In April, recent Monticello graduate Andrew Ellison was selected as the Section 4 Male Recipient of the Scholar Athlete award in the state of Illinois for the NIAAA Student/Athlete Scholarship.
The purpose of the scholarship, according to its website, is to “promote, facilitate and increase the knowledge and understanding of the vital role of interscholastic athletics in the educational system, this scholarship program will foster and recognize the partnership between the NIAAA and secondary education. The scholarships will recognize the distinguished scholastic, leadership and sportsmanship attributes of high school student-athletes, and the importance of high school athletics in each student’s life.”
Ellison’s application went to the section level (Indiana, Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin), and last week, the Illinois Athletic Director’s Association and the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association announced Ellison was named one of eight Male Recipient of the Scholar Athlete award for the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association.
“The process started back in January or February,” Ellison said. “I was approached by our athletic director (Dan Sheehan ) that I was going to be the representative from our school. So I filled out my applications and wrote my essays and whatnot. And I sent it in.”
Ellison had multiple essay questions from which to choose. He chose to write about the impact athletics has had on his life.
Ellison will receive a $1500 check and a plaque from the Illinois Athletic Directors Association and a plaque to recognize his accomplishments.
“I found out that I won the state award in April,” he said. “I honestly was not expecting to win that at all, so that was a great honor for me.”
Ellison will present his essay at the annual Athletic Directors State Conference in East Peoria in August.
“To win the regional representative position was even crazier to me,” Ellison said. “I just found about that last week. So it’s been a pretty long process. From my understanding,” he said, “I’ll find out about the national award in August, so all-in-all it’ll be a pretty long process to narrow down.”
If he wins the $2,500 award, he is scheduled to attend the National Athletic Directors Conference in Tampa in December.
Only one other winner from Illinois (in 2018) has won the national award.
The award has run continuously since 2007.
Ellison graduated with 3.96 GPA and played four sports for Monticello: soccer, football, swimming and diving, and baseball. He set Monticello soccer’s record for goals in a season as a senior with 38. He received News-Gazette All-Area boys’ soccer first team status last fall.
Two months before winning the Scholar Athlete award, Ellison received news that he had been accepted to West Point.
“I’ll be going to the Unites State Military Academy,” he said. “I actually leave town on the 12th of July. I got basic training for a month, then I’ll start academic year.”
Andrew is the son of Brad and Angela Ellison.