Stellar high-school athletes get scholarships to play their sports at college, as do outstanding students in music and math and science and many other areas of study.

Stellar high-school athletes get scholarships to play their sports at college, as do outstanding students in music and math and science and many other areas of study.

Each of these awards is a litmus test for a specific range of a young man's or young woman's activities and endeavors during high school.

And then there's the Discus Award, owned and operated by Scholarship Strategies LLC of Bethesda, Md.

"Traditional awards programs focus on the numbers: Test scores, grades and win-loss records," according to the website for the awards program. "But college admissions offices know that it takes more than academic success and athletic prowess to predict real-world success in and out of the classroom. The Discus Awards recognize uncommon students whose character and passions are anything but average."

The resume of 18-year-old Eric Spencer Niehaus of Westerville, who recently graduated from St. Francis DeSales High School, describes a young man who is anything but average: honor roll recognition for every quarter of his years at DeSales; senior class president; captain of the boys soccer team in 2011; National Honor Roll in 2010, 2011 and 2012; president of the choir in 2011-12; and way more than there's room to mention.

So it should come as no real surprise that Niehaus, the son of Bob and Joan Niehaus, got this email a while back:

"Congratulations! You have won a Discus Award, a non-monetary national recognition award that honors the most well-rounded students for their excellence both inside and outside the classroom. As a Discus Award recognition winner you've joined an elite group of extraordinary students from around the country that have built a track record of success in at least three of 10 key attributes valued by college."

As a Discus Award honoree, Niehaus is also in the running for a $2,000 National All-Around Student Scholarship, and possibly additional financial assistance from Discus Awards partners, according to the email.

In an interview last week, Niehaus said he grew up in Westerville and attended parochial schools, starting with St. Paul School in Westerville before moving on to St. Francis DeSales in the Northland area.

Niehaus will be attending Miami University in Oxford this fall, majoring in business with a possible minor in marketing.

"Business always really fascinated me," he said. "It's an extremely general major I can take anywhere and do anything."

While the young man's resume doesn't appear to have allowed much time to be a kid, including as it does a lawn care business in his "spare" time, Niehaus said there was plenty of fun.

"I'm really lucky in that a lot of the things I did were things I enjoyed," he said. "It ended up being a whole lot of things which I guess impressed people."

Niehaus added that his parents, both of whom work at Abbott Laboratories, never put pressure on him but only offered encouragement.

"They just said follow your heart wherever that takes you."