By: Michael Lee, Contributing Author
Jayden Bennett, Daniel Redington, Khader Saleh and Bradley Freidel, all Centralia High School football players, have earned the Academic All-State Award for excelling on the field and in the classroom.
The Academic All-State Award is given to athletes who demonstrate the importance of academics as well as athletic ability and prove that students can be both an athlete and a scholar. According to the Missouri Football Coaches Association, the criteria that one must achieve is the following: 1) Player must be nominated by their head coach, who must be a current member of the MFCA; 2) Player must be a starter on Offense/Defense or be a punter or a kicker in 70% of games; and 3) Player must be a sophomore, junior or senior. Nominations must also meet 2 of the next 3 criteria: 1) Must score a 25 or higher on ACT or 1740 on the SAT; 2) earn a 3.5 GPA or higher (GPA must be non-weighted); or 3) Must rank in the top 10% of his/her class (GPA and class rank are determined by the GPA and class rank at the start of that year).
Jim Newsted, CHS head football coach, said that “[Being] both [a scholar and athlete can] take a lot of dedication and time to accomplish. These young men work hard in both aspects and show that with the right priorities they can accomplish both.” These athletes show that they can handle all the responsibility that is placed upon them and get it done with outstanding results.
Saleh, Freidel, Bennett and Redington feel honored and excited that they were eligible and received the Academic All-State Award. Saleh said, “I feel proud and relieved that all of my hard work paid off.” Bennett said, “It felt really good and made me feel proud for working as hard as I have throughout the year.” Redington added, “I am very honored to receive this award, and I am very happy to be recognized for my work.” Freidel said, “It takes a lot of time and effort. You have to make sure your grades come first.”