mg grad ben shoults nff finalistThe National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame has named Ben Shoults, a 2015 graduate from Maple Grove Senior High and current student athlete at Harvard University, a finalist for the 2015 NFF National High School Scholar-Athlete Awards. The awards honor one young man from each of the country’s five regions as the best and the brightest for their accomplishments as athletes, scholars and citizens at the high school level. The finalists all graduated from high school in 2015 and are now playing college football.

Shoults was nominated for the award by the Minnesota chapter of the National Football Foundation. Out of a pool of 3,500 nominees, he is among 40 finalists from across the country. A national committee will select five honorees, one from each region, who will be announced the week of Oct. 5. If he is one of the five selected, Shoults will travel to New York City to be honored during the NFF Chapter Awards Luncheon in early December at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel.

Maple Grove Senior High head football coach Matt Lombardi said, “Ben truly was the ultimate leader not only in the classroom and the football field, but throughout the halls of Maple Grove and the community as well. He was a special young man that truly was a wonderful ambassador for Maple Grove in everything he did.”

First bestowed in 1991, the NFF National High School Scholar-Athlete Awards have become one of the most prestigious high school honors in the country. Criteria for the award include but are not limited to academic achievement, athletic accolades and community involvement.

Recent NFF award recipients include Brandon Fisher (2005, former Montana linebacker and current St. Louis Rams defensive backs coach), Andrew Luck (2008, former Stanford and current Indianapolis Colts quarterback), Andrew Rodriguez (2008, Army West Point linebacker and winner of the 2011 William V. Campbell Trophy) and Weston Steelhammer (2013, First Team All-Mountain West defensive back at Air Force).

Photo courtesy of Gil Talbot and Harvard Athletics

-Published Sept. 14, 2015