This fall, the Seahawks and CenturyLink in partnership with Q13 FOX honored 10 outstanding student athletes from the state of Washington. Winners were selected based on their dedication to academics, community involvement, leadership, and athletic performance.
This group of exceptional athletes were chosen from a pool of over 350 nominations and truly exemplify what it means to be a leader both on and off the field. They represent six different fall sports, have a collective average GPA of 3.895, and support charitable organizations ranging from the Susan G. Komen Foundation to Toys for Tots. While these students excel in athletics and academics, what makes them especially unique is their dedication to serving their community.
Sarah Sparkmon plays volleyball for Bonney Lake High School and has helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for Relay for Life.
Geneva Schlepp, the captain of Skyline High School's cross country team, raised more than $6,000 for clean water initiatives for Water for People by running 60-plus miles in two weeks.
Janae Alcantara Vieira, Renton High School's soccer captain, volunteers for the Special Olympics and hosted a blood drive for Bloodworks NW which brought in 36 attendees.
Rachel Hansen, a cross country and track captain from Shorewood High School raised significant funds to help cancer research through the club Cancer Free Tomorrow.
Ross Sherrer plays football for North Thurston High School, coaches local youth football programs, and helped raise money to support teachers and classroom enhancements at his school.
Dylan Zuber, Klahowya Secondary School's football captain, organized a school-wide tutoring program to mentor struggling middle school students and is a Teen Mentor for the Central Kitsap School District.
Torey Anderson, Liberty High School's football captain, volunteered at Apollo Elementary helping students plant trees and taught the importance of caring for the environment.
Alexia Thomas, Kentwood High School's cheer and track captain, helped organize a back to school festival that collected thousands of dollars in school supplies and backpacks for a local elementary school.
Willow Lopez-Silvers is on Curtis High School's swim team and has served meals to the homeless at Tacoma's Nativity House since 2011.
Cameron May-Penelerick, Cle Elum High School's football captain, helped raise $10,000 for Interact Club's trip to Ecuador, where they built a well for a community that needed fresh water.
The Seahawks' players are especially known in the Pacific Northwest for their impact on the community, so it's no surprise they inspired a significant number of winners and nominees to use their platform as leaders of their team to help others. Week eight winner Alexia Thomas, who organized multiple fundraisers through her cheer and track teams said, "A lot of joy comes out of knowing I'm making a difference in someone else's life who may not have the same opportunities as me. Being involved with both cheer and track has opened many doors for me to help others and I have now been able to give back to my community in ways I never imagined."
This program seeks to honor student athletes who are going above and beyond what is expected of the average high school student. Seahawks Tight End Luke Willson, who served as a spokesperson for the program said, "It's great to see how these kids are so dedicated to community service on top of school and sports. It means a lot to see kids stepping up as leaders because of the work we do on and off the field."
Each winner of the CenturyLink High School Athlete of the Week program received a $1,000 grant for their school's athletic department along with a custom jersey and ball, a recognition assembly at their school, and tickets and sideline passes to a Seahawks game. The program reached more than 13,000 students enrolled at winner's schools across the state of Washington.
Check back for the 2017 CenturyLink High School Athlete of the Week program next fall.
Congratulations to our 2016 CenturyLink High School Athlete of the Week winners