The 2013 Michael S. Suter Memorial Football Scholarship was awarded to Blaze Buckwalter at the annual Central Mountain High School Award Ceremony held recently.
The award is given in memory of Mike Suter, a 1974 graduate of the former Lock Haven High school, now Central Mountain High School, who passed away in August 2003 while jogging near his home. For the past nine years the Suter family has recognized a student athlete for their accomplishments both on and off the field. Although the scholarship is awarded primarily for excellence in football, the family also looks for strength of character, academic excellence and responsible involvement within the school and our community.
Buckwalter is a 3-year letterman in football and a 4-year letterman in wrestling. Ranked sixth in his class with a 4.0 GPA, he also is a member of the National Honor Society. His leadership qualities within the school consist of vice president of Student Council and Student Government, president of FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) and team captain of the football and wrestling teams.
Pictured, from left are Doug and Sherry Buckwalter,, Blaze Buckwalter, and representing the Suter family, Kay (Suter) Dunkleberger.
Outside of school, he is active in his church participating in his Youth Group for the past six years, volunteering during the summer to help with Vacation Bible School and participating in community service projects with his various sports teams picking up trash along the highway and visiting the elderly.
Dana Suter, sister of Michael, who presented the scholarship, said, "as our family read through all of the applications for this scholarship, we realized anybody can be a leader, can be excited, and can be first in line when things are going great. The test is, when you battle through tough times, when things aren't perfect, where do you stand that day? We feel this year's nominee knows where he stands on that day."
"Throughout my life I have always been the kind of person who knows what he wants and goes after it," said Buckwalter. "My teachers have had a major impact on my life and I would like to positively influence future students in the same ways. My plans are to attend Lock Haven University and major in Secondary Education with a focus on Biology with a dual major in Special Education. After college, I plan on obtaining a doctorate degree and look forward in helping educate the next generation of children in preparing them to be successful citizens."
Dana Suter shared during the presentation that this nominee presented a unique situation, as well as a first for the Suter Scholarship. Blaze's brother, Tyler, also received the award in 2011. Dana Suter ended her presentation with a quote from one of Mike's favorite movie stars, John Wayne: "A goal, A love, and A dream give you total control over your body and your life."