News From Terre Haute, Indiana

May 12, 2013

Kehrt Award goes to Emily Bell, Lee Davis

Tom Reck
Tribune-Star correspondent

TERRE HAUTE — Emily Bell of Terre Haute South and Lee Davis of Terre Haute North are the 2013 recipients of the Willard M. Kehrt Mental Attitude Award.

Bell and Davis were nominated by their schools and chosen in a vote by the Kehrt Award panel. Both will be recognized at awards assemblies later in the month at the schools.

Bell played varsity basketball four years at South and is competing in track this season, running the 800 and two relays. “I wanted something to do my senior year,” Bell said.

She plans to attend DePauw University and play basketball. DePauw is the reigning NCAA Division III champ in women's basketball.

Bell tore an AÇL playing in a basketball tournament the summer after her sophomore season. She missed most of her junior season but came back to play her senior year and was second leading scorer and leading rebounder her final season.

Bell also was leading rebounder her sophomore year.

“Emily's perseverance was contagious with her teammates. A major reason we were able to enjoy more wins her senior year was because of her leadership,” says South coach Cara Stuckey.

Bell says a highlight of her four years was beating Carmel last season by a good margin. “Playing in the championship game of the sectional three of my four years was another,” she said.

Another top moment came when she hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer last season to overtime and the Braves went on to win.

Bell says she “has loved” working in the athletic office at South and hopes to go to law school.

She ranks 39th in her class and has been a member of the National Honor Society, Link Crew, Interact Club, and South Athletic Leadership.

She also was a Rex ambassador and was voted homecoming queen and Student Council Co-President by the student body.

Davis has been on the varsity in football at North four years, playing linebacker and fullback, and has competed in track four years in the shot put and discus events.

He will attend the U.S. Military Academy on a football scholarship.

Davis has played football since the third grade and says the military has been a big part of his family's life with one cousin being a three-star general.

“Being recruited by Army was a good combination of football and the military,” notes Davis.

He says his father, Clint Davis, and North football coach Chris Barrett were teammates on the football team at Indiana State. “It has always been like Uncle Chris to me … and the Barrett family has been very supportive,” said Davis.

He says he will always remember his four years at North for the friends he has made. “My teammates are like brothers. I would do anything for them. The coaches all want you to be the best you can be,” he said.

He said winning The Victory Bell three of his four years was a highlight. “It has been a great experience,” he said.

Davis earned all-Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference his senior year in football and all-state honors twice, while being all-Wabash Valley four years. He holds school records for total tackles, solo tackles and assisted tackles and is the school record holder in the discus.

He earned all-state honors in indoor track this year and qualified for the state in the shot put the past two seasons. He is a member of the National Honor Society and was yearbook editor.

“Lee is a tremendous leader and tireless worker. He has led by example in the classroom, weight room, on the football field and on the track,” said North athletic director Michael Menser.

Willard M. Kehrt Mental Attitude Award

The Williard M. Kehrt Mental Attitude Award was established in 1996 after the former coach and teacher who was killed in an auto accident.

This award recalls the values and principles he stood for in his 33 years in the Vigo County School Corporation -- 24 years as teacher and coach at Garfield High School.

Criteria for the award includes:

• Participation at least two years in one sport;

• Intentions of attending college;

• Displaying leadership abilities;

• Having a positive attitude toward athletics and school, and

• Having a determination to be successful.

The award includes a $500 scholarship. Award winners will be recognized at school awards sesssions by Bob Kehrt, son of the former coach and teacher.