In a room of 111 athletes from the Baltimore area at the 77thAnnual McCormick Unsung Heroes Banquet, our very own RPCS senior Liz Schlerf was selected as the female grand prize winner and was awarded the Charles P. McCormick Scholarship worth $40,000 over four years. Former Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis delivered the keynote address at the banquet, speaking about the importance of hard work and giving your best.
Liz is the first student-athlete in Roland Park Country School history to win the award.
Since 1940, the McCormick Unsung Heroes Banquet has honored high school seniors who have been models of sportsmanship and team spirit. “The nominations from each school for the Unsung Heroes Award are reviewed by an independent panel and that group selects one young man and one young woman who have been exemplary in their team contributions to receive the additional recognition. Each Charles Perry McCormick Scholarship winner receives a $40,000 scholarship to help fund the continuation of their education.” Read more about the award here.
As part of Liz’s nomination, RPCS Director of Athletics Carol Hatton noted that it is Liz’s “work ethic each and every day and her commitment to team success that make Liz a true unsung hero.”
As a three-sport athlete at RPCS on the soccer, basketball and lacrosse teams, Liz’s coaches describe her as “a very cerebral player with good anticipation skills making her a very strong help defender. Help defense gets no glory, but it is the core of what it means to be selfless and an unsung hero. Liz may never receive individual accolades or break statistical records, but she plays a critical role in team success…She does not complain and she comes to practice with nothing less than a smile on her face. Liz takes pride in her role and works tirelessly to make herself and her teammates better. Her ultimate goal is team success regardless of how many minutes she receives in a game. Liz is selfless, hardworking and committed to being the best teammate possible.”
Whether it’s coming early to practice to work on her skills (or staying late to help a teammate with hers), playing through unexplained severe pain in her calves for two years, or physically carrying an injured teammate on her back to the bus following a game, Liz has consistently contributed to RPCS athletics in ways that cannot be reflected in the record books – and that’s okay with her.
“I am a three-season athlete – soccer, basketball and lacrosse – and I fill that unpraised spot in each. I am a soccer goalie, a practice player for basketball, and a defender for lacrosse. At the end of the day, it’s the leading scorer who is recognized as the most valuable player in soccer, not the goalie. In basketball, a practice player endures all of the heartache, undergoes all of the training, and puts forth the utmost commitment to the sport, but hardly ever enters the scorebook. The Tewaaraton Award, given annually to the most outstanding American college lacrosse player, has been given to a defender just once in 17 years.
“Being fully aware of each of these things, I step onto the field or court every single day without hesitation. There is no ‘unsung hero’ when it comes to me and athletics. There is simply a passion and a love for the game.”
Liz will attend Dickinson College in the fall where she plans to play soccer and lacrosse.
To learn more about Roland Park Country School, visit www.rpcs.org.