In academics and athletics, Megan McCabe made a positive impression during her time at DeSales High School.

In academics and athletics, Megan McCabe made a positive impression during her time at DeSales High School.

The 2012 graduate lettered seven times in three sports, including a decorated soccer career that culminated in a Division II state championship last fall. She served as secretary on the student council and president of the National Honor Society, maintained a 4.085 GPA, scored a 30 on the ACT and was involved in various clubs and organizations.

All of that contributed to McCabe being one of 54 student-athletes awarded college scholarships by the Ohio High School Athletic Association at a banquet June 15 in Columbus.

McCabe received a $1,000 award. The selection process was based on a point system that rewarded student-athletes for their GPA, ACT or SAT scores, varsity letters, individual and team honors and an essay.

McCabe, who lives in Lewis Center, was one of seven recipients from the Central District.

DeSales principal Dan Garrick said he had been impressed with McCabe for some time.

"We take a great deal of pride when our student-athletes are recognized for their accomplishments," he said, "especially when they're associated with commitment to service.

"Virtually everything Megan's involved with is positive. We're a better school as a result of her being with us for four years."

"One boy and one girl were nominated from the school," McCabe said, "and I was the girl who was picked. I had to go to their website and fill out a lot of information, and I won."

McCabe will attend Otterbein University and continue her soccer career under coach Brandon Koons, who also has served as McCabe's club coach in the past.

"I'm very excited," she said. "I know the coach and I always wanted to play for him. They're a really good (Division III) school, and their academics are really great."

McCabe plans to study in the pre-veterinarian program and wants to work in equine science.

"Otterbein has the equine program, which I needed, and they have a good pre-vet program," she said. "And my family can still watch me play. I'm very excited. I can't imagine not playing soccer. It was really exciting to win a state title, but for a lot of the girls, it was their last chance to play on a team. That would be hard."

Koons said McCabe should fit in well "in the attacking third" of the field. She was first-team all-district as a senior at DeSales.

"Megan's very much what we're looking for in a student-athlete," he said. "She's a great kid from a great family and she's a great student. She just also happens to be a good soccer player."

McCabe played forward and served as a captain of the DeSales girls soccer team that defeated Toledo St. Ursula 2-0 in the Division II state final Nov. 12 at Crew Stadium. She was instrumental in helping lead a squad that began the season in transition and ended up winning the program's first state title since 1998.

Coach Bob McGee was in his first season back at DeSales since leaving his alma mater following the 1996 season -- he guided the Stallions to their first state title a year earlier -- and there was an adjustment period.

"We had a new coach last year, so we had a new system," said McCabe, who also played basketball and competed in track and field at DeSales. "Everything was brand new and nobody really knew what to expect. The group of seniors we had knew we had to take everything on to lead the team. We wanted to keep the ... traditions we had, as well as welcoming the new traditions that were being made.

"The underclassmen, I felt, definitely looked up to us and our senior class was great on and off the field."

As far as what it took to receive the award from the OHSAA, Garrick saw McCabe's selection as a no-brainer.

"I'm a little biased," he said. "Her GPA and ACT performance, combined with the fact she's a leader, you'd be hard-pressed to find someone with better credentials.

"We teach faith, family and tradition, and she has embraced all of those. She really promoted a sense of family at DeSales."