The New Hampshire Fisher Cats and the Fisher Cats Foundation have named their 2013 Scholar-Athlete Scholarship winners. Ten graduates from New Hampshire high schools and two from northern Massachusetts have all earned a $2,500 scholarship based on their athletic and academic achievements in high school, and will be celebrated in an on-field ceremony prior to the Fisher Cats' game on Thursday, July 17, against the Portland Sea Dogs at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium.
"These students have had remarkable high schools careers, and we are proud to recognize them as our Class of 2013 scholarship winners," said Art Solomon, Fisher Cats owner and chairman of the Fisher Cats Foundation board. "Not only have they excelled in school and on the fields and courts, but each has displayed a commitment to making their communities better places to live. We congratulate these students and look forward to recognizing them at the ballpark in July."
The scholarship recipients were selected based upon criteria of academic excellence, athletic achievement, and active citizenship in the community. Money for the scholarships was raised through several Foundation endeavors, most notably the Granite State Baseball Dinner held annually in November.
The Fisher Cats Foundation will award three special scholarships among the twelve - the Swymer Family Scholarship, offered annually to a student who has overcome a barrier and gone on to college; the Chris Carpenter Scholarship, named in honor of New Hampshire native and National League Cy Young Award Winner Chris Carpenter; and the Easter Seals Veterans Count Scholarship, presented to a New Hampshire graduate whose parent or guardian is an active, reserve, or veteran member of the United States Military.
A full list of this year's winners is below.
*Tanner Nichols (Hinsdale Senior High School/Hinsdale, N.H.) - Tanner was a four sport athlete, competing in basketball, soccer, track and field, and cross country. He was also vice president of the National Honor Society, a member of the Hinsdale PTSA, and a chemistry and math tutor. Tanner will attend Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
*Elizabeth Conway (Manchester Central High School/Manchester, N.H.) - Elizabeth was on the cross country and Nordic skiing teams. She also wrote for the school newspaper, volunteered as a track and field coach for Special Olympics, worked for Amnesty International, and tutored in math, science, history, English, Spanish, and the violin. Elizabeth will attend Brown University.
*Kevin Clougherty (Somersworth High School/Somersworth, N.H.) - Kevin is the recipient of the Swymer Family Scholarship. He played football, basketball, and baseball, and will be the first member of his entire family to graduate from high school. Kevin will attend Keene State College.
*Mitchell Jurius (Inter-Lakes High School/Meredith, N.H.) - Mitchell played a sport all three seasons of his high school career, being named a captain of four of those teams. He was also on the Student Athlete Leadership Committee, a member of the National Honor Society, and a Vacation Bible School teacher. Mitchell will attend Roberts Wesleyan College.
*Nathan Garner (Nashua High School North/Nashua, N.H.) - Nathan is the winner of this year's Chris Carpenter Scholarship Award. He was a member of the swim team, as well as a student columnist for the Nashua Telegraph. He was a member of the Student Senate, a volunteer swimming coach for Special Olympics, and a member of four honor societies - National, Science, Spanish, and Math. Nathan will attend Bowdoin College.
*Richard Holt (Portsmouth High School/Portsmouth, N.H.) - Richard played football, basketball, and baseball, and was a member of the National Honor Society. Richard will attend the University of New Hampshire, where he will continue his football career.
*Romario Bailey (Stevens High School/Claremont, N.H.) - Romario is the 2013 winner of the Easter Seals Veterans Count Scholarship. He was on the track and field, soccer, and football teams, and he was the founder of the school's Sports Management Club and a member of the National Technical Honor Society. Romario, originally from Jamaica, will attend the University of Vermont.
*Rylee Weinstein (Sunapee Senior High School/Sunapee, N.H.) - Rylee was a member of the soccer, basketball, softball, and ski teams. She was also the vice president of the Student Council and a member of the Harvard Model Congress. Rylee is undecided on her college selection.
*Melissa Peart (Farmington Senior High School/Farmington, N.H.) - Melissa is the reigning New Hampshire Division III Player of the Year in volleyball, and played basketball for Farmington. She also volunteered at the Rochester food kitchen. Melissa is undecided on her college selection.
*Kathareeya Tonyai (Conant High School/Jaffrey, N.H.) - Kathareeya was on the track and field and field hockey teams, and was also the vice president of the National Honor Society. Kathareeya, whose parents are from Thailand, will attend Trinity College.
*Lori Merlo (Bedford High School/Bedford, Mass.) - Lori ran cross country and track, and was the founder and president of the school's Red Cross Club. She is also a Eucharist minister and volunteered for the Miracle League of Massachusetts and the Bedford Food Pantry. Lori will attend Marist College.
*Nicholas Clark (Nashoba Valley Technical High School/Groton, Mass.) - Nicholas was on the football and track and field teams, and volunteered for Homes for Out Troops. An Eagle Scout, Nicholas will attend Ithaca College.
The New Hampshire Fisher Cats established the Fisher Cats Foundation to be a catalyst for the betterment of communities statewide by supporting youth programs that encourage education and promote healthy living. Through the generous support of players, employees, sponsors, and fans, the Fisher Cats Foundation continuously works to make a positive impact throughout New Hampshire and north central Massachusetts. As the primary funding source for the team's philanthropy, the Fisher Cats Foundation supports a wide variety of non-profit organizations and coordinates several fundraising programs and events. Since its inception in 2006, the Foundation and the Fisher Cats have provided nearly $3 million in monetary and in-kind donations to over 3,500 non-profit organizations.
The Fisher Cats return to Northeast Delta Dental Stadium on Friday, June 1, for a weekend series with the Binghamton Mets (New York Mets). The series features two fireworks shows and a Johnny Pesky bobblehead giveaway presented by Northeast Delta Dental on Sunday. To view the full promotional schedule and to purchase tickets, visit www.nhfishercats.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.