Leibowitz, Kroeger win High School Heisman

Updated: December 15, 2008, 3:12 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

Kathy Kroeger and Brett Leibowitz were named national winners of the Wendy's High School Heisman, which honors outstanding seniors who excel in academics, athletics and community service.

Kroeger, of Independence (Franklin, Tenn.) High School, is an all-state cross-country and track and field runner, has set state records for both sports and is ranked No. 1 in her class. In addition to excelling academically as a National Merit Semifinalist and receiving Student of the Year honors in two classes, Kroeger has lettered in soccer, swimming and diving, track and field and cross-country.

Leibowitz, of the Meadows School (Las Vegas), is a three-year varsity letter winner in football and basketball and is ranked in the top 1 percent of his class. Leibowitz continues his leadership activities off the field by serving as president of the Las Vegas Founders Group, and he has won numerous academic awards, including the Harvard Book Club prize and was named a National AP scholar.

Kroeger and Leibowitz were selected from an exceptional group of national finalists, made up of six male and six female students from six U.S. regions, representing a wide range of sports and extracurricular interests.

"The Wendy's High School Heisman program is a stepping stone towards higher achievement in school and community leadership," said Archie Griffin, two-time collegiate Heisman winner and program spokesperson. "We're thrilled to welcome Kathy and Brett into an elite family of Wendy's High School Heisman winners, and there's no doubt that they'll have a successful college career and accomplish great things in the years to come."

The winners' accomplishments, in the classroom, in their community and on the field are impressive. Aside from her No. 1 class ranking, for three consecutive years Kroeger has been named the Most Valuable Player on her Cross-Country and Track & Field team while holding down All-State recognition in both sports and setting Tennessee cross country and Track records. She holds a leadership position within the Independence High School Student Council and is active with the St. Andrew Lutheran Church Youth Group and within her community.

In addition to varsity sports, Leibowitz still finds time to dedicate himself to the Las Vegas Youth Division, maintains a leadership position at the Surfrider Foundation and works with several non-profit environmental organizations aimed at protecting wildlife and nature. In the classroom, he's also a three-year member of the Meadow Academic Society and was named a National AP Scholar.

This year's two national winners each receive a crystal Wendy's High School Heisman trophy, a $10,000 donation to their high schools and recognition during the collegiate Heisman ceremony in New York City on Dec. 13.