FORT WORTH, Texas (Jan. 12, 2021) – The Davey O’Brien Foundation has announced the five finalists for the 35th Annual Davey O’Brien High School Scholarship Award. The scholarship, underwritten by Higginbotham and Simmons Bank, is presented each January to an exceptional senior student-athlete in North Texas.
This year’s finalists, in alphabetical order, are: Lane Herbert (Greenhill School), Randell Holmes (Prestonwood Christian Academy), Jake Laufenberg (Saint Mark’s School of Texas), Rishi Niranjan (Plano West) and Sally North (Booker T. Washington).
“The committee is truly inspired by the group of finalists for this year’s High School Scholarship Award,” Chairman of the High School Scholarship Selection Committee David O’Brien Jr. said. “The dedication, perseverance and excellence they have shown in these tumultuous times is nothing short of spectacular. We are so proud to have this group of outstanding young student-athletes associated with the Davey O’Brien Foundation.”
The recipient of the $30,000 scholarship will be announced Tuesday, Jan. 19. The Foundation will award $2,500 scholarships to each of the four remaining finalists. Recipients of the High School Scholarship Award are chosen on the basis of scholastic achievements, community service, character, leadership and varsity sports participation. As part of the selection process, the committee will interview all five finalists this week.
The Foundation has distributed over $1.2 million in scholarships and university grants to help high school and college athletes transform leadership on the field to leadership in life. The winner will be honored virtually on Monday, Feb. 15.
About the Finalists
Lane Herbert (Greenhill School)
Lane Herbert is a four-year letterwinner in field hockey and lacrosse with a 3.84 GPA on a 4.0 scale at Greenhill School. She also has participated in both swimming and soccer in high school. In field hockey, the Northwestern University commit was a four-year starter and earned All-American honors as a junior. Herbert has participated in student council all four years, and also has served as executive editor as well as the first female sports editor of the school newspaper.
Randell Holmes (Prestonwood Christian Academy)
Randell Holmes of Prestonwood Christian Academy carries a 3.85 grade-point average on a 4.0 scale and is a winner of the Principal’s Honor Roll Award as well as a National Honor Society member. Holmes has competed on the football, track and lacrosse teams. As a senior, the running back earned first-team all-district, second-team all-state and academic all-state honors in football. He serves as the executive president of the student body.
Jake Laufenberg (Saint Mark’s School of Texas)
Jake Laufenberg owns a 4.17 grade-point average on a 4.0 scale at Saint Mark’s School of Texas. He is a three-year member of the varsity basketball team and is a captain of the Lions’ top-25 nationally ranked team as a senior. Laufenberg was appointed to the Saint Mark’s Discipline Council and was also selected to the school’s Ethos – Character and Leadership club. Additionally, he is a member of the school’s choir and the Lion and Sword Society.
Rishi Niranjan (Plano West High School)
Rishi Niranjan is listed 14th out of a class of 1,371 students at Plano West with a GPA of 4.62 on a 4.0 scale. A four-year letter winner in swimming, he has earned district and regional finalist honors each season. Niranjan is a 2020 National Merit Semifinalist and a National AP Scholar and also earned the 2020 Gold President’s Volunteer Service Award. He received the Top 100 Leaders in Education Award for leadership in founding and managing CASH Club Corp.
Sally North (Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts)
Sally North ranks first among 283 students at Booker T. Washington with a 4.50 GPA. She is a National AP Scholar and an AP Scholar with Distinction. As a volleyball player competing for Woodrow Wilson High School, North was named academic all-state and was a three-time all-district choice. A University of Chicago commit, she was one of 26 recipients nationally for the JVA Ultra Ankle Athlete Award. As a flutist, she is a two-time State Solo and Ensemble Silver Medalist.
About the Davey O’Brien Foundation
The Davey O’Brien Foundation was founded in 1977 to honor and remember the strong character and leadership of football great, Davey O’Brien. Widely known for its Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award, the Foundation recognizes champions on and off the field through awards programs encouraging academic and career success. The Foundation has given away more than $1.2 million in scholarships and university grants to help high school and college athletes transform leadership on the field to leadership in life. For more information, visit www.DaveyOBrien.org.
Higginbotham is a single source for insurance and financial services that brokers business insurance, employee benefits, retirement plans, executive benefits, life insurance and home/auto insurance from more than 250 regional and national carriers. It supplements coverage with in-house risk management, benefit plan administration and human resources services. The firm was founded in 1948 and is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, with more than 45 additional offices statewide and in Oklahoma, Georgia, New Mexico and California serving domestic and international customers. Higginbotham ranks by revenue as the nation’s 21st largest independent insurance brokerage firm, making it the largest Texas-based broker (Business Insurance, July 2020). Visit www.higginbotham.net for more information.
About Simmons Bank
Simmons Bank is an Arkansas state-chartered bank that began in 1903. Through the decades, Simmons has developed a full suite of financial products and services designed to meet the needs of individual consumers and business customers alike. Simmons has grown steadily and today operates more than 200 branch locations throughout Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas. Simmons is the subsidiary bank for Simmons First National Corporation (NASDAQ: SFNC), a publicly traded bank holding company headquartered in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, with total consolidated assets of 21.4 billion as of Sept. 30, 2020. For more information, visit https://www.simmonsbank.com.