Kala Brumbaugh of Claysburg-Kimmel and Seth Worthing of Bellwood-Antis are three-sport standouts at their respective high schools and have received numerous athletic honors, but both said receiving the 2013 Blair County Sports Hall of Fame scholarships was the highlight of their scholastic careers.
"This is such an honor," Brumbaugh said moments after receiving a $2,000 scholarship and a plaque Wednesday afternoon at the Blair County Convention Center. "This is such a prestigious award, and I was so excited to win this award."
The scholarships and plaques were presented to Brumbaugh and Worthing by Hall of Fame president Dave Andrews and Tim Sissler, president of Reliance Bank. The Hall and Reliance Bank partner with the award and have contributed $88,000 to deserving senior student-athletes from Blair County since the program began in 1988, the second year of the Hall's existence.
"It means a lot to me," said Worthing, "and it's different than getting an athletic award because this has the aspects of community service and academics.
"That's really important to me because no one is going to be a standout athlete their whole life," he said. "You need everything, and I'd rather be recognized for this than being an all-state athlete."
At Bellwood-Antis, Worthing won four letters in track, three in basketball and three in football. The son of David and Diana Worthing, he will attend St. Francis University on a track scholarship and will study in the Physician Assistant Science Program.
When receiving the award, Worthing talked about his parents, siblings, coaches, teammates, teachers and administrators for their roles in his success.
Ranked fifth in Bellwood's senior class, Worthing scored a 2,030 on his SATs. He is the school's National Honor Society vice president, Scholastic Scrimmage team captain and a three-time selection to the Pennsylvania Football News All-Academic Gold Team.
"I definitely enjoyed track the most because of the direct competition," Worthing said when asked the favorite of the sports he participated in.
Brumbaugh played volleyball, basketball and softball at C-K, earning 10 letters and serving as team captain in basketball and softball as a junior and senior.
"I love to play softball," Brumbaugh replied of her favorite sport. "My sister excelled in softball and played Division II at IUP. I always wanted to be like her and I just love softball."
The daughter of Doug and Lisa Nale, Kala ranked second in her graduating class of 60, has a grade-point average of 99.97 and scored 1,660 on her SATs. She's also president of C-K's Student Council and its National Honor Society, president of the school's Future Business Leaders of America and captain of the Scholastic Scrimmage team. She also volunteered for several organizations.
Brumbaugh, who thanked her parents, coaches, teammates and administration for their support, will attend the University of Alabama where she will major in public relations. She plans to attend grad school and hopes to become a personal publicist for professional athletes.
"I was researching schools for public relations," she said "and knew from the time I was little I wanted to go south for school. I hate cold weather and wanted to go to the warm south and Alabama seemed like the best fit for me.
"I visited, fell in love with the school and am excited to be a Crimson Tide."
Andrews said a lot goes into the selection process.
"When we evaluate the candidates from the different schools, besides athletics, we look at what they've done academically, their class rank, their SAT scores and their service both in school and in the community," Andrews said.
"These two individuals have all of those components, and we're pleased to recognize them," Andrews added.