Pawhuska High School multi-sport standout Zalin Edwards is one of a handful of Oklahoma student athletes recently selected to receive a share of $10,000 in college scholarships from the Jim Thorpe Association.
PHS head football coach Bob Craig said Edwards is highly-deserving of the special honor, which he said reflects well on the entire Huskies’ program.
"Zalin has been one of our top leaders on the field," said Craig. "He is fully capable of continuing his outstanding athletic career at the next level."
Since transferring from Fairfax a year and a half ago, Edwards has starred for the Huskies in football, wrestling and baseball. He earned District 2A-7 gridiron honors at quarterback this season by racking up 17 passing touchdowns and 11 more as a runner. As a junior, Edwards was named all-district at defensive back.
Edwards started as a freshman at receiver and in the defensive secondary for the Woodland varsity team that won a Class A state championship in 2010. He also played for the Cougars when they placed as state runner-up the following season. Head coach of those two squads (which combined for a won-loss mark of 27-1) was Joe Sindelar, who now is the Pawhuska High School principal.
The 5-foot-10, 170-pound PHS senior is a returning state wrestling tournament qualifier, as well as an all-around dynamo on the baseball diamond.
Shortly after he moved to Pawhuska, Edwards also headed a team steer roping title-winner at the 2012 International Roundup Clubs’ Cavalcade.
In the classroom, Edwards has been named as a National Honor Society member. The son of Pawhuska head baseball coach Brian Edwards and his wife, Cindee, he is currently weighing his college options. And for additional positive news, Edwards has two younger brothers and three younger sisters.
Plaques recognizing the state’s eight Thorpe scholarship winners are to be presented during awards’ ceremonies to be held later this month and at the Jim Thorpe All-Star Dinner slated for later in the school year.
James Francis Thorpe was born in 1887 near what became Prague, Okla. During the early years of the 20th Century, Thorpe excelled in all areas of athletic competition while he was a student at Carlisle Indian Academy — an industrial training school for which he was three times voted to football All-America teams.
However, it was Thorpe’s unparalleled track-and-field accomplishments at the 1912 Olympic Games in Sweden that brought him everlasting fame. Despite having had his medals taken away due to violations of his amateur status, Thorpe continues to be recognized as one of the greatest athletes of all time as he went on to successful professional careers in football, basketball and baseball.
The Jim Thorpe Association, which has its headquarters in Oklahoma City, was named in honor of the legendary Native American athlete. In addition to its giving out of prep scholarships, the association is responsible for presenting the Jim Thorpe Award — which is given annually to a college football player judged the Outstanding Defensive Back in the nation.