Senior Football Players to Receive Scholar-Athlete and Community Service Awards

Posted September 25, 2018 / Last updated September 28, 2018

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Neehar Desai, Wide Receiver, Class of 2019


A traditional feature of this Great American Rivalry is the recognition of the senior letterman on each team for his academic achievement. Jesuit’s 2018 Scholar-Athlete is Neehar Desai with a 4.43 GPA. 

As a two-year letterman, Neehar has contributed to the Blue Jays’ offense as a wide receiver. He is an involved student serving as Jesuit’s student body treasurer and is a member of the National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, and the Big Brother program. This summer Neehar put in more than one hundred hours of service, providing vision assistance to the poor in India. Also, he participated in the National Institute of Health summer internship program working with scientists on cancer research. Neehar hopes to attend Harvard or Stanford and eventually pursue a medical career.

He is the son of Nipa Shah and Nipun Desai. Neehar and Holy Cross’s Scholar Athlete, Elias Brown, will receive a $500 scholarship from The Great American Rivalry Series and Home Bank.

The Scholar-Athlete awards will be presented moments before the 7 p.m. kickoff.


Payton Hedrick, Running Back, Class of 2019

Community Service Award

The second student award is the Royal Honda Community Service Award, presented to a senior football player from each team for his exemplary service to his community. Running back Payton Hedrick is Jesuit’s 2018 recipient.

For his 100-hour service project, this past summer Payton worked with youngsters with intellectual and developmental disabilities  at St. Michael Special School’s summer camp. In addition, throughout his Jesuit career, Payton has volunteered one day per week at the New Orleans Mission, assisting with the Mission’s in-house dinner program and distributing food, water, and blankets to the homeless men and women living on the streets nearby. Payton is a two-year member of Jesuit’s Sodality and the Big Brother program. He plans on attending LSU to study engineering.

Payton is the son of Tisha Morris and Reid Hedrick. Payton and Holy Cross’s award recipient, Trevor Terminie, will receive a $500 scholarship from Royal Honda.

The Community Service awards will be presented immediately after the first quarter and before the start of the second quarter.