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2019 IESA Scholar Attitude Award

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Sam Tholen

Sam Tholen

Yorkville

Principal: Mrs. Lisa Adler

For his exceptional academic performance and commitment to teamwork and good sportsmanship, Sam Tholen has been selected as the Board of Directors Division C Scholar Attitude Award winner.

Sam believes that if you have fun and take something away from your experiences, you are truly a winner, no matter what the scoreboard says. “While some believe that winning is the purpose of the game, ultimately the goal of self-improvement should be a player’s motivation,” he says. Sam says his father and coaches have taught him sportsmanship by adhering to this rule: “once you knock them over, help them back up.” Sam is normally the guy still standing, as he is a lineman on the conference-winning football team. Of his teammates at the same position, Sam explains that their “sole purpose in the game is to protect other people and work together to do so. Winning the championship game brought us closer and allowed us to realize how well we work together.”

In addition to football, Sam participates in basketball, track and field, the Student Athlete Leadership Team, and volunteers as a peer tutor. He maintains a 4.0 grade point average while taking a high school sophomore-level honors math class. This advanced math experience has been Sam’s most difficult challenge in junior high. Last year Sam was the only seventh grader in a math class of eighth graders. “I was very nervous about being part of that class,” he recalls. “I knew no one, and I did not know if I was prepared.” Sam found a new friend by connecting with a fellow student who also played football.

After high school Sam plans to study mechanical engineering at The University of Alabama and would love to play football for the Crimson Tide.

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