For the third consecutive year, the Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) is honoring student-athletes who are serving as role models in their high schools, communities and ultimately all of Indiana.

The IHSAA Role Model Program addresses issues that are important to the well-being of Indiana teens – like tobacco use, and it encourages student-athletes to recognize that they are role models in their home communities.

During the 2005-06 school year, student-athletes from a record 114 Indiana high schools will be featured and highlighted in customized posters and pocket schedules. The materials carry the headline: “The only things I smoke are my opponents” and are designed to encourage youth to make healthy decisions about tobacco use.

One of the 117 individuals is Rushville’s Amanda Stull. The standout soccer, basketball and softball player for the Lady Lions is featured on a basketball poster and calendar.

Stull’s image will also be one of the ones that pops up as you enter the IHSAA website at www.ihsaa.org.

“These student-athletes are achieving at a high level in their schools, in sports and in their communities. They are excellent role models for the youth of Indiana,” said IHSAA Commissioner Blake Ress. “They are committed to making the right choices to help make their communities healthier places to live.”

This is a record year for the program with 114 schools participating and more than 23,000 posters and 116,000 pocket schedules being distributed throughout the state compliments of the IHSAA and its corporate partners.

The program asks athletic directors to nominate an athlete to represent their high school. To qualify, student-athletes must be a sophomore, junior or senior and demonstrate athletic achievement, good academic standing, excellent citizenship and positive decision-making. The nominees have to sign a pledge agreeing to be tobacco, drug and alcohol-free and serve as role models.

“All of our role models lead healthy and positive lives,” added Commissioner Ress.

“We know that through this program they are encouraging others to do the same.”

Stull ranks third in her senior class of 193 students and has earned a 4.224 grade point average on a 4.0 scale.

Outside of the athletic playing fields, Stull is also very active and involved in clubs including French Club, NHS, SADD, FCA, PHAF, choir, Cheerblock and Big Brothers/ Big Sisters – sports buddy.

Stull plans on majoring in pharmacy at Coastal Carolina University.

This year the sports included in the Role Model program are football, volleyball, girls basketball and boys basketball. Since the program began three years ago, the posters have featured the following sports: Baseball, softball, swimming, gymnastics, boys and girls soccer, wrestling, football, volleyball and girls and boys basketball.

The Indiana Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Agency (ITPC) and its community coalitions, Smokefree Indiana and local power cooperatives provide funding for the program.

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