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38th Annual Scholar-Athlete Awards Banquet

The Valley of the Sun Chapter of the National Football Foundation will host its 38th Annual Scholar-Athlete Awards Banquet on Saturday, April 6th, 2019. This highly-anticipated community event will honor the top sixty scholar-athletes out of 285,000 students from 186 high schools in Central and Northern Arizona.

Chartered in 1971, The Valley of the Sun Chapter has built a reputable foundation for fostering not only commendable scholar-athletes, but exceptionally well-rounded people that have taken the initiative to better the world around them. Honorees are recognized for their achievements in the classroom, on the football field and in the community.

Among those being honored this year is Channel 12 Sports Anchor Bruce Cooper, who will receive the Distinguished Arizonan Award. An Arizona State University graduate, Cooper began working at Channel 12 in 1986 and has covered some of the greatest sporting events known to man – including the Super Bowl, World Series, NBA Finals and BCS Championship Games. In spite of his high-profile accomplishments, Cooper has retained deep interest and excitement for covering high school sports and local athletics.

Another special award recipient is Donnie Yantis, who will be recognized with a Lifetime Coaching Achievement Award. The Arizona State University Sun Devil Football assistant coach and recruiting coordinator have an extensive history of accolades attained in his native state. He spent fourteen years coaching at his alma mater, Paradise Valley High School in Phoenix, where he became the winningest coach in school history after earning a 94-70 record and leading the offense to break every school record in both passing and rushing yards, first downs and points scored.

The Scholar-Athlete Awards banquet is a celebration of accomplishment, achievement, spirit, sportsmanship and determination – a long list of ideas that describe the positive impact a scholar-athlete can have on the world. It’s what happens when hard work in one arena transfers over to other things outside of athletics. It’s not only an homage to long-time winning and impressive stats, but also how that overall experience leaves a lasting imprint on someone tied to the game, compelling them to continue to pursue greatness in every other aspect of life.


“The Annual Awards recognizes the ‘best of the best’ of our scholar-athletes that not only excel on the gridiron and the classroom but give back to the community,” National Football Foundation President Emeritus, Janie Riddle, said.

The event will take place at the Hilton Scottsdale Resort & Villas, located at 6333 N. Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale. The reception, silent auction and raffle will begin at 12:30 pm and will be followed by the program and dinner at 2:00pm. Single tickets can be purchased for $85.00 while table sponsorship for ten seats is $850. For more information, check out the Valley of the Sun Chapter website or call (602) 768-3777.