Honored for their excellence both on and off the field, Saline student-athletes Peyton Widen and Jordan Wickham were named as two of eight state winners of the Michigan High School Coaches Association Rich Tompkins Multi-Sport award.

At the May 28 Saline Area Schools Board of Education meeting, both were recognized. The Rich Tompkins Multi-Sport Athletic Award recognizes the accomplishments of student-athletes who have excelled in a variety of athletic, academic, school, and community endeavors.

This was the first time for the award to have two winners like this from the same high school.

Saline High School golf coach Debbie Williams-Hoak was at the meeting to represent the Michigan High School Coaches Association (MHSCA) and help honor Peyton and Jordan with their awards. Williams-Hoak, who is also their coach, called both very special student-athletes.

Both were recognized for their exceptional achievements in interscholastic athletics, achieving letter awards in twelve or more sports throughout their high school careers, and contributing to sports, school, and the community, Saline Area Schools said in its announcement about the honors.

Peyton was nominated for his excellence as a member of Saline’s Football team, Saline Boys’ Basketball team, and Saline Boys’ Golf team. Peyton plans to attend Michigan State University to study Marketing this fall.

Peyton Widen. photo courtesy of Saline Area Schools

Jordan was nominated for her excellence as a member of Saline’s Girls’ Golf team, Saline’s Gymnastics team, and Saline’s Girls’ Track & Field team. Jordan plans to attend Michigan State University in the fall to study business.
Saline Area Schools Athletic Director Ashley Mantha nominated the students for the award.

Jordan Wickham. photo courtesy of Saline Area Schools

“I am thrilled to extend heartfelt congratulations to Jordan and Peyton for their outstanding achievement as recipients of the Rich Tompkins Multi-Sport Athlete Award,” Mantha said. “Their dedication to excellence both on and off the field serves as an inspiration to our entire school community. It is an amazing feat to participate in not only three different sports, but to do so all four years at such a high level. Both students have maintained excellent grades while participating in athletics every season, and contribute in meaningful ways to support their local community. We are extremely proud of both Jordan and Peyton.”

The MHSCA is a 70-year-old association with nearly 15,000 members serving coaches and athletic administrators, and all levels as coaches in numerous high schools and junior/middle highs throughout the state.

“It’s unprecedented to have two winners from the same school and speaks to Saline’s recognition as the #1 High School for Athletics in Michigan,” Saline Superintendent Stephen D. Laatsch said in the announcement. “This acknowledgment speaks to both the robust athletic programs and the ways in which our student-athletes excel in the classroom.”

In the district’s announcement, Michael Widen, parent of Peyton, said, “We are grateful to be in a place like Saline that supports student success in all their endeavors.”

Peyton and Jordan both spoke at the meeting after receiving their awards.

In giving thanks, Jordan said she wouldn’t have achieved this without the help and support of her coaches, teammates and family. This sentiment was echoed by Peyton.

“Thank you to everyone who’s helped me along the way,” he said.

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