Fourteen student-athletes have been nominated for the 48th-annual Clarence A. Christman Award, which will be presented on Tuesday, May 24 at a Washington C.H. Kiwanis Club dinner meeting.
The award, presented annually since 1969, goes to a senior from Washington High School or Miami Trace High School who best represents excellence in the areas of athletics, academics and leadership. The award is sponsored by the Record-Herald and the Kiwanis Club.
The nominees from Washington High School are: Jaycie McRoberts, Jakob Snyder, Brooklyn Wilson, Cole Massie, Wendy Hawk, Brody Morris and Cameron Eckles.
The nominees from Miami Trace High School are: Miranda Wheeler, Madisyn Callahan, Kathryn Zeigler, Whitney Cockerill, Megan Self, Hannah Casto and Kody Scott.
A special section highlighting the accomplishments of these 14 exceptional student-athletes will run in the Record-Herald on Thursday, May 19.
The award’s namesake was a man who came from humble beginnings in Washington C.H.
Growing up, Clarence A. Christman showed an ability to perform ably in athletic endeavors and loved sports throughout his life. He had help from others, shopkeepers and businessmen, with the tools he needed to participate in sports.
He spent the rest of his life paying back, as well as forward, to the young people of the community.
As an adult with the means, he would often help youngsters who were just like him, eager and interested in athletics, but often unable to acquire even the most modest equipment to compete in sports.
Christman dropped out of Washington High School in his sophomore season and entered the U.S. Navy. He served in the navy for three years during World War II. Christman served in a submarine and was wounded when his sub was hit by an enemy depth charge.
Upon returning to Washington C.H. after the war, Christman married and began a family.
As life continued on after the war, Christman worked for the Farm Bureau and subsequently became the city’s auditor and later, city manager.
The Christman Award started as the Record-Herald award in 1969.
After Christman’s untimely death from a heart attack after he assisted in fighting a local fire, the award was soon renamed in his honor. To this day, Christman’s widow, Mary Lou Haines, still keeps up with the Christman Award and attends the program.
There is also Christman Park in Washington C.H., named in Clarence’s honor, located off Elm Street across from the city water department with Paint Creek flowing along nearby.
Since 1969, the Christman Award has been celebrated as a way to recognize an outstanding high school senior who has excelled in the areas of academics, athletics and leadership.