BERLIN – Stephen Decatur High School student Brett Berquist has been named a Maryland finalist in the 2018 Wendy’s High School Heisman Program.
Last week, Berquist was named a state finalist for the 2018 Wendy’s High School Heisman Program, which recognizes high school senior student athletes across the nation who excel in academics, athletics and community and school leadership. Students who apply to the program must have a GPA of 3.0 or better, play in at least one recognized sport, and prove their leadership abilities in school and in the community.
Berquist – a three-sport standout at Decatur who plays goalie for the varsity soccer team, outfielder for the varsity baseball team and guard for the varsity basketball team – is one of 19 students to be named a Maryland finalist this year and is the only state finalist from Worcester County.
As a varsity basketball player, his team won its first school Bayside Conference championship in the 2016-2017 season and two 3A-East region championships. Berquist was also named captain for this season’s varsity soccer team and in September was named the Premier Driving School Athlete of the Month.
Off the fields and court, Berquist is a member of the National Honor Society and is on the dean’s list at Wor-Wic Community College, which he attends part-time.
Berquist said he had known about the program from an early age. But was eager to apply after Jillian Petito, a former Decatur girls’ varsity lacrosse goalkeeper, was named a state winner of the Wendy’s High School Heisman in 2014.
“I really started looking into the award and knew it was something I wanted to do when I was in high school,” he said. “I tried my best in the classrooms and on the field to make sure I had a chance of winning this award.”
Applicants who are selected as state finalists are in the running to be selected as a state winner, a distinction awarded to one senior male and one senior female from each state.
“I was excited,” he said, “but I always keep things in perspective.”
While the state winner list posted on Wednesday did not include Berquist’s name – the award went to Alex Barnes of Westminster, Md., and Juliana Lynch of Sparrows Point, Md. – he said he was proud to be named a finalist.
“I’m proud that I was even acknowledged because this award is such an honor,” he said. “Thank you to my coaches and my teammates.”
While he said he hasn’t decided to play sports at the collegiate level next year, Berquist said he will attend Salisbury University, where he plans to major in business.
Since 1994, the Wendy’s High School Heisman Program has honored the nation’s top high school senior athletes by narrowing down the pool of applicants in each state and awarding $500 scholarships to the state winners, $1,000 scholarships to the national finalists, and a $5,000 scholarship to the male and female national award winners, who are recognized during ESPN’s national telecast of the college Heisman Memorial Trophy presentation.