Finalists for Collier County's 2021 Winged Foot Scholar-Athlete announced

Greg Hardwig
Naples Daily News

The Winged Foot Scholar-Athlete Award winner will be named next week.

The selection committee revealed the 13 candidates submitted by Collier County high schools on Tuesday. The committee will meet remotely to decide a winner.

The Winged Foot's 32nd annual banquet, which is normally scheduled for the Thursday leading into Memorial Day weekend, was canceled for the second straight year in March due to the coronavirus pandemic. ESPN basketball analyst Jay Bilas was the scheduled keynote speaker.

Previously:Meet the 2020 Winged Foot Scholar-Athlete award winner

And:Meet the 2020 Winged Foot Scholar-Athlete Award finalists

In 2019:Winged Foot Scholar-Athlete Award: St. John Neumann's Jensen Jones wins

Brooke Hornbeck, left, takes a photo of First Baptist Academy senior Malaya Melancon, center, recipient of the Winged Foot Scholar-Athlete Award, as she poses alongside Bud Hornbeck, center left, Winged Foot Scholar-Athlete Award chairman, Michael Walker, center right, the 2015 award recipient and wide receiver for the Jacksonville Jaguars, and Mike Walker, right, Winged Foot Scholar-Athlete Award board member, at Gallagher Lutgert Insurance in Naples on Friday, May 22, 2020. Melancon is the first athlete from First Baptist Academy to win the award.

This year's Winged Foot finalists, in alphabetical order, are:

  • Daniel Cardoza, Immokalee
  • Paige Clausen, Barron Collier
  • Trace Davidson, Gulf Coast
  • Daniel DeSantis, St. John Neumann
  • Cindy Godinez, Golden Gate
  • Kamonte Grimes, Palmetto Ridge
  • Grace Johnson, Naples
  • Kimberly Marizol Lopez Valle, Everglades City
  • Alexa Moulzolf, First Baptist
  • Eileen Poling, Lely
  • Matthew Riley, Seacrest
  • Johnathan Watt, Marco Island Academy
  • Olivia Weiss, Community School

The Winged Foot Scholar-Athlete Foundation will give $5,000 to each of the finalists. The winner receives a $10,000 scholarship – $2,500 a year for four years; the other finalists receive one-time stipends.

Graduating seniors from Collier County high schools are eligible for the award, which was first given in 1990 by the Collier Athletic Club.

Each candidate was required to complete an extensive application process in order to be considered by their respective schools. Each school then determined its representative.

Malaya Melancon of First Baptist Academy won the honor last year. She was the first in the school's history to do so.

Chairman Bud Hornbeck said major sponsors again have agreed to stay on board, with respective $5,000 donations, even though the banquet has been canceled. As with last year, donations from other sponsors will be requested.  Anyone interested can contact him at bud_hornbeck@ajg.com.

The major sponsors are the Lutgert Companies/Premier Sotheby’s International, Barron Collier Junior Foundation, Gallagher Lutgert Insurance, Iberia Bank and Grant Fridkin Pearson P. A. 

Greg Hardwig is a sports reporter for the Naples Daily News and The News-Press. Follow him on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter: @NDN_Ghardwig, email him at ghardwig@naplesnews.com. Support local journalism with this special subscription offer at https://cm.naplesnews.com/specialoffer/