PITTSBURGH--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Esmark, Inc., a diversified holding company with interests in steel services and steel manufacturing, energy exploration and production and youth sports development, today announced the launch of the Esmark High School “All-American” recognition program, aimed at recognizing outstanding athletic, academic and community service achievements among all high school student-athletes across the U.S. in 16 major varsity sports programs spanning five geographic regions.
The pathfinder program is an extension of Esmark’s Youth Development subsidiary, which supports a wide range of youth and recreation programs, childhood health and development initiatives and other philanthropic endeavors across the Northeast and Midwest regions of the country.
The Esmark “All-American” Recognition program was created by Esmark, Inc. founder, chairman and CEO James P. Bouchard to provide a national platform to identify and honor high school student-athletes who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and accomplishments in sports, academics and community involvement and embrace the values of teamwork, respect, dedication and sportsmanship.
“Our mission is to recognize and reward exceptional high school boys and girls who have distinguished themselves in the classroom, on the playing fields and in the communities where they live,” said Bouchard. “While there are other similar programs in the U.S. for some individual sports programs like football and basketball, we believe there’s a place for a recognition program that spans 16 major high school varsity sports programs and the 7.7 million high school student-athletes who participate in those sports.”
In making the announcement, Bouchard said that former ''Parade High School All-American'', NFL player and football commentator/analyst Michael Tomczak has been named President of the Esmark High School “All-American” Recognition program and will lead the national search for candidates.
“As a former Parade ''All-American'' I realized the impact it had on my personal and professional sports life and the pride I felt when I was recognized 33 years ago,” recalled Tomczak. “Today, there is no national student-athlete recognition program that encompasses 16 major high school varsity sports programs, and we believe there are literally thousands of great success stories to be told about the achievements of these exceptional student-athletes and the impacts they’ve made in their classrooms, on the playing fields and in their local communities. Together with our network of high school coaches, administrators and community leaders, we’ll be blanketing the country in search of a new generation of high school All-Americans.”
How the Program Works
Tomczak explained that the program is designed to allow any high school student-athlete, parent, coach, teacher, administrator, community resident or sports reporter to nominate a deserving candidate for consideration. The Esmark High School “All-American” web site (www.esmarkallamerican.com) provides a submission form where candidates can submit videos of their accomplishments in their respective sports along with a personal statement of their dreams and aspirations for the future. A panel of judges comprised of former college and professional athletes will review and consider each candidate’s submission to determine whether they meet the criteria for recognition as an Esmark High School “All-American.”
Tomczak noted that a “Featured Student-Athlete” section of the web site will provide exposure for those student-athletes selected for recognition among college scouts, recruiters and local/regional media through Esmark’s partnership with state and national sports associations that work with high schools, colleges and universities in identifying exceptional student-athletes across five U.S. geographic regions. “This valuable exposure can help those selected candidates raise their recruiting profile among Division I, II or III colleges and universities beyond the state where they live and play sports in,” he added.
Those student-athletes verified and selected as an Esmark High School “All-Americans” will receive an award certificate suitable for display recognizing their accomplishments and be able to receive a free evaluation from the National Collegiate Scouting Association (NCSA).
Tomczak said the guiding principles of teamwork, dedication, respect for fellow and opposing student-athletes and teachers and administrators will be among the key selection criteria in identifying and selecting candidates for “All-American” recognition. “Together these attributes we’ll be looking for candidates who embrace a commitment to the classroom, strong family relationships built on trust, and active participants in their local communities,” he explained. “We look forward to building a national platform where these All-Americans can be proud of their accomplishments and bright futures.”
For more information about the 16 eligible major high school sports programs included in the Esmark High School “All-American” Recognition program, visit www.esmarkallamerican.com or call 412-258-8868.
About Esmark, Inc.
Esmark, Inc. is a diversified, privately-held family holding company with a portfolio of industrial companies with strong roots in the steel industry. Over the years, Esmark has expanded its interests and operations into a number of businesses engaged in the energy, aviation services and real estate industries. Esmark, a former publicly traded company (NASDAQ: ESMK), now has businesses engaged in steel services and metals fabrication, oil and gas exploration, business services, technology and youth development and sports management. For more information visit www.esmark.com.