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Witt senior finalist for postgrad scholarship

Fighting off a block and chasing down a quarterback doesn’t intimidate Wittenberg University senior linebacker Kyle Sanning.

Walking into the teacher’s lounge at Tecumseh High School — the same high school he graduated from in 2010 — as a student teacher? That might be reason to hesitate.

“Just because four or five years ago I was sitting in their classroom as a student. Now it’s like I’m a colleague of theirs. It’s kind of weird for me,” Sanning said. “I’m still like, ‘Yes ma’am, no ma’am.’ (I still call them) Mr. and Mrs.”

Sanning, president of the National Honor Society while at Tecumseh, recently added another honor both his Tecumseh and Wittenberg instructors can be proud of. Sanning was a finalist for the 2013-14 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship Program. A total of 357 student-athletes from all three NCAA divisions were originally selected. Sanning made the final cut of 125 before 29 men and 29 women were selected to received a $7,500 grant.

“I felt like it was a huge honor just to be mentioned in that category,” Sanning said. “It’s a rewarding feeling to know your hard work gets noticed.”

Sanning was nominated by professor of economics Jeff Ankrom and associate professor of business Wendy Gradwohl. Wittenberg football coach Joe Fincham and assistant professor of mathematics Adam Parker, also Sanning’s academic adviser, also contributed to the process.

Sanning, a math major with an education minor, plans to earn his master’s in administration and work toward becoming a principal. He graduates next winter.

“I’ve been thinking about becoming a high school math teacher and coaching football,” Sanning said. “I’ve thought about using my math degree instead and not going into teaching. But I think after being in the classroom this past semester I think I really belong with kids and working with kids.”

In addition to his academic success (he carries a 3.36 grade-point average), Sanning’s community service also earned high marks. Sanning volunteers at the Springfield YMCA officiating youth basketball games and working in the weight room as a safety adviser. He’s also helped at Tecumseh’s middle school and youth football camps the past eight years.

On the football field, Sanning finished with 65 tackles (30 solo) and seven sacks for the North Coast Athletic Conference champions. Witt (10-2) reached the second round of the NCAA Division III playoffs before falling 56-21 to Mount Union.

“I just think when a person is as fortunate as I’ve been and has had as many opportunities as I’ve had, I think if you’re able to you should give back,” Sanning said. “You never know what kind of kid you might meet that day. You might say something that changes the way they look at life as far as football, school, their lifestyle, anything.”

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