Football Writers Association of America Jan. 9, 2012
For Immediate Release
Contact: Dave Sittler
Annual gift named for former longtime executive director
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NEW ORLEANS (FWAA)Alaina Martens, a senior at Papillion-La Vista High School in Papillion, Neb., was named Monday as the 15th winner of the Volney Meece Scholarship.

The scholarship is awarded annually by the Football Writers Association of America and named for the late Volney Meece. Meece served 22 years as the FWAA’s executive director and was the organization’s president in 1971.

The scholarship is a $1,000 annual grant for four years. It is given to a deserving son or daughter of an FWAA member.

The 17-year-old Martens is the daughter of long-time FWAA member Lee Barfknecht of the Omaha World-Herald.

Alaina's impressive academic record at Papillion-La Vista High School includes membership in the National Honor Society and a fixture on the school's Honor Roll all four years. On a 4.0 scale, Alaina accumulated a 4.5 weighted GPA while taking several advanced placement courses.

In addition to her academic achievements, Alaina has been involved in numerous extracurricular projects. Some of her co-curricular activities include membership on the school's dance team, student council and show choir. She has also been active in her church, served on mission trips, worked with the elderly, was a volunteer for Kids Against Hunger and the Salvation Army and received the Lions Club Leo Gold Volunteer Service Award.

David Herbener, who taught Alaina for two years in AP psychology, wrote in his letter of recommendation: "Alaina is one of the top students that I have had the pleasure of teaching in my 25-year career. She is motivated, displays numerous talents, is likable, self-disciplined and trustworthy. She will be a tremendous asset to any university and I recommend her as highly as possible."

Scheduled to graduate in May, Alaina plans to attend Texas Christian University, where she will study psychology.

Previous Meece Scholarship winners include: Brett Goering, Topeka, Kan.; Kelly Brooks, Denver, Colo.; James Butz, Schaumberg, Ill.; Sara Barnhart, Atlanta, Ga.; Patrick Davis, Coventry, Conn.; Jacqueline O'Toole, Gaithersburg, Md.; Garrett Holtz, Denver, Colo.:, Katie Hersom, Oklahoma City, Okla.; Katie Wieberg, Lawson, Mo.; Kaylynn Monroe, Winter Park, Fla.; Nate Kerkhoff, Overland Park, Kan.; Jack Caywood, Lawrence, Kan; Haley Dodd, Overland Park, Kan.; and Donald Hunt, Philadelphia, Pa.

The Football Writers Association of America, a non-profit organization founded in 1941, consists of more than 1,200 men and women who cover college football for a living. The membership includes journalists, broadcasters and publicists, as well as key executives in all the areas that involve the game. The FWAA works to govern areas that include gameday operations, major awards and its annual All-America team. For more information about the FWAA and its award programs, contact Steve Richardson at or 972-713-6198.

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Volney Meece Scholarship