Senior wins esteemed Scholar Athlete Award

Miranda Ripken, Sports Editor

Senior Jon Galarraga was pleasantly surprised when he found out  he was selected to being in the running receive a $4,000 scholarship administered by The Greater Baltimore Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame. This excitement was quickly replaced by anxiety, as he was told that if he won the scholarship, he had to give a speech. Writing the speech in his head, Galarraga waited in anticipation to find out the winners of this prestigious scholarship.

In the 49th distribution of the foundation’s annual Scholar Athlete Award, Galarraga and five other winners were selected out of 78 total nominees.

“I didn’t even know there was a scholarship like this,” Galarraga said.

Head football coach Rich Stitchel filled out the application for the scholarship and announced that Galarraga was in the running for the scholarship at the football award banquet in December.

Academics and athletics are both factors that lead to the reception of this award. Galarraga’s accomplishments that led to his nomination for the award were being on the MIAA All-Conference team and the All-County First team, leading the league in tackles, being captain of JC’s team, and participating in the Baltimore Touchdown Club all-star game.

“You must be well-recognized in the community and have outstanding character, as well as academics,” former football coach and current Assistant Dean of Students Sean Ireton said.

The Greater Baltimore Chapter has been in existence since 1961 and sponsors the annual Scholar Athlete Awards Dinner, which recognizes one scholar athlete from one football-playing high school in Baltimore City and one from each of the six counties in Maryland – Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Carroll, Frederick, Harford, and Howard. According to Ireton, this event used to be the biggest athletic banquet on the East Coast. Now it’s the biggest athletic banquet in the U.S.

“Some of the kids I played against in the all-star game were there,” Galarraga said.

Galarraga felt honored to be among the other student athletes receiving the award because of the others’ accomplishments. “One among the group of student athletes was Cyrus Jones. He was an All-American and had received a full ride to the University of Alabama – a huge football school,” Galarraga said.

“It’s truly an honor for [Galarraga] to be picked by this organization – it’s an honor for him and the school. Jon and his parents should be deeply proud of his success and I’m sure he’ll carry that success into the future,” Ireton said.

Miranda Ripken is a Sports Editor for The Patriot and