Three local students awarded Chuck Ealey scholarshipsWritten by Staff Reports | | firstname.lastname@example.org
After showcasing their undefeated spirits in 500-word essays, three local students were announced as the winners of the Chuck Ealey Undefeated Spirit Contest at an awards ceremony April 16.
Ryan Clay of Rossford High School, Will Longthorne of Ottawa Hills High School (OHHS) and Maddy Perry of Perrysburg High School were awarded $1,000 scholarships.
The winners were chosen for their display of a drive, leadership and an undefeated spirit with their teammates, campus and community, strong family values and strong education and community involvement, according to local nonprofit Leadership Toledo, which partners with Ealey on the contest.
Ealey, an Ohio native, is a former University of Toledo and Canadian Football League star.
Clay’s winning essay focused on Rossford High School’s 34-game football losing streak, including three straight 0-10 seasons after which many players left the team. Last season, the team finished with a 6-4 record, its first winning season in five years.
“Winning that first game to break the streak wasn’t just a fluke,” Clay wrote. “It was the result of all of the hours players spent in the weight room and on the practice field. … Everyone will experience adversity at some point in their lives, and how they respond will ultimately determine their success or failure. .. Being a leader is easy when things are going well, but it takes a true leader to step up when things aren’t going well.”
OHHS football coach Chris Hardman said Longthorne, also a football player, is “the best leader I have had the privilege to coach” in his 36 years at OHHS, demonstrating “maturity beyond his years at all times.”
“He did his best work off the field in rallying our students to do the right thing. He was the main guy in the weight room, he led by example in the classroom, and he was the example to our community in what we wanted our student-athletes to be like,” Hardman said in a statement provided by Leadership Toledo.
Perry was team captain and a starter on the girls basketball team, which made it to the regional semifinals this year. She also played varsity volleyball, volunteers at the University of Toledo Medical Center and Perrysburg Alternative to Substance Abuse and is a member of National Honor Society.