By Laura Meehan
For the Hollywood Star News, June, 2010
Twenty-seven high school sophomores throughout the Portland metropolitan area were honored as being Scholar Athletes by the Multnomah Athletic Club. They were chosen by administrators and student leaders in each school, and were recognized at a banquet at the MAC on Wednesday, May 19. All are honor students who will receive memberships entitling them to full use of the club’s facilities for the remainder of their high school careers. Upon graduation, they will each be given $1,500 toward tuition at a college of their choice.
From Central Catholic High School, the MAC chose Jessica Rogers. As a freshman, Rogers participated in junior varsity soccer and varsity track. She was named Mt. Hood Conference first team in the 800 meter, and Mt. Hood Conference second team in the 4×400 meter. She also qualified for state in the 800 meter, and was voted Central Catholic’s outstanding track performer. As a sophomore, she played varsity soccer and was named Mt. Hood Conference honorable mention soccer forward; she continues to compete with the varsity track team.
“I try to enjoy and push myself to use the gifts I have been given,” she says. “I like to be challenged; it makes me see what I may achieve and knowing that I can succeed, makes me feel so good about myself.”
Ben Criswell was selected from Grant High School. Criswell competed in varsity lacrosse and wrestling as a freshman. As a wrestler, he placed fourth in varsity districts and fourth in freshman state. His sophomore year, he competed in a third varsity sport, football, placed fourth in varsity districts as a wrestler and was the lacrosse team captain.
“I believe that the knowledge you gain at school will give you the potential for greatness, but the work ethic, dedication, leadership and cooperation skills you take away from sports is what will truly shape your future,” he says.
Criswell is involved with his church youth group, and he volunteers regularly at the Northeast Emergency Food Bank. He is a lifeguard at Grant Pool and he also tutors children.
MAC’s Scholar Athlete program began in 1971 to recognize scholar athletes in Portland, and has since expanded to twenty-seven high schools in three counties. It is one of the many philanthropic endeavors of the Multnomah Club Foundation. For more information, visit themac.com.