19th Annual Wendy's High School Heisman Award Winners Announced
High School Seniors Recognized for Excellence in Athletics, Academics and
NEW YORK, Dec. 8, 2012
NEW YORK, Dec. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --Zoe Alaniz of Corpus Christi, Texas,
and Samuel Prakel of Versailles, Ohio, were proudly recognized this evening as
the scholar-athletes to win the 19^th annual Wendy's^® High School Heisman^®
Award honoring high school seniors who excel in sports, academics and
community involvement. These extraordinary students were chosen from more than
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The Wendy's High School Heisman Award, inspired by Wendy's founder Dave
Thomas, honors the achievements of exceptional high school seniors and
provides a platform for their continued growth and success. Since its
inception in 1994, more than 415,000 students have been nominated for the
Wendy's High School Heisman Award.
"The Wendy's High School Heisman honors student-athletes who embody the spirit
of the Heisman tradition of hard work and dedication," said Archie Griffin,
the only two-time winner of the Heisman Memorial Trophy and a long-time
spokesman of Wendy's High School Heisman. "Congratulations to Zoe and Samuel,
and all of our 2012 National Finalists. Their achievements in the classroom,
the playing fields, and in their communities, are truly inspiring."
Zoe Alaniz, W. B. Ray High School
Hometown: Corpus Christi, TX
As the Valedictorian of her class for four consecutive years, Zoe Alaniz is a
top scholar and committed to excelling academically. She was also named the
National Hispanic Program Scholar her senior year. In addition to her academic
achievements, Alaniz is a standout performer in swimming and diving and holds
a school, district and state scoring record of 534.30 for 11 dives in the 1
meter event. She plans to swim at the University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign next year.
Samuel Prakel, Versailles High School
Hometown: Versailles, OH
Sam Prakel is a triple threat as an exceptional athlete with record breaking
stats in cross country, track and field and swimming and diving. He holds the
state meet record and all-division course record of 15:19.34 for the 5,000
meter distance in cross country and plans to run at a top university after
graduation. Prakel is most proud of his leadership role in Boy Scouts, where
he organized service projects and earned the Eagle Scout rank.
Alaniz and Prakel will each receive a crystal Wendy's High School Heisman
trophy, a $10,000 donation to his and her high school and a $500 Wendy's gift
card, along with an appearance on Saturday's live Heisman Trophy broadcast on
ESPN^® at 8 p.m., Eastern Standard Time.
"Our founder, Dave Thomas, created the Wendy's High School Heisman program to
honor elite high school seniors who excel in the classroom, in athletic
competition and give back to their communities. We congratulate Zoe and Sam,
who are role models for their generation. We're highly confident they will
carry on the program's tradition of continued excellence," said Emil Brolick,
President and Chief Executive Officer, Wendy's.
A panel of distinguished judges selected Alaniz and Prakel from 12 National
Finalists – six senior males and six senior females – representing the six
geographic Heisman Trophy regions. Wendy's honored the National Finalists at
an awards ceremony in New York City this evening, which will air on ESPN2^® at
1 p.m., Eastern Standard Time on December 16.
The other 10 Wendy's High School Heisman National Finalists are:
Name Gender High School City State
Tessa Brooks F Triway High School Wooster Ohio
Avalon Frantz F Boulder City High School Boulder City Nevada
Tyler Hoffman M Farmington High School Farmington Connecticut
Trent Hosick M Staley High School Kansas City Missouri
Daniel Johnson M Ridgeland High School Rossville Georgia
Kaitlyn Kent F South Iredell High School Statesville North Carolina
Tyler Meidell M Damonte Ranch High School Reno Nevada
Margaret Midkiff F Mount De Sales Academy Macon Georgia
Casey Pearsall F Wilton High School Wilton Connecticut
Jack Twomey-Kozak M Orange High School Hillsborough North Carolina
The initial rounds of judging were conducted by ACT, Inc., a leader in
educational testing and services, which scored applicants and determined
hundreds of School Winners, 1,020 State Finalists and 102 State Winners from
all 50 states and the District of Columbia. After State Winners were selected,
a distinguished panel of judges – from the worlds of education, business, and
sports, along with former college Heisman Memorial Trophy Award winners and
former national Wendy's High School Heisman winners – carefully reviewed all
nomination forms and voted on the National Finalists and National Winners.
For more information about the 2012 Wendy's High School Heisman Award program,
and to view photos and bios of the National Winners and National Finalists, as
well as photos from the Heisman weekend, please visit www.WendysHeisman.com.
To download bios and photos on the winners, as well as the finalists, please
About the Wendy's High School Heisman Program
Created in 1994 by Wendy's and the Heisman Memorial Trust, the Wendy's High
School Heisman Award recognizes outstanding high-school seniors nationwide who
excel in athletics, academics and in the community. Students can nominate
themselves for the award online, in addition to being recommended by
principals, teachers, guidance counselors and coaches. The most exceptional
students are then selected to advance during extensive judging processes
conducted at both state and national levels.
About The Wendy's Company
The Wendy's Company is the world's third largest quick-service hamburger
company. The Wendy's system includes more than 6,500 franchise and company
restaurants in the U.S. and 27 countries and U.S. territories worldwide. For
more information visit www.wendys.com, or www.aboutwendys.com.
Ketchum Public Relations
The Wendy's name and design, and the Wendy's High School Heisman and design
are trademarks of Oldemark LLC and are licensed to Wendy's International,
Inc. The Heisman Memorial Trophy, Heisman name and Heisman Trophy figure are
registered trademarks of the Heisman Trophy Trust, used with permission.
SOURCE Wendy's High School Heisman
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