Eight of the elite Class of 2021 high school football scholar-athletes in north Louisiana were spotlighted last week in Shreveport, including Winnfield Senior High School’s Micah Griffin.
The setting was the pandemic-delayed National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame’s S.M. McNaughton Chapter Scholar-Awards dinner Tuesday night at East Ridge Country Club.
Griffin will use his scholarship award while enrolling at Northwestern State, where he will study health and exercise science. He graduated from WSHS in May with a perfect 4.0 GPA, valedictorian of his senior class of 72 students.
Academic All-State in football and baseball, Griffin was a second-team all-district linebacker as a senior and second-team all-district at H-back and tight end as a junior. He was the Tigers’ defensive MVP for the 2020 season. Griffin won the 2019 Frank Iverstine 110% Award.
He also earned all-district honors as an infielder in baseball, and won the team’s 2019 Coaches Award.
He was a National Honor Society member. Griffin participated in BETA Club, FBLA, 4-H and was a Special Olympics volunteer. He served on the WSHS Student Council and was president as a senior. He was also president of Tiger Mentors, which plans and leads freshman orientation during the summer then mentors them in their first year of high school.
“He is mature, diligent, and responsible, displaying moral integrity no matter if anyone is watching while volunteering to help his fellow students and setting an example that others should follow,” said Tiger Mentor sponsor and WSHS teacher Jordan Puckett Horne.
Griffin took part in the Judgement House program and the Community Wide Cleanup Day. He has been a Dixie Youth baseball umpire. He is the son of Wayne and Lyndsey Griffin.
Last summer, Griffin worked at the Winn Parish Medical Center during the pandemic.
A crowd of more than 200 attended the scholar-athlete event, typically held at the end of winter. Because of the pandemic, it had not been held since 2019. The McNaughton Chapter board of directors, led by president Leo Sanford (who is in the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame), had held the event annually for five decades until last year.
Airline High School’s Bo Meeks was one of three coaches honored, sharing Coach of the Year honors for 2019 with Haughton’s Jason Brotherton. West Monroe coach Jerry Arledge was the winner of the “Contributions to Amateur Football” award for 2020.
Along with Griffin, three more of the eight recent high school graduates honored were in attendance: West Monroe quarterback Lane Little, Natchitoches-St. Mary’s offensive lineman Patrick Vienne, and Shreveport-Byrd safety Brayden Hermes.
The event was rescheduled after the end of the school year. NSU head football coach Brad Laird and several members of his staff attended, as they have in past years.
Winners unable to attend were Haughton linebacker Jake St. Andre, Captain Shreve kicker Alexander Auer, Cedar Creek lineman Trace Barnett and Oak Grove offensive lineman William Klink.
Recent Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame inductee Tim Brando of Fox Sports presented the eight scholar-athletes and interviewed the four attending.
The NFF was established in 1947 with the mission to promote the power of amateur football to develop leadership, sportsmanship, competitive zeal and the drive for academic excellence. Archie Manning is the NFF chairman.
The McNaughton Chapter began awarding scholarships in 1980 and has provided over $75,000 to top performers in north Louisiana, receiving several dozen nominees annually before narrowing the field to the final recipients.