Villnow named WIAA Scholar Athlete
Amherst High School senior Max Villnow was one of 32 high school senior athletes in Wisconsin that were selected for the 2018 WIAA Scholar Athlete Award.
A total of 16 boys and 16 girls are set to receive the honor, as four boys and four girls were selected–based on both athletic and academic achievement–from each of four WIAA divisions.
There have been 1,052 individuals that have been recognized as WIAA Scholar Athletes since the program began in 1984.
“These extraordinary student athletes excel in both academics and athletics,” said Tom Shafranski, assistant director of the WIAA. “Seventeen of this year’s 32 WIAA Scholar Athlete finalists have a grade point average of 4.0 to date, while the average GPA is an amazing 3.93.
“All 32 scholar athlete finalists have already earned a total of 299 varsity letters during their first 3-1/2 years of high school,” he said. “That’s an average of nine letters per athlete, and we have not yet completed our spring sports season.”
Villnow was a four-year letterwinner, a two-time First Team All-Conference selection and a three-year starter on the offensive line and at linebacker for the Amherst football team, which was the WIAA Division 5 State Runner-up his freshman season, then won the last three Division 5 State Titles.
In wrestling, he was a three-time state qualifier, as he placed fifth as a sophomore and finished as the WIAA Division 3 State Runner-up at 285 pounds as a senior, and will wrestle in college at NCAA Division II Minnesota State University, Mankato.
He also has been involved as the vice president of the Future Business Leaders of America (vice president), quiz bowl (captain), National Honor Society, Spanish club, and investment club, as well as an adopt-a-highway coordinator, youth wrestling coach and youth wrestling official, and carries a 3.87 GPA.
The 2018 WIAA Scholar Athlete Award recipients, as well as their families and school representatives, will be recognized at an awards ceremony Sunday, May 6, at the Jefferson Street Inn in Wausau. A live webcast of the awards ceremony will be available at www.wiaawi.org during and after the ceremony beginning at 1 p.m. The awards program will also be aired on FS Wisconsin at a later date to be announced.
Each 2018 WIAA Scholar Athlete Finalist will receive a medallion, certificate and commemorative plaque for display in their school’s trophy case. The keynote speaker will be former Green Bay Packers and University of Wisconsin wide receiver Jared Abbrederis, a Wautoma native who was a WIAA Scholar Athlete Award winner in 2009.
This year, 881 seniors were nominated for the 2018 WIAA Scholar Athlete Award by 455 high schools throughout the state. Of the 455 high schools submitting nominations this year, three schools had a WIAA Scholar Athlete Award winner for the first time in the 35-year history of the WIAA Scholar Athlete program.
All student athletes nominated for the award by their high school athletic directors will be presented with a medal at their school in a manner to be determined by the school administration recognizing them as their school’s top male or female scholar athlete.