Clovis High School senior Cassidy Crouch thanked her principal, athletic director, coaches, boyfriend and sister in a burst of enthusiasm and gratitude after winning the 2016 B’nai B’rith Student Athlete Award on May 16.
“This is an honor,” she told several hundred people attending the awards dinner in the Clovis Veterans Memorial District. Crouch — a three-sport athlete in water polo, basketball and badminton — adds the B’nai B’rith award to an impressive list of other athletic and academic accolades.
The Fresno chapter of B’nai B’rith, a Jewish service organization, has recognized the area’s top student athletes since 1952.
Crouch was one of 16 nominees from different high schools in the Fresno-Clovis area. She receives a $2,500 scholarship as the winner.
Four other students from the Clovis Unified School District were among the nominees. They are:
▪ Cole Heimerdinger from Buchanan High School – water polo and swimming.
▪ Caleb Kelly from Clovis West High School – football.
▪ Lauren Moffett from Clovis North High School – cross country and track and field.
▪ Carissa Wight from Clovis East High School – soccer, tennis, and track and field.
They and other finalists each receive a $500 scholarship.
Heimerdinger also received the Irving Negin Academic Award, which goes to the nominee with the highest grade point average. His GPA is 4.6. Heimerdinger is considering attending Princeton, Yale and Columbia universities in the Ivy League or the equally prestigious University of Chicago.
Heimerdinger shared the academic award with Omar Ceja of Edison High School, who has a 4.59 GPA.
Crouch has a 4.47 GPA and will attend the University of California, Davis on a water polo scholarship.
In water polo, Crouch was The Fresno Bee’s Player of the Year as a senior. During her three-year varsity career, she was All-League and All-Section each year. In addition, Crouch helped the Cougars win two Division I titles. They were runners-up once.
In both basketball and badminton, Crouch played three years on varsity. As a junior, she was named defensive MVP in basketball. In badminton, she was section doubles champion as a sophomore and runner-up as a junior.
Her school activities include California Scholastic Federation life member, junior class president, ASB secretary, Chess Club and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Crouch also has volunteered at elementary school sporting events and at Poverello House, among other organizations.
Crouch is the third Clovis High student to win the B’nai B’rith award in the last three years. Nicholas Nevills won in 2014, and Adam Prentice won in 2015.
Terry Fox, master of ceremonies, told the crowd that the 16 nominees represent the best of today’s young people. “It does give hope for the future with these 16 leading the way,” Fox said.
Steve Negin, who shared emcee duties with Fox, said: “There are 16 winners up here. They are all remarkable students.”
Each participating school nominates one student for the B’nai B’rith award. A selection committee comprised of members from the non-Jewish community select the winner, according to the program at the awards dinner.
Each nominee is evaluated on athletic ability (65 percent), scholastic ability (25 percent) and community activities (10 percent).