Blake Pittser, a soon-to-be graduate of Miami Trace High School, was named the recipient of the 2017 Clarence A. Christman Award at the 49th-annual award banquet Monday night.
The award, given annually since 1969, is named in honor of Clarence A. Christman Jr. and 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. It is sponsored by the Record-Herald and the Washington C.H. Kiwanis Club.
Pittser was selected from a group of 22 nominees as the student-athlete who this year best embodied excellence in academics, athletics, leadership and community involvement.
“This means a lot,” Pittser told the Record-Herald after receiving the award from the 2016 Christman Award winner, Wendy Hawk, a graduate of Washington High School. “To win an award that represents the entire county, both academically and athletically, I think that’s a huge honor. I’m thankful for everyone who voted for me and I’m thankful to the Kiwanis Club and the Record-Herald for sponsoring this award and banquet. Just to come here to this banquet with these 21 other fantastic nominees is such an honor. It really is something special.”
Pittser also thanked his coaches, as well as his parents, Rob and Kim Pittser, for their efforts and commitment over the years.
“To all of the parents and coaches, the effort you guys put in, it’s immeasurable,” he said. “And of course I want to thank my parents for raising me and helping me keep my head on straight. With everything I participated in they helped keep me on track and keep me focused, so I want to give a special shout out to them.
Pittser ranks first in his class academically and has five varsity letters in five sports: soccer, football, cross country, basketball and track. After graduation, he plans to attend Wright State University to study bio-medical engineering and play soccer.
In Pittser’s nomination, Blake’s father and coach Rob Pittser said: “To accumulate 20 varsity letters and maintain a 4.0 GPA while competing at the top level of amateur soccer in the United States is truly amazing. However, it is his character both on and off the court and the playing fields that truly sets Blake apart. As a coach, Blake’s consistency and leadership will be difficult to replace on the basketball floor. As parents, Kim and I are very proud of the way he has represented his family and his school. With his ability and work ethic, Blake will no doubt excel in the engineering field and soccer program at WSU.”
The other 21 nominees for this year’s Christman Award were: Taylor Barrett, Jacob Batson, Ashton Carr, Mitchell Creamer, Macy Detty, Liam Downing, Nick Elrich, Kayla Kimmet, Seth Leach, Kyler Mount, Todd Peterson, Tori Riley, Samantha Ritenour, Griffin Shaw, Marissa Ann Sheets, Clare Sollars, Allison Streitenberger, Lauren Truex, Alex Trombold, Madalyn Wayne and Brian Wilson.
Mary Lou Christman Haines, widow of Clarence A. Christman, was an honored guest at this year’s banquet. Gary Brock, president-elect of the Washington Kiwanis Club, emceed the event and Record-Herald Editor Ryan Carter presented the nominations during the banquet held at the Crown Room Banquet Center.
Reach Ryan Carter at 740-313-0352 or on Twitter @rywica