For his honor

Family of Hayden Salapek starting a scholarship for football linemen who display ‘most heart’

Times Observer photo by Andy Close Warren Area High School lineman Collin Salapek kneels at the 50-yard line to honor his brother, the late Hayden Salapek, who died as the result of an ATV accident in September. Collin was also wearing the uniform number his brother wore when he played as a lineman for Warren. In his memory and name, the family of Hayden Salapek is raising funds for a scholarship program.

The family of a recent Warren Area High School graduate killed in an ATV crash is honoring his memory with a scholarship program.

The Hayden Salapek Football Lineman Scholarship will be awarded to the Warren Area High School football lineman who plans to move forward with post-secondary education, not necessarily playing football, and best embodies those traits Salapek took with him on to the field.

Hayden, a 2017 WAHS graduate, died in an ATV crash near his home in Indiana on Sept. 30, 2018.

The scholarship in his name will have a limited applicant pool. That is the way it is intended.

“Hayden loved football,” Stacy Salapek said. “We wanted to do something specific because Hayden was a lineman and it was something he really enjoyed.”

The plan is to create a $50,000 fund and offer a $2,000 scholarship each year. “We are probably a quarter of the way there,” she said. “Any little bit helps.”

As the fund grows, there could be more scholarship dollars.

The scholarship is a one-year award, but linemen who receive the award may apply again.

The fund has been set up with the Community Foundation of Warren County. Donations may be made at 310 Second Ave., Warren, with ‘attention Hayden Salapek Football Lineman Scholarship’ in the memo line.

Linemen who are interested in applying for or receiving more information about the scholarship may ask their line coach. The opportunity is open to both offensive and defensive linemen.

“We have a committee set up,” Salapek said. “They will pick the most deserving senior.”

‘Most deserving’ may not be the same as ‘most valuable’ or ‘best player.’

“A lot of that will have to do with them being a team player — who has the most heart, who puts forth the most for their team,” she said.

It is an important effort to the family “to keep my son’s memory alive,” Salapek said. “I don’t want people to forget him.”

“He truly loved life and he was always willing to help others,” she said. “This is a way for him to continue to do that even though he is not physically with us anymore.”


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