Winners

National Athletes of the Year

Mark “Kalep” Kanode
Senior, Cary Christian School
Cary, NC

Sports:
– Soccer – All State, All Conference, Conference Player of the Year, Team Captain

Academic Accomplishments:
– 4.0 GPA (Unweighted)
– SAT Score 1990

Top Leadership/Volunteer Accomplishments:
– Volunteer work for homeless and disadvantaged
– North Carolina Food Bank Volunteer
– Middle School worship leader

Highlights and Quotes:
Mark states, “I love the game of soccer. I enjoy working my hardest to become the best player I can. However, this is not the motivation that drives me. The reason I love the game of soccer is because I can use it to spread the name of Jesus Christ throughout the world.” Mark gained a new perspective on the world and has developed a passion for missions after traveling to Costa Rica, Ecuador and West Virginia. In regards to his present relationship with the Lord, Mark says, “All I have is Christ, all I want is Christ, and my present relationship with my Lord and Savior is the only thing that matters to me. It means more than life itself.”

Candise Love
Senior, Vista Murrieta High School
Murrieta, CA

Sports:
– Basketball – Team Captain, Team MVP, Top 40 All-Star, FBC Pasadena

Academic Accomplishments:
– 3.6 GPA (Unweighted)
– SAT Score 1780

Top Leadership/Volunteer Accomplishments:
– Invisible Children Vice President/Commissioner of Fundraising
– Student Venture Leadership Team
– Junior Bronco Stampede Basketball Camp Leader

Highlights and Quotes:
Candise explains her passion to preach the Gospel in a graduating class of 800-900 students. She says, “Preaching Christ is my consuming passion, and I try to use every opportunity to talk about my love for Him and His love for others. I’ve been blessed to play for a nationally ranked travel team, FBC Pasadena, traveling to Washington D.C., Virginia, Las Vegas, etc…I’ve been through training day and night, driving hours to Los Angeles, California to work on my game on school nights, waking up the next day feeling drained. But there is no better feeling than freedom in Christ, knowing that my talents are for one purpose and one only; to further the Kingdom of God. Female basketball players are yearning for truth…the need for young women unashamed of the gospel is prevalent. Basketball is my ministry.


West Region – Athletes of the Year

Zachary Stone
Senior, Natomas High School
Sacramento, CA

Sports:
– 
Cross-Country – All League, Team MVP, Team Captain
– Tennis – Team Captain, TCC Doubles Champion
– Basketball

Academic Accomplishments:
– 
4.0 GPA (Unweighted)
– SAT Score 1690

Top Leadership/Volunteer Accomplishments:
– 
Discussion Leader for the Natomas High School Christian Club
– Volunteer children’s church teacher at Crosspointe Church of Natomas
– Financial sponsor of a child in the Democratic Republic of Congo through
World Vision

Highlight and Quotes:
As part of the cross-country team, Zachary has opened his home to a teammate. Zachary says, “After 6 months of living with us, this teammate accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. I have discovered that one of the best ways to impact people for Christ is through relationships. That is what I did with my teammate resulting in one of the best days of my life and the best day of his life! I have a passion for sports, and I continue to use sports as a tool for relationships, which ultimately is my tool to spread the gospel.”

Candise Love
Senior, Vista Murrieta High School
Murrieta, CA

Sports:
– 
Basketball – Team Captain, Team MVP, Top 40 All-Star, FBC Pasadena

Academic Accomplishments:
– 3.6 GPA (Unweighted)
– SAT Score 1780

Top Leadership/Volunteer Accomplishments:
– Invisible Children Vice President/Commissioner of Fundraising
– Student Venture Leadership Team
– Junior Bronco Stampede Basketball Camp Leader

Highlights and Quotes:
Candise explains her passion to preach the Gospel in a graduating class of 800-900 students. She says, “Preaching Christ is my consuming passion, and I try to use every opportunity to talk about my love for Him and His love for others. I’ve been blessed to play for a nationally ranked travel team, FBC Pasadena, traveling to Washington D.C., Virginia, Las Vegas, etc…I’ve been through training day and night, driving hours to Los Angeles, California to work on my game on school nights, waking up the next day feeling drained. But there is no better feeling than freedom in Christ, knowing that my talents are for one purpose and one only; to further the Kingdom of God. Female basketball players are yearning for truth…the need for young women unashamed of the gospel is prevalent. Basketball is my ministry.


South Region – Athletes of the Year

Joshua Blair
Senior, Christian Heritage Academy
Del City, OK

Sports:
– 
Football – All State, All District, All City, Team Captain, Crusader Award

Academic Accomplishments:
– 
3.3 GPA (Unweighted)
– ACT Score 24

Top Leadership/Volunteer Accomplishments:
– 
Salt and Light Christian Leadership Team
– Crusader’s Care Volunteer
– Camp Counselor for Fun In The Son day camp

Highlights and Quotes:
Joshua has a great heart for the inner city as he explains; “I would like to use my athletic ability, with the help of my friends, to host a summer football camp for kids. I would want to specifically target inner city kids that need somewhere to go during the summer. During this camp, kids would first and foremost learn about my Lord Jesus Christ, but they would also learn the skills of the game of football. I trust that the camp would not only change the lives of the kids but also of the athletes working the camp. I hope to have the camp sponsored by local churches so that the kids could attend the camp at no cost. It would also help connect the
churches to the kids and their families.”

Molly Meade
Senior, Pike County Central High School
Pikeville, KY

Sports:
– Volleyball – All Region, All District, Voted 20th Best Player in the 15th Region, Leading Scorer for Pike Central
– Softball – All District, 2009 Fielding Award
– Basketball – All County

Academic Accomplishments:
– 
3.9 GPA (Unweighted)
– ACT Score 23

Top Leadership/Volunteer Accomplishments:
– 
FCA Vice President
– Operation Christmas Child Shoe Boxes Volunteer
– Soldier Backpacks Volunteer

Highlights and Quotes:
Molly was inspired as a senior to bring her volleyball team closer to God. Molly explains the volleyball season by saying, “Throughout the 2010 volleyball season, my team and I prayed before and after each game. We asked the opposing team to pray with us after each game in center court. A team member always said a prayer during each timeout of every game. All of us wrote bible verses on our shoes. My favorite verse also rings throughout my mind, ‘I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.’ John 15:5. With God, my life is truly something incredible. He is using me for so many amazing things.”


Midwest Region – Athletes of the Year

Russell Acton
Senior, Geneva Community High School
Geneva, IL

Sports:
– 
Football – All Conference, Academic All Conference, Academic All State
– Track & Field – Varsity Athletic Award

Academic Accomplishments:
– 
3.5 GPA (Unweighted)
– ACT Score 29

Top Leadership/Volunteer Accomplishments:
– Assistant to the Youth Director
– Vacation Bible School Volunteer (6 years)
– Believin’ Buddies Puppet Ministry (6 years)

Highlights and Quotes:
Russell has used his athletic platform to bring hope to the younger generation. His youth group travels to the Objibwe Reservation every year helping underprivileged kids have a purpose. Russell says, “I have been able to create many bonds with many different kids over the past four years, but there is one bond in particular that I will always remember. This young leader asked me questions about my faith, how I deal with my everyday problems and struggles and why certain things happen. I told him that God has a plan for everything and for him to trust in God to take care of him. God has placed me in a leadership position at my church and I have been able to use my experiences and athletic background to connect with a younger leader in a different environment. We found our initial bond through sports and then on a deeper level through faith, struggles, and understanding.

Kristen Brosnan
Senior, Staley High School
Kansas City, MO

Sports:
– 
Track & Field – All American, All State, Conference Champ, District Champ,
Sectional Champ, Runner of the Year
– Cross-Country – All American, All City, Conference Champion, Course Record Holder

Academic Accomplishments:
– 4.0 GPA (Unweighted)
– ACT Score 23

Top Leadership/Volunteer Accomplishments:
– Founder and Leader of a high school Bible study called “The Core”
– Harvesters Food Bank Volunteer
– KC Rescue Mission Volunteer

Highlights and Quotes:
Through running, Kristen has had amazing opportunities to share her faith. She explains, “Running is a new thing for me. I started my freshman year, thinking it was only to get me into shape for basketball, but ended up becoming a passion; a passion with which I have touched more lives than I ever realized. I shared with one girl in particular, telling her about Jesus. But she didn’t really believe that there was a god. After developing a friendship and praying for her, one day she accepted Jesus in her heart, right there in my car. It was wonderful because I would have never met her if it wasn’t for running.


East Region – Athletes of the Year

Mark “Kalep” Kanode
Senior, Cary Christian School
Cary, NC

Sports:
– Soccer – All State, All Conference, Conference Player of the Year, Team Captain

Academic Accomplishments:
– 4.0 GPA (Unweighted)
– SAT Score 1990

Top Leadership/Volunteer Accomplishments:
– Volunteer work for homeless and disadvantaged
– North Carolina Food Bank Volunteer
– Middle School worship leader

Highlights and Quotes:
Mark states, “I love the game of soccer. I enjoy working my hardest to become the best player I can. However, this is not the motivation that drives me. The reason I love the game of soccer is because I can use it to spread the name of Jesus Christ throughout the world.” Mark gained a new perspective on the world and has developed a passion for missions after traveling to Costa Rica, Ecuador and West Virginia. In regards to his present relationship with the Lord, Mark says, “All I have is Christ, all I want is Christ, and my present relationship with my Lord and Savior is the only thing that matters to me. It means more than life itself.”

Kelsey Dobbs
Senior, Harvester Christian Academy
Douglasville, GA

Sports:
– Volleyball – All State, All Region, Team Captain, Team MVP, Ranked #1 in State in 3 areas

Academic Accomplishments:
– 4.0 GPA (Unweighted)
– SAT Score 1720

Top Leadership/Volunteer Accomplishments:
– FCA Campus Founder and President
– Meals on Wheels Volunteer
– Atlanta Hospice Bereavement Camp Counselor

Highlights and Quotes:
Kelsey states, “Success at the volleyball net across players of gigantic height has not come easy. Other players and coaches told me that I would never play ball at an elite level due to my vertical height challenge. Today, I have verbally committed to play volleyball at a Division 1 School where only the elite athletes make the cut. I was determined and I believed early that I could do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil. 4:13).” Through all her volleyball success, Kelsey remains humble saying, “My relationship with Him is paramount and defines who I am. He has His grip on my heart and soul and I feel strength for life through Him. Without Christ, I am nothing.”


Indiana State – Athletes of the Year

Jason Hoard
Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School
Indianapolis, IN

Sports:
– Track & Field – All State, All Region, County Champion 1600m
– Cross-Country – Team Captain, Team MVP, 1st Team All State

Academic Accomplishments:
– 4.0 GPA (Unweighted)
– SAT Score 2230

Top Leadership/Volunteer Accomplishments:
– Dayspring Homeless Shelter Volunteer
– Mission trip to inner city Chicago to rehabilitate city parks
– Young Adults in Church (YAC) Group

Highlights and Quotes:
When Jason speaks about influencing his teammates while running he says, “I am a voice of guidance and encouragement. I lead my younger peers on training runs, teach them the ins and out’s of distance running, encourage them in practice and races, and guide them when they could be giving more. There have also been a number of occasions when teammates have wanted to talk about God or Jesus, and I have always tried to make myself available to do so. I have used my athletic ability and leadership skills to set the example, share my faith and positively impact my teammates since my very first day, and I will continue to do so.”

Rachel Dalton
Senior, Eastern High School
Pekin, IN

Sports:
– Track & Field – All State, Team MVP, Three time Sectional Champion
– Cross-Country – All Region, Team MVP, Three-time Semi State Qualifier
– Basketball – Team Captain

Academic Accomplishments:
– 4.0 GPA (Unweighted)
– SAT Score 2100 and ACT Score 32

Top Leadership/Volunteer Accomplishments:
– Sunday School Teacher at Salem First Baptist Church
– Big Brothers/Big Sisters Volunteer
– Director and Founder of “Run for the Village Charity 5K”

Highlights and Quotes:
Rachel is the Director and founder of Run for the Village charity 5K. She
explains, “For the past three years, I have been able to use my passion for
running to reach out to others and share the love of Jesus in a very special way. I began organizing and directing a 5K charity run to benefit Eden Children’s Village in Mhangura, Zimbabwe. This is a children’s village run by Christian missionaries, and they provide a safe home for over 160 children. I have organized Run for the Village 5K in my community the past two summers and have raised almost $5,000 dollars for the village. Someday I want to be a cross country and track coach, where I will strive to set a Christian example and give young athletes an opportunity to come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.