Prairie Heights' Perkins named Cato Scholarship winner

Prairie Heights senior standout basketball player Mike Perkins was one of 13 student-athletes named as a recipient of the 2020 C. Eugene Cato Scholarship by the IHSAA.

Posted: Mar 24, 2020 8:25 PM
Updated: Mar 25, 2020 9:53 AM

INDIANAPOLIS (WFFT) -- Prairie Heights senior standout basketball player Mike Perkins was one of 13 student-athletes named as a recipient of the 2020 C. Eugene Cato Scholarship by the IHSAA.

Perkins is a three-sport athlete and 3.92 GPA student, ranking 10th in his class.


A four-year varsity letter winner in basketball and track and field, Perkins also competes in tennis, where he has earned two varsity letters.

He is also a member of the Future Farmers of America where he has been involved in numerous competitions.

Mike is also a member of the National Honor Society and holds the role of vice president of his class.

Through his youth group, Perkins has volunteered by raking leaves for elderly couples, assisting with canned food drives and organizing games for young kids to participate in.

Mike has also been a 10-year 4-H member, winning grand-champion twice.

He plans on attending Purdue University in the fall.

These well-rounded, positive role models have demonstrated excellence in academics, school and community involvement, character, sportsmanship and citizenship.

Each individual will receive a $2,500 scholarship for their prep accomplishments and be recognized at this year’s Thomas A. Brady Sports Achievement Awards Dinner established by Methodist Sports Medicine.

The upcoming dinner was recently postponed due to current events and will be rescheduled for a later date to be announced.

2020 IHSAA/C. Eugene Cato Memorial Scholarship Award Recipients:

  • Shamiya Beasley, Merrillville
  • Alaina Clady, Plymouth
  • Mykayla Couchenour, South Knox
  • Rylee Johnson, Shenandoah
  • Logan Owens, Henryville
  • Mike Perkins, Prairie Heights
  • Kinsey Price, Rising Sun
  • Turner Royal, Bloomfield
  • Cooper Rusch, New Castle
  • Kenzee Smith, Decatur Central
  • Savannah Strieter, Evansville North
  • Abigail Teipen, South Putnam
  • Hannah Tippets, Brownsburg

Each student completed and submitted a formal application and had to meet certain criteria to qualify including: 1) be enrolled and participating in interscholastic athletics at an IHSAA member school during this school year; 2) be a senior at an IHSAA member school who will graduate this school year; 3) win a varsity letter as an athlete in at least one of the 22IHSAA-sanctioned athletic programs; 4) be nominated by the school’s principal; 5) carry a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale or the equivalent; 6) have no violations of the school’s athletic code of conduct; 7) The student must not have been ejected from any IHSAA contest due to unsportsmanlike behavior; 8) The student must verify that he/she has made a commitment to remain substance-free throughout high school.

Nearly 100 completed applications were received from across the state and a blue ribbon panel of six individuals decided upon the final recipients. They are: Bill Benner, Senior Vice President, Pacers Sports & Entertainment; Rob Craig, Director of Outreach Services and Marketing, Methodist Sports Medicine; Joe Fonderoli,Director of Special Events, Indianapolis Colts; Lee Ann Logan, System Marketing Director, Franciscan Health; Bobby Cox, Commissioner, Chris Kaufman, Assistant Commissioner, Indiana High School Athletic and; Matt Wolfert, President, IHSAA Foundation.

Thescholarship program is named in tribute to the late Commissioner C. Eugene Cato who led the IHSAA from 1983 to 1995 and served as assistant commissioner from 1976 to 1983. “Gene’s” passion for athletics and his belief in the intrinsic value of athletic competition on the formation of a child’s character enabled Gene to positively impact generations of young men and women with his well-known “Firm, Fair, and Friendly” approach to caring for others. He passed away in 2008.

Since 2003-04, the IHSAA has recognized 204outstanding student-athletes with scholarships totaling $510,000.

In addition to a Lifetime Achievement Award and a Tactical Athlete Comeback Award, the Methodist Sports Medicine Research and Education Foundation also will honor Indiana high school and college student-athletes that have overcome injury or hardship with Brady Comeback Awards.

The keynote speakerfor the 2020 Brady Sports Achievement Awards is David Blough, quarterback for the Detroit Lions and former Purdue University signal-caller who was a recipient of the Big Ten Medal of Honor.

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