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Travis, Howard are Colescott Scholarship recipients

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LEGEND: Jack Colescott (purple shirt) speaks with a group of golfers between the ninth green and 10th tee box during the 29th annual Jack and Marge Colescott Athletic Scholarship golf scramble at Arbor Trace Golf Club on Thursday. Colescott made a point to personally thank and have a picture taken with each of the 52 teams that competed in the fundraiser for Indiana Wesleyan University.
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RECIPIENTS: Indiana Wesleyan sophomore swimmer Emma Travis (left) and junior runner Adrien Howard (right) stand with Jack Colescott after receiving a Colescott Scholarship during the Jack and Marge Colescott Athletic Scholarship golf scramble Thursday at Arbor Trace Golf Club.

BY SCOTT HUNT - shunt@chronicle-tribune.com

It’s quite impossible to quantify the amount of young lives Jack Colescott has impacted in his more than six decades as a teacher, a coach and an administrator, and it’s really never stopped.

Colescott graduated from Gas City High School in 1948 and had several coaching stops throughout Grant County during his career in coaching and education, but even now long retired, his impact is still being felt.

For the 29th year, the Jack and Marge Colescott Athletic Scholarship golf scramble was held Thursday at Arbor Trace and the nearly 50 teams that participated in the two-session event helped assure that Colescott will help impact lives into the future with scholarships for Grant County kids that compete athletically for Indiana Wesleyan University.

Adrien Howard, a 2016 Marion High School graduate, along with Emma Travis, a 2017 Oak Hill graduate, were the recipients of the 2018-19 Colescott Scholarship. Howard is a runner for both the IWU track and cross country teams, and Emma Travis for Oak Hill’s swim team and now does the same in the second year of women’s swimming at IWU.

“The university couldn’t have picked a better person, coach, athletic director and first and foremost a teacher and really one of the last of the true gentleman,” Marion mayor Jess Alumbaugh said of the union forged between Indiana Wesleyan and Colescott. “Just a class act all around. His wife Marge was just as vital to it. She was always in the background, but she was big part of him and who he became. She was almost a mentor to coach.

“They couldn’t have done a better job of picking the right person to the name of this tournament,” he added. “He stands for faith, integrity and just doing the right thing. That’s the way Coach Colescott is.” 

Colescott spent a good portion of his day riding around the course in a cart, having his picture taken with every team after thanking each individual for their time and generosity to help make the tournament and scholarship endowment at Indiana Wesleyan a lasting success.

And Colescott’s personality is certainly reflected in the mission of IWU and its athletes, creating a positive impact for others at the university and in the community.

“I’m a little bit overwhelmed. Actually, with the amount of support it’s been crazy,” said Travis, a global ministries major with a minor in community development. “It means a lot because I know that the the programs here are very intentional. They encourage us in such a way, when they put on events like this with the support of the community we truly feel the depth of the impact. This means everything to me. I truly love being a part of this community.”

Culture at Indiana Wesleyan was a big part of why Howard chose to transfer there last year after spending a year at Trine. Having grown up in Marion, he obviously knew about IWU, but the desire to experience life outside of his hometown led him to the school in Angola, Indiana. Competing against teams from IWU helped bring him back. 

“I found myself developing more athletically and scholarly, but not so much character-wise,” Howard said of his experience at Trine. “So I wanted to go somewhere that was Christ centered and I saw Indiana Wesleyan as a school that would be Christ centered.

“Then just from the inside out, watching them when we were both at the same meet, you could just tell the difference between their camaraderie as a team having Christ at the center,” he continued. “I wanted to be a part of that.”

And Howard, now a junior majoring in business, more than fit right in to the culture created at the institution.  

“I just love this kid,” said John Foss, coach of both the track and cross country programs at IWU. “The thing I like most about Adrien is he’s just hungry to learn. He wants to be the best runner he can be and be the best man that he can be, and just seeing his progress has been pretty dramatic the last year or year-a-and half.

“I would say he has enhanced the culture, as they all do. They all bring their own personalities in,” Foss added. “And the culture is simply a group of guys that don’t want to be self absorbed, they want to be team oriented. But greater than that. they want to be others centered so we do a program call Generosity in Action and (Howard has) been a huge part of it....it’s hard to explain but he’s just added another entire dimension to that that’s made us better.”

Howard was certainly appreciative of the opportunity to be at Indiana Wesleyan under Foss’ guidance and be a Colescott Scholarship recipient.   

“It means a lot just because of how a scholarship can help you so much in paying for school and at the same time though, it means a lot seeing the names of people that have come and gone before because there’s some people I look up to like Josh Neideck and Neno Bellinoti,” he said.

“(Foss) told us earlier this summer that in order for God to be in the equation, your mission has to be impossible,” Howard added. “That leads me to stretch forward and go for things that seem outside of my realm of possibility right now, because it’s going to mean that much more when I finally get to it, knowing that God helped to get me there.”

For many years the annual event was known as the Jack Colescott Scholarship, and Jack said Marge Colescott’s name was added to the title nine years ago after her passing. Jack Colescott spent some time Thursday reminiscing past events and his loving wife and said the name change was certainly appropriate.  

“I thought it should be named after Jack and Marge, not just me,” Jack said as he waited in Arbor Trace’s clubhouse. “She was at every golf tournament. She was a great coach’s wife and I thought she should get a little bit of notoriety.

“The first time I saw that big banner (with Jack and Marge Colescott displayed by the 10th tee) ... I couldn’t believe it,” he added. “And ever since then I felt like that’s the way it should be. It’s been a little bit more enjoyable because of that.”