Lindsey Bair of Ready and Samuel Massick of Columbus Academy were named central Ohio’s top scholar-athletes in the annual Dispatch Encova Insurance Scholar Athletes Award show.
Bair and Massick were among 23 scholarship winners chosen from a field of 201 finalists, all senior scholar-athletes selected by 106 area high schools. Winners split $78,000 in college scholarships, which are funded by Encova, OhioHealth, Battelle, the family of Capt. Warren B. Sneed and one anonymous donor.
For all awards, a team of Dispatch judges considered academic and athletic performance, school leadership, community service and other criteria.
Bair and Massick each earned $8,500 in scholarships, as did Destiny Thomas of Africentric and Alhaji Sidibe of Beechcroft, who won John J. Bishop awards, presented by Encova to top scholar-athletes who have demonstrated exemplary leadership skills within their schools.
In lieu of the annual Scholar-Athlete Awards banquet, canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, awards were announced on Saturday on a television program broadcast by WBNS-TV (Ch. 10).
Bair earned 12 varsity letters at Ready in soccer, track, basketball and cross country, earning all-district honors in track and soccer. She was an AP Scholar with Honors and graduated with a 3.96 grade-point average. She will attend the University of South Carolina.
Massick was a three-time all-Ohio kicker for Academy’s football team and also earned all-state in soccer and track. He had a 4.15 GPA, scored 1550 on his SAT and was a National Merit Finalist. He will attend Princeton.
Thomas earned 11 letters in track, bowling and cross country at Africentric and was a two-time captain in each sport. She also served as student council president and served on Columbus City Schools’ Lead to Serve program. She will attend Miami University.
Sidibe was two-time City League champion in wrestling and served as a multiyear captain in football, wrestling and baseball. He also was president of the Boys Initiative program at Beechcroft. He will attend Ohio Wesleyan.
Other winners include first runners-up Parker Hamilton of Teays Valley, who won $6,500 from Encova, and McKinley Hoffmann of Olentangy Berlin. Because Hoffmann has a full-ride scholarship, to Alabama, her $6,500 scholarship goes to first alternate Sarah Neltner of Columbus Academy.
Second runners-up Erica Dale of Logan and Richard Geib of London won $4,500 in scholarships, and third runners-up Leah Stamm of Bexley and Jack Foley of Ready earned $2,000 each.
Sophie Shaw of Granville won the $3,000 Capt. Warren B. Sneed Memorial scholarship, presented each year on behalf of the 1991 Dispatch scholar-athlete from Circleville High School who died in November 2000 in a military accident over the Sea of Japan.
Derek Larimer of Hamilton Township won the $2,500 OhioHealth Perseverance Award, given annually to a top scholar-athlete who has persevered over major challenges. Larimer overcame numerous family adversities in his time at Hamilton Township.
Antony Yang of Dublin Jerome won the $2,500 STEM Award, presented by Battelle to a top scholar-athlete who exemplifies outstanding achievement in science, technology, engineering and math.
Ten other seniors earned $1,000 scholarships: David Claffey of Grove City Christian; Alex Dediu of Dublin Coffman; Kalor Greve of Fairbanks; Abbey Giesler of Watterson; Naa Dromo Korley of Centennial; Noelle Meeker of Olentangy Liberty; Logan Nethers of Licking Valley; Marty Neuhardt of Dublin Scioto; Ryan Tiell of Mount Vernon; and Anthony Toskin of Lakewood.
A special section celebrating the 2020 scholar-athletes will be printed and distributed in editions of The Dispatch on Saturday, July 25.