National Program Encourages Youth to be Academically Athletic

Local News

This weekend the Shawnee Sports Complex held it’s first WV ICE Bowl Tournament when youth football teams from different states gather to play.

Two players from Mountain State The Herd, Hunter Giacomo and Isaiah Vellaithambi recently were awarded scholarships for their excellence on and off the field.

Through a national program, the Diamond Sports Group, that seeks and recruits young athletes who show great potential in academics and athletics. Applicants are typically recruited and coaches say the key to that is training in both aspects.

One of The Herd’s coaches, TR Duess said, “I’ll be honest, I didn’t have the best grades. I was a great athlete, the side I didn’t work on as hard. I try to reach that so that my athletes don’t make the same mistakes I did, so I push them very hard to be athletic, but you have to be academically athletic as well is what I call it.”

The program offer scholarships for grades 3rd-12th and only one student is selected per grade based on highest GPA for the academic school year.

Isaiah was the scholarship recipient for the 5th grade category and Hunter was 6th grade.

This is the fifth year of operation and the first year West Virginia has had two scholarship winners.

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