Seniors Brody Brecht of Ankeny and Zach Hansen of Ankeny Centennial have been named Great American Rivalry Series Scholar Athletes for 2020.
Recipients of the GARS Scholar Athlete Award are chosen annually as part of the Great American Rivalry Series which will be activating the program at its 1,000th Rivalry game this fall. Scholar Athlete Award winners are recognized for their “on-the-field” and “in-the-classroom” success.
“We are very happy to recognize these senior athletes for their outstanding performance on the field and as students throughout their high school careers,” said Rick Ford, GARS CEO. “In this very unique year, we felt it is even more important that the Great American Rivalry Series and our Presenting Partner, the United States Marines, continue the 17-year tradition of recognizing their achievements.”
With their selection, Hansen and Brecht will both receive a $500 scholarship on behalf of the Great American Rivalry Series and, through a partnership with the Pro Football Hall of Fame, are eligible to become members of the inaugural Great American Rivalry Series Scholar Athlete Hall of Fame Team.
“Now more than ever, the world needs young men and women of character, nobility, honor and integrity,” said Pat Lindesmith, Chief Partnership Officer and Senior Vice President of Gold Jacket Relations. “This initiative fits perfectly with the Hall’s Youth & Education Team’s commitment to empowering youth around the world.”
Hansen and Brecht are two of 144 GARS Scholar Athletes selected across the country. From those 144 nominees, a 25-member Great American Rivalry Series Scholar Athlete Hall of Fame Team will be determined through a 30-day voting period where friends, family and community can show their support for their Scholar Athlete. The voting period for all Scholar Athletes will run simultaneously from Nov. 16 to Dec. 14.
Of the 144 nominees, the 25 who receive the most votes will earn their spot on the Inaugural Great American Rivalry Series Scholar Athlete Hall of Fame Team and receive an additional scholarship.
The United States Marine Corps has had a positive relationship with the Rivalry Series for several years.
“We are excited to take our long standing and successful Great American Rivalry Series partnership to the next level with the inclusion of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and this national recognition program,” said Leroy Pennington, Marine Corps Marketing Specialist. “The elite status of the Rivalry Series and Hall of Fame fits perfectly with the Fighting Spirit of the Marine Corps and these fine young athletes.”