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:
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.