The Utah Chapter of the National Football Foundationrecognized seven players from the Skyridge and Lehi football programs at its annual High School Scholar-Athlete Banquet on April 26 at Utah Valley University.
For the Falcons, the senior recipients included lineman Adam Stephens, defensive back Smith Snowden and linebacker Collin Sheffield. Wide receiver La’akea Kalama was a Junior Award recipient.
For the Pioneers, the seniors recognized were quarterback Jackson Brousseau and defensive back Nathan Anderreg. Lineman Jensen Somerville was honored with the Junior Award.
According to the organization’s website, the Utah Chapter was founded in 1994 and is dedicated to promoting and developing the unique qualities of leadership, sportsmanship, competitive zeal and the drive for academic excellence through participation in amateur football.
Since its inception, the Scholar-Leader-Athlete Awards Banquet has quickly become a hallmark in the area, annually drawing over 500 people to the event. Each of the scholar-athletes receives a $2,000 scholarship along with a trophy and ring.
The Utah Chapter has forged strong relationships with all high school football programs throughout Utah and works closely with the area universities and colleges to bolster the support of amateur football.
Criteria for the recognition include a high GPA, outstanding football ability as a first team player and demonstrated strong leadership and citizenship. Local committees comprised of administrators, coaches and businessmen from the community make the selections.
The NFF Local Chapter High School Scholar-Athletes represent the best of the best from the more than 500,000 high school football players at the 5,000 high schools covered by the NFF Chapter Network.
“I am extremely proud of the young men that received this award,” said Jon Lehman, former head football coach and now the Skyridge athletic director. “This award is the ultimate example of pursuing excellence in all things.
“All recipients are elite athletes, elite students, and model examples of leadership and service,” he went on. “Looking back at the past recipients, Skyridge is just the second school ever to have three senior award winners in one year. They all truly represent all of our highest values as a football program.”
His Lehi counterpart expressed similar feelings. “I’m very proud of these young men for receiving a very prestigious award that looks at athletics, academics and service to the community,” said Pioneer Coach Ed Larson.
“In our program we’re interested in producing more than just good football players,” the coach continued. “We hope to send out young men who will be positive contributors to society in every way throughout their lives. This award recognizes those who have prepared well to do that.”