Ben Tholen is the IESA Scholar Attitude Nominee
January 22, 2015
The IESA Scholar Attitude Award was started in 1999 to recognize the best student-athletes in the IESA. Yorkville Middle School has won the award for our IESA region three times out of the five years we have participated in the program so being nominated is quite an honor. In addition, a cross country athlete has been the school's nominee four times, including this year's nominee Ben Tholen.
Ben was a decent runner in seventh grade, but he split his time between two fall sports and ended up with a knee injury in his other sport that ended his seventh grade cross country season prematurely. Over the summer of his eight grade year, Ben totally dedicated himself to cross country at our summer Endurance Camp. He was disappointed that he wasn't one of the few middle school runners who trained with the high school team, but he didn't let this ruin his outlook. Ben was the most vocal leader during the summer. During our "Celebrations" at the beginning of every practice, Ben always had something positive to say about someone else on the team. This was a new practice for our team so it took a while to catch hold, but Ben was one of the athletes who helped it catch on because of his enthusiasm for praising his teammates.
Ben applied to be a team captain at the beginning of the regular season, and he was an easy choice for us. Ben was not only a vocal leader on the team, but he was one of the hardest workers, which helped set an example for the many younger runners we had on the team this year. In addition, Ben excels in the classroom and has over 100% in many of his classes. When we voted on our Captain of the Year award at the end of the season, it was the easiest Captain of the Year decision we ever had to make.
Each sport gets to nominate one athlete to potentially be the school's award nominee. While Ben was nominated by the cross country coaches, three other cross country athletes were nominated by other coaches. Alex Loos, Emily Eberhart, and Jimmy Eberhart should also be congratulated for their sportsmanship. It's great to have so many athletes on the cross country team who could win the IESA Scholar Attitude award.