The Big Sky State Games has teamed up with the CHARACTER COUNTS! Coalition and Mountain Alarm Fire and Security to recognize the importance of sportsmanship and character in Montana student athletes. CHARACTER COUNTS! is a nonprofit organization striving to improve the character of today’s youth. It is based on common ethical values that transcend political, religious, socio-economic, and cultural differences. Called the “Six Pillars of Character,” these values are: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship. Character Counts! Scholarship is sponsored by Mountain Alarm Fire and Security.
Over the past twenty-two years, the Big Sky State Games has awarded the Character Counts! Scholarship to outstanding Montana female and male student-citizen-athletes involved in the Big Sky State Games. The scholarship can be used for any secondary education after high school. This includes trade schools and community colleges.
Only high school juniors during the 2021-2022 school year are eligible for this scholarship. This is to ensure that fellow students can observe the scholarship winners during their senior year and to recognize the traits the students show. You can fill out the application below. It will also be available at all Montana High Schools Guidance Counselor offices.Online Scholarship Form
The Big Sky State Games selected Ella Breen of Laurel High School, Kaiya Graves of Laurel High School, Mya Maack of Laurel High School, Tucker Rice of Billings Skyview High School, and Teylor Ronish of Billings Senior High School as the recipients of the 2022 Big Sky State Games Character Counts! Scholarship. The $500 scholarship winners were recognized at the 37th Annual Big Sky State Games Opening Ceremonies event.
The winners were selected based on their character, community involvement, and participation in sports. Character Counts! promotes sportsmanship and fosters good character by teaching, enforcing, advocating, and modeling, the "Six Pillars of Character": trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship
Ella Breen, an 11-year participant of the Big Sky State Games, has found great success on the soccer field as well as in the classroom. She has a 4.2 GPA and has been on Honor Roll for three years. She earned the AAA (Athletics, Academics and Attitude) Award for soccer and Academic All-State for three years. Highlighting her musical talents, Breen also received an award for being a top 10 musician in symphonic band. She works at Caring Hands Veterinary Clinic
Kaiya Graves competed in both discus and shotput in the State Games for five years. Graves is Laurel High School’s student council secretary and has lettered in student council for three years. She has earned the AAA Award three years in a row, Academic All-State honors six times, the Principal’s Leadership Award in 2019, and was this year’s Science Olympiad: Division C State Champion. She holds a 4.36 GPA. Graves has earned a combined total of six varisty letters in track and field, volleyball and basketball. She has officiated middle school athletics for four years and has extensive volunteer experience.
Mya Maack has participated in Big Sky State Games 3v3 soccer for nine years, and track and field for two years. Her athletic accomplishments include receiving Academic All-State honors for multiple sports for three years, receiving All-State honors for soccer for three years, and being named her soccer team’s Offensive MVP two years in a row. Maack is also a member of National Honor Society and holds a 4.27 GPA. She has worked at The Snow Shack for two years in customer relations and social media management.
Tucker Rice has participated in numerous Big Sky State Games sports since 2016, including swimming, open water swimming, youth triathlon and team trialthlon. Earning a 4.53 GPA at Skyview High School, Rice received Academic All-State honors in swimming and was inducted into National Honors Society. He worked as an intern at High Plains Architects last summer.
Teylor Ronish has participated in a variety of Big Sky State Games since 2013, including soccer, basketball and cornhole. He received the American Legion Award in addition to two Principal Awards. Ronish is a member of National Honor Society and received Academic All-State honors. He has a cumulative GPA of 4.5. Ronish works as a soccer coach for the Billings United kid’s camp, Timber’s Youth League and Real Billings.
|2020||Ruff Elton||Red Lodge|
| ||Riley Gilsdorf||Billings|
|Audrey Sipler||Big Sandy|
|Loren Murphy||Huntley Project|
|2016||Cory Kistler||Huntley Project|
|Brianna Jo Robinson||Billings|
|Emily Grace Walker||Huntley|
|2008||Cord Blanchard||Great Falls|
|Kylie Medicine Horse||Pryor|
|Chris Blanchard||Great Falls|
|2002||Sara Patterson||Great Falls|