The Great American Rivalry Series, along with the Pro Football Hall of Fame, announced the inaugural Great American Rivalry Series Scholar Athlete Hall of Fame Team on Thursday.
The team is comprised of 25 outstanding student-athletes who were part of 144 GARS Scholar Athletes selected from across the country.
In an nationwide online ballot, Mead running back Caleb Shawen and Mt. Spokane linebacker Cooper Miethe were voted onto the team.
“We are proud to announce the first ever Great American Rivalry Series Scholar Athlete Hall of Fame Team,” GARS founder Rick Ford said. “The dedication and commitment to success these student-athletes showcase each day is exemplary, especially facing the challenges presented this year.”
Shawen received more votes nationally than any other finalist.
“It’s crazy,” Shawen said. “It’s sweet. It’s just an honor. It was awesome to hear I got over 100,000 votes. That was just shocking to me. I really didn’t know what to think.”
He said he was surprised by the whole thing.
“I didn’t even know I was in the competition at first,” he said. “But hearing about it, then all my teachers and friends and family that were talking to me about it, it was super humbling but felt super good. I was honored to be just in the competition. It’s awesome to hear about how everyone around me came together to help me get to the top.”
Shawen was proud to share the honor with Miethe.
“It’s good to have the Spokane boys up there in a national competition,” he said.
Like everyone else, Shawen is itching to get back on the field and hopes the numbers will allow for competition in the spring.
“I’m pretty hopeful about it,” he said. “Our practice plan just got approved for after the Christmas break, so we’ll see what that entails.”
The Great American Rivalry Series, in its 17th year, recognizes scholar-athletes for their “on the field” and “in the classroom” success.
All GARS Scholar Athletes were awarded a college scholarship and commemorative plaque recognizing their placement on the team.
“The 25 players named to this inaugural Scholar-Athlete team are shining examples of what’s possible when the values of the Pro Football Hall of Fame are demonstrated on the field and in the classroom,” said Pat Lindesmith, chief partnership officer and senior vice president of Gold Jacket Relations. “Leading others by showing that level of commitment, integrity, courage, respect and excellence every day will result in many successes for the rest of their lives.”
The voting process ran Oct. 19 through Sunday and allowed students, parents, fans and community members to vote and show support for their GARS Scholar Athlete.
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