2023-24 PFWA Scholarship recipients announced

LAS VEGAS — Today at the 2024 PFWA Annual Meeting at the Super Bowl Media Center, the recipients of the 2023-24 PFWA Scholarships were announced to the membership.

Jihra Hill was awarded the PFWA’s Arthur Rooney Scholarship, and Cade Sando was selected as the winner of the first John Clayton Scholarship, named in honor of the legendary writer and broadcaster who passed away in 2022.

In addition, Hogan Demovsky and Zachary Gutierrez were given President’s Award scholarships by the PFWA.

The PFWA scholarship program, which was expanded this year to include the Clayton and President’s Award scholarships, is open to sons and daughters of PFWA members who are enrolled in their first year of college. The Rooney Scholarship is worth $6,000 total ($1,500 per year over four years), while the Clayton Scholarship is a one-time $1,000 award. The President’s Award scholarships are one-time $500 awards, given at the discretion of the PFWA scholarship committee. The committee, chaired by former PFWA president and Newsday columnist Bob Glauber, includes Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk, Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic, Mike Jones of The Athletic, Eric Williams of FOX Sports and retired Associated Press NFL reporter Barry Wilner.

Hill, daughter of longtime Cowboys beat writer Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, is a freshman at Rice University pursuing a career as a doctor. She was a member of the National Honor Society all four years at Trinity High School, achieving a grade-point average of 4.9735. An All-America gymnast, Hill has been named as both a National African-American Scholar by The College Board and a Superintendent Scholar in her school district. She was vice president and secretary of the Math Honor Society from 2021-23 and was a member of Future Medical Professionals.

Sando, son of The Athletic NFL columnist Mike Sando, was named the inaugural winner of the Clayton Award off his well-rounded performance at Cascade Christian School in Washington, where he was given the Principal’s Award as a senior and was captain of the school’s football, basketball and baseball teams. An accomplished saxophone player, Sando also won the John Philip Sousa Award, given to one member of the school’s band. Sando is a freshman at Pacific Lutheran University.

Gutierrez, son of ESPN Las Vegas Raiders reporter Paul Gutierrez, combined strong academic and extracurricular performance to win the President’s Award. An aspiring artist, Zachary has spent countless hours volunteering his time to organizations like The Life On Earth Art Foundation, the Petaluma (California) Arts Center and even the Chileno Valley Newt Brigade to help endangered newts cross a busy road to reach their nesting ground. He wrote a moving essay about overcoming a torn ACL as a sophomore football player at Petaluma High School and then returning for his final two seasons. Gutierrez is a freshman at UNLV.

Demovsky, son of ESPN Green Bay Packers reporter Rob Demovsky, was a member of the National Honor Society his junior and senior years, and was also a member of the Spanish Honor Society. Lauded by his teachers for not only being a great student, but a great leader, Demovsky has been a volunteer with his local Big Brothers program, one of many organizations he donates his time to. He was a member of the DePere High School’s Wisconsin state championship basketball team as a senior. Demovsky is a freshman at Lawrence University.

The PFWA’s scholarship program is in its’ 37th year of existence, and the organization has awarded $228,000 to 46 deserving recipients through the end of the 2023-24 academic year. Information on the application process is available in the member area of the PFWA website – ProFootballWriters.org.