SACRAMENTO – Michael Wilson from Colfax High School and Jenna Van Fossen from Hanford High School were selected as the 2014 CIF/Farmers Scholar-Athletes of the Year.
Twenty CIF section winners, moreover, were recognized. Since 1982, the scholarship award identifies student-athletes who excel in the classroom, athletics, and are strong contributors to their schools and communities.
“The students of California and our CIF scholar-athletes continue to confirm for all of us involved in education-based athletics that the future is bright,” CIF Executive Director Roger L. Blake said. “There were an exceptional group of nominees this year and I want to congratulate all of them and thank them for their contributions to their local school community. I also want to recognize Farmers Insurance, who without their generosity and support of CIF education-based athletics and the Scholar-Athlete Scholarship program, California schools and students would not be able to reach the high level of success that exemplifies the best of California.”
Van Fossen and Wilson were selected from a pool of 428 candidates representing 1,540 CIF member schools statewide. The State Capitol and Senate and Assembly Floors will honor Van Fossen and Wilson June 12 in Sacramento. In addition, each will receive a $5,000 award.
Additionally, thanks to the generous support of Farmers Insurance Group, two winners (one male, one female) from each CIF Section earned a $2,000 award.
“Farmers Insurance joins the California Interscholastic Federation in congratulating these outstanding scholar-athletes for their academic and sporting success,” said Bill Fournell, head of agency marketing for Farmers Insurance. “These exceptional young men and women demonstrate that hard work and a dedication to excellence will be rewarded and we are proud to be able to provide them with scholarships to help them start their collegiate careers.”
Wilson has been a three-sport varsity leader as a junior and senior in football, basketball and baseball while his 4.38 overall GPA and class rank of No. 1 attests to his dedication to his studies. In football, he received first team All-League honors and All-Metro honorable mention the past two years and as a senior he earned second team All-Section and All-State honors. Off the field, Wilson has been the recipient of numerous academic honors and awards including: Alpha Omega Award, AP Scholar with Honors, Boys State Nomination, and Presidential Academic Award. Additionally, Wilson has served his community working the Junior Falcons Football Essentials Camp, Colfax Baseball Clinic and the 5k Run for Dowling.
“Throughout my high school experience, I have been exposed to outside pressure and negative influence that I have had to overcome in order to achieve success. However, I have also experienced extraordinary circumstances that have helped to reveal my character and the character of those around me,” stated Wilson. “In all regards, what I will take most from my high school experience is the value of dignity, of which I will carry throughout my life and in my future relationships.”
Colfax Principal Rick Spears praised Wilson’s high school efforts on and off the field.
“Simply put, Michael is an intelligent, talented, hard-working, ethical and personable young man,” Spears said. “As successful as he has been, I am certain he has yet to reach the limits of his potential and it is exciting to imagine his success in the future. In addition to his intellectual achievements, he is a true gentleman of quiet tenacity and integrity.”
Van Fossen is a two-sport athlete at Hanford High School as a member of the varsity water polo and swim teams all four years and boasts a 4.48 overall GPA and class rank of #1. She has earned numerous honors in water polo including California-Hawaii All-America Honorable Mention, Central Section DIII MVP, All-League honors and also served as the swim team captain her senior year.