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Northwestern's Breckenridge named scholarship winner

Published January 13. 2014 05:00PM

On Sunday afternoon at Northampton Memorial Community Center, the 2013 Lehigh Valley Soccer Scholar Athlete Annual Awards Banquet was held to select this year's scholarship winners.

The Soccer Scholar Athlete Award was first established in 1975, and two more student-athletes would add their names to the list of past winners this season.

Leigham Breckenridge, a senior at Northwestern Lehigh, won the 2013 Frank D. Olszewski Memorial Scholarship Award. Southern Lehigh senior Abigail Kohler was awarded the 2013 Gary F. Toth Scholarship Award.

Breckenridge-who recorded 11 career goals and six career assists-ranked first in a class of 189 with a 4.0 GPA (unweighted) and scored a 2270 on his SATs. He is the treasurer of National Honor Society, Spanish National Honor Society and Key Club. He is also a member of Leo Club, FBLA, Scholastic Scrimmage, Friends 4 Life, Debate Team and Science Team.

"It was really great to be here and see some of the other students," Breckenridge said. "But winning was just incredible. It was such an honor. You come to something like this with so many great students from so many schools that you can't really expect to win. But to be chosen above everyone else is just a huge honor."

Breckenridge was the winner of a number of awards, including Lehigh University's High School Scholar's Award, Moravian College's Dean's Scholar Program Award, DeSales University High School Scholar's Award, Bosch & Lomb's Honorary Science Award, National Merritt's Scholarship Program Letter of Commendation and three bronze and one silver Olympiad Awards.

"To be with my friends for our last year together playing soccer, and to win leagues together, it is a great way to go out," Breckenridge said. "And then to come here and get an award I really didn't expect, it's the best feeling. It's really the best way to cap off my career for soccer."

Breckenridge was the first student from Northwestern to be awarded the Soccer Scholar Athlete Award. He plans to major in Biomedical Engineering, and is waiting to hear back from Yale University, Duke University and Brown University.

"It was a complete surprise," Breckenridge said. "I did not come here expecting to win. It was a huge honor."

Kohler is the second girl from Southern Lehigh to win the Soccer Scholar Athlete Award in the last four years. She ranks first in a class of 280 with a 4.0 GPA (unweighted). She scored a 2260 on her SATs, and recorded three career goals and seven career assists for the Spartans.

"It is really exciting," Kohler said of the award. "I know that everyone here is definitely well-qualified, and everyone here has their reasons that they're here and they got nominated from their schools. It was really exciting. It's definitely an honor."

In addition to being named to the Colonial League Second Team and a team captain as a senior, Kohler was named to the Colonial League First Team and the Spartans' MVP as a junior.

Kohler is a member of National Honor Society, Interact Club, Students Against Destructive Decisions, Ecology Club, Key Club and Health Occupations Students of America. She is also the president of National Honor Society, vice president of Interact Club and secretary of Student Against Destructive Decisions.

"It's cool being a part of everyone here who plays soccer, and all of us that have had soccer been a part of our lives for so long," Kohler said. "It's cool that we're all here."

Kohler plans to major in Biology upon graduating from Southern Lehigh.

Prior to the Soccer Scholar Athlete Award selection, two new members were elected into the Lehigh Valley Soccer Hall of Fame. William Kovacs (who played soccer in the Bethlehem Area School District and coached at Liberty High School and Moravian College) and Gregory Vorhis (who coached in the Southern Lehigh Soccer League and at Central Catholic) were elected as new members.

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