In April, I applied for the Jim Murray Memorial Scholarship, a $5,000 accolade and one of the most prestigious journalism scholarships in the country.
The prompt for the competition was to write a column-style piece on a coach, player, referee or fan, and illustrate how they love what they do.
Whether it be cheering for your favorite team, officiating a football game, or perhaps playing-my decision could not of been better.
I chose to write about my high school football coach from Eureka High School, Farrell Shelton, who is one of the most respected, loyal and faithful people I am honored to know.
For four years I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to play under Shelton, and the experience I gained not only from playing for him, but in life is beyond words.
Here is a man who has everlasting desire, heart and pride. He carries on in life not letting anything get in his way.
After applying for the scholarship, there was a rather long grace period-all summer-until the results were announced. It was taxing at times as I found myself constantly checking to see if anything had been posted, making phone calls and hammering out numerous emails.
After close to three months of waiting, I was informed that I didn’t receive the scholarship I was hoping for. After all, I was the only one to apply from Ball State University, and was up against 29 other applicants from their respective universities across the nation. Five scholarships were handed out, but none of them were meant for me.
The disappointing news was extremely difficult to swallow, not only because I didn’t win, but the amount of time and effort I put into it was unbelievable. It took me close to a month-yes a full month-along with a hand full of in-depth interviews with folks in Wildwood/Eureka (my home town), gathering and sorting through facts, statistics and other information that ultimately enabled me to turn in a final product.
However, just because I wasn’t chosen for this award doesn’t mean I will halt my writing or my pursuit of my dream. Absolutely not.
In fact, the outcome motivates, encourages and inspires me toward more challenging tasks-whether it be another national scholarship or an internship.
I’m honored to share my scholarship story with you all, as there’s no doubt in my mind that you’ll thoroughly enjoy it. If you haven’t met Shelton and have an opportunity to, I strongly encourage you to do so, even if it’s just a brief “Hello,” and a hand shake.
With that said, here’s the link to my story:
Enjoy! And feel free to leave a comment. I will be happy to respond to all of them.
One last note-I would like to give a special thanks to a rather long list of people who made this experience remotely possible.
I would like to thank coach Bryan Clar, who provided me with all of the statistics regarding my story, coach’s Greg Cleveland, Sharon Wasson and Farrell Shelton, who took the time to allow me conduct inclusive over the phone interviews, providing me with outstanding quotes and other invaluable information.
To Rob and Sally Rains, who I intern with, for publishing my story on their website. It turned out fantastic.
To my family, who stood behind me every day, through the ups and downs. Without your love and support, this wouldn’t of been possible.
To Jon Strauss, faculty adviser of The Ball State Daily News, who assisted me with my story.
To Andrew Mishler, sports editor for Daily News, who initially brought this opportunity to my attention.
As always, thanks for reading…