, 03:49:00 AM GMT+7, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Spectator can help here. More or our stuident athletes should try to write for Spec during the off season and talk up the team. I also think that we need to avoid the self segregation that sometimes occurs these days. When I was at the College in the 60s, there was much more intermingling betweeen athletes and non-athletes. Friendships breed support.


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