By DOUG DONNELLY
OTTAWA LAKE – Whiteford’s Thomas Eitniear is a recipient of the prestigious 2018 Rich Tompkins Multi-Sport Athlete Award for 2018 in Class C.
Thomas is one of just eight recipients out of more than 125 nominees. One male and one female from each class receives the award. He will be honored by representatives from the Michigan High School Coaches Association and Addix May 12.
Thomas has participated in football, basketball and baseball at Whiteford and has signed a letter of intent to play baseball at the University of Toledo. In doing so, he became the first Bobcat male athlete to sign with a Division 1 school in more than a decade and one of only a handful of Whiteford athletes to do so ever.
In football, Eitniear holds a host of Whiteford game, season and career passing records, was named First Team All-State and led the Bobcats to its first-ever state football championship in 2017. In basketball, Eitniear led the Bobcats in scoring in both his sophomore and junior seasons, made more than 100 career 3-pointers and was named to the Monroe News’ All-Region basketball team three times. He completed his career as the No. 13 scorer in school history.
In baseball, Eitniear has already played on three Tri-County Conference championship teams and was All-State as a sophomore.
“Thomas is a very special athlete and person,” said Whiteford Director of Student Advancement Jason Mensing, who is also the varsity football coach. “I am fortunate to have coached such an outstanding individual as him. We are proud at how he has represented Whiteford over the last several years.”
Award nominees are evaluated based on their athletic achievements (both individual and team), scholarship, leadership and service.
The award will be presented to Thomas at home plate of the 2018 Mark Christensen Baseball Tournament hosted by Whiteford. The ceremony will be immediately following the first game of the day, approximately 10:30 or 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 12.
Others to win the Rich Tompkins award include students from Warren De La Salle, St. Joseph, Fremont, Yale, Oscoda, Charlevoix and Lake Linden-Hubbell high schools.
Thomas is the just the second TCC athlete to receive the award. Sand Creek’s Charlie Robertson was a 2015 recipient. He’s the first Monroe County athlete to win the award. Full list of winners.