Eleven Wyoming high school football players are finalists for the state’s top scholar-athlete award from the Wyoming Chapter of the National Football Foundation.
The winner will be announced at the chapter’s banquet March 21 in Laramie, a release sent Saturday from chapter organizers said. The awards are in their 26th year.
Each finalist earns a $1,200 scholarship from the Wyoming Chapter; the winner of the top scholar-athlete award earns an additional $1,200 scholarship and becomes a finalist for regional and national honors.
In all, 79 players were nominated for the awards. The awards are based 40% on football ability, 40% on academic achievement and 20% on community service.
Finalists include Wind River’s Colton Befus; Mountain View’s Briggin Bluemel and Hunter Gross; Sheridan’s Jacob Boint and Ethan Johnson; Star Valley’s Trent Clark and Chase Merrell; Burlington’s Jarom Davidson; Thunder Basin’s Mason Hamilton; Snake River’s Riggen Myers; and Wright’s Dax Yeradi.
University of Wyoming players Josh Harshman and Logan Wilson will also be honored.
Douglas’ A.J. Yeaman has been named the chapter’s Courage Award winner, while Natrona’s Nick Frimml won the chapter’s Perseverance Award.
The Wyoming Chapter also gives out a handful of special awards recognizing contributions to football. Those award winners include:
Greatest high school football fan: Roland Simmons, Cowley.
Greatest UW fan: Ed Wilson, Gillette.
Outstanding contribution to amateur football: Mark Whitt, Thermopolis; Sally Ann Shurmur, Glenrock.
Coaching award: Bill Fullmer, Cheyenne; Ray Kumpula, Glenrock; Joe Aimone (posthumous), Kemmerer.
Ox Zellner official award: Pat Harris, Riverton.
Updated 9:01 a.m. Jan. 27 to include Gross, whose name was inadvertently left off the initial release announcing the finalists.