St. Louis, Mo., October 9, 2013 – Washington University in St. Louis freshman wide receiver Zach Strittmatter is one of five winners of the 2013 National Football Foundation (NFF) National High School Scholar-Athlete Award, as announced by the NFF and College Hall of Fame.
Strittmatter, who was the Chicago Metro Chapter honoree from the Midwest Region, joins University of Maryland's Adam Greene, Nick Peabody of Princeton University, Brown University's John Pena and Weston Steelhammer of the United States Air Force Academy as one of five winners. All five are playing college football and are being recognized for their previous accomplishments in high school.
"I was very surprised to hear that I received the award. It means a lot to me to be chosen out of 3,500 student-athletes for this prestigious honor," said Strittmatter.
A 2013 graduate of Batavia High School and four-year letterman at wide receiver, Strittmatter recorded 126 career catches for 2,129 career yards and 20 touchdowns. With Strittmatter as a starter, his teams amassed a 26-7 record, including an astounding 21-2 mark during his final two seasons. He served as team captain his senior year, earning all-state, all-conference and Conference Offensive Player of the Year accolades.
Carrying a weighted 4.28 GPA on a 4.0 scale and earning a 33 on the ACT, Strittmatter graduated as valedictorian of his high school class of 463 students. He twice earned Academic All-State and Academic All-Conference honors (2011, 2012).
"This is a great honor for Zach to be recognized by the National Football Foundation for being among the top student-athletes in the country," said Washington University head coach Larry Kindbom. "Zach is a class act, and represents the ideal student-athlete. He will continue to represent Washington University in the classroom, on the field and in the community."
Strittmatter works closely with the American Cancer Society Relay for Life on the "Alex's Army" team, named for his friend Alex who died from cancer in 2008. As co-leader of the team, Strittmatter has helped the team raise $82,000 to date.
"We rallied behind Alex and started this relay for life team to raise money for cancer research, " Strittmatter said. "This is something I am very proud of. It's a way to remember our friend Alex who passed away in eighth grade and a way to give back."
Strittmatter has also started his own company that trains local youth in football and basketball.
"I have always enjoyed working with younger kids, and always tried to be a role model. I wanted to still be involved in football and basketball in my community after graduating from high school," Strittmatter added.
Strittmatter has appeared in four games as a freshman while playing wide receiver for the Bears. He is enrolled in the College of Arts & Sciences and plans to major in chemistry.
The five winners will travel to New York City to be honored during the NFF Chapter Awards Luncheon, presented by Under Armour, on Tuesday, Dec. 10, at the Waldorf Astoria. First bestowed in 1991, the NFF National High School Scholar-Athlete Awards have become one of the most prestigious high school honors in the country. Criteria for the award include, but are not limited to, academic achievement, athletic accolades and community involvement.
With 120 chapters and more than 12,000 members, the NFF Chapter Network impacts more than 500,000 student-athletes at 4,800 high schools in 47 states each year. The centerpiece of their efforts are the annual chapter awards banquets, which recognize more than 3,500 of the nation's top scholar-athletes and distribute more than $1 million in scholarships. From this pool of 3,500 scholar-athletes, the chapters nominate a group of finalists, and a national committee makes the final selection of the five winners, one from each region of the country, as the recipients of NFF National High School Scholar-Athlete Awards.