Noah Stout breaks new ground with his academic and athletic success


Amiable chatter filled the room as the Class of 2019’s football players soaked up the last few bittersweet moments with their teammates. Quieting the chatter and capturing the attention of his audience, football coach Tim Rogers begins his short address. He puffs with pride as he reveals that a senior from the team did what no player from FHC has ever done before.

“[Coach Rogers] was like ‘Can Noah Stout please stand up,’” senior Noah Stout said. “I was kind of like, ‘Uh oh, what’s he going to say.’ And he goes, ‘This is the first time we’ve had someone do this, but Noah’s on the All-State Academic Dream Team.’”

A combination of shock, confusion, and glee flash across Noah’s face when he realizes the prestigious honors he just received moments before. To be breaking new ground as a member of this honorary Dream Team is an incredible accolade, one that Noah will take with him for forever.

“Just being involved in the community with me leaving my own mark on the school: that’s what I’m most proud of,” Noah said.

Out of nearly thousands of nominees across all divisions, 28 football players were chosen for the award, all of which have to function as key players on their team while also being studious scholars. As the top scholars in high school football programs across the state, they represent more than their schools, as the award mainly focuses on individual recognition.

While requirements for the awards were set low— having a minimum a 3.5 GPA and a 25 ACT and being a key player on the team— Noah exceeded well beyond the expectations.

“Although I wasn’t a starter, I think Coach Rogers saw a lot of effort and enthusiasm on the practice squads,” Noah said. “I was on the special teams like kick off and punt, so I was always doing my thing to contribute to the team, even though I wasn’t really the main guy.”

For Noah, school and sports have never truly been about the awards or recognition he earns but rather about the lessons he learns and the connections he makes. Regardless of any acknowledgment, Noah has always been one to put his best foot forward and do all of the hard work necessary for improvement.

“Noah is one of the hardest working, if not the hardest, working student-athletes on our team,” Rogers said. “Every year, he challenges himself to get better as a student and an athlete. Every year, he has succeeded.”

Across three different sports, Noah has excelled in leadership and in performance. However, beyond the laundry list of achievements, Noah has found that his greatest satisfaction comes not from the award itself but from the journey it takes to get there.

“The awards are cool and stuff, but that’s not really the motivator for me,” Noah said. “It’s just kind of like me wanting to push myself to my limits and see what I can achieve, as opposed to trying to rake in all this recognition. At the end of the day, it’s just a piece of paper with your name on it, but it’s still cool.”

As a naturally driven individual, doing sports has been like second nature for Noah, and while his motivation does not make the task ahead of him any easier, it has given Noah a certain momentum in achieving his goals.

“Definitely every day, when I go to practice, I try to get 1% better, faster, and smarter to become a better football player,” Noah said. “And it’s the same thing with school, I guess. [I am always] trying to stay focused in class and learn the stuff but still have fun with it.”

When it gets down to it, learning has been a longstanding passion of Noah’s, as his search for knowledge is a never-ending one.

“Noah takes pride in his learning and always seeking for more knowledge,” said Mary Beth Stout, Noah’s mom. “He will put forth extra effort to learn more on any topic or subject.”

In addition to taking pride in his individual work, he has also found fulfillment in forging strong connections with his teammate and overall uplifting the team’s atmosphere.

“Noah was always committed to his team,” Stout said. “He felt strongly about the brotherly bond that took place on and off the field.  He worked hard to better himself as a player – to be ‘stronger, faster, and smarter,’ [which is] a Coach Rogers quote.”

Stout’s words ring true to the fact that Noah’s dedication has paid off in his individual performance and for the team’s atmosphere, a fact that Rogers can attest to.

His achievements regarding his leadership and academic and athletic skills do not end with the All-State Academic Dream Team, however. He’s also been bestowed the honor of being an MHSAA Scholar-Athlete finalist, an extremely coveted accomplishment, as it spans across all sports. As a three-sport athlete, Noah’s drive and talent led him to apply and subsequently receive this prestigious award, and it is one that will continually stand out in his mind as a proud accomplishment.

“It got narrowed down to 120 people, and I’m in that group, so I’m an MHSAA Scholar-Athlete finalist,” Noah said. “Just to be a finalist is pretty special because out of that huge batch of people, you get selected.”

In addition to feeling a sense of pride for what he’s achieved, those around him also hold a similar perspective of pride in him.

“In the long run, this award will provide Noah the confidence and pride he may need to further his successes,” Stout said.

Although both awards summarize his high school accomplishments in sports and in academics, he will eventually take from them far more than certificates and plaques. At the end of the day, Noah’s awards will implement a drive in him to continue to achieve far into the future.

“What makes Noah special is that he is mature beyond his years,” Rogers said. “He understands at an early age that giving his best at everything he does is going to pay [off hugely] some day. I have no doubt [in] saying [that] Noah has a very bright future, and he will succeed at whatever endeavor he pursues in life.”