Two Bloomfield Hills-area students were recently named finalists for the Michigan High School Athletic Association's annual Scholar Athlete Award.
Cranbrook-Kingswood's Matthew Liu and Michael Azzopardi of Detroit Country Day are both among the potential recipients this year, according to the MHSAA website. Liu, a senior, is a captain on the Cranes swim and dive team, and is following up strong performances in last season's Division 3 finals.
Michael Azzopardi, a senior, is a standout baseball player for the Yellow Jackets.
Of the 120 finalists announced Friday, 32 will be chosen to receive the $1,000 scholarships. Award winners are chosen based on a combination of athletic and academic excellence.
To be eligible for the award, students must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.50 (on a 4.0 scale), and previously have won a varsity letter in at least one sport in which the MHSAA sponsors a postseason tournament. Students also were asked to respond to a series of short essay questions, submit two letters of recommendation and submit a 500-word essay on the importance of sportsmanship in educational athletics, according to the MHSAA.
On average, finalists participate in at least two sports. There are 59 three-plus sport participants in the finalist field this year, and all but one of the 28 sports in which the MHSAA sponsors postseason tournaments are represented, according to the MHSAA release.
Selection of the 32 scholarship recipients will take place in early February. Class C and D scholarship recipients will be announced on February 5; Class B scholarship recipients will be announced on February 12, and Class A scholarship recipients will be announced on February 29. All announcements will be made on the MHSAA website.
Both Cranbrook and Country Day are in Class B.
The MHSAA will honor all 32 Scholar-Athlete Award winners during halftime of the Class C Boys Basketball Final on March 23, at the Breslin Student Events Center in East Lansing.