Schuylerville three-sport senior athlete named Heisman scholarship winner

Anika Buff

It’s a feat to balance academics and athletics as a three-sport athlete, but to do so as a varsity athlete since freshman year, is an achievement not many attain. Schuylerville High School student-athlete, Anika Buff earned a spot on the varsity teams of soccer, basketball, and lacrosse all four years of high school. Now as a senior, Buff has been named a 2023 School Winner for the Heisman High School Scholarship, an award that recognizes outstanding scholar-athletes who exhibit leadership qualities in their school and community.

“Starting so young on varsity definitely built me as a person,” said Buff. “All of the coaches and girls I played with made it a good environment. I learned how to be on a team, manage my time, and stay motivated.”

Buff, a three-sport athlete, played soccer, basketball, and lacrosse all four years of high school. She was chosen from an applicant pool of thousands of high school scholar-athletes graduating with the class of 2024. More than 4,800 students nationwide have been named School Winners in the Heisman High School Scholarship competition awarded by The Heisman Trophy Trust and Acceptance Insurance.

Eligibility for the Heisman Scholarship begins with maintaining a weighted GPA of 3.0 (B average) or better. Applicants also need to be proven leaders and role models within their school and community, and have participated in at least one sport in high school recognized by the International Olympic Committee in the Summer and Winter Olympic Games, the Paralympic Games or the National Federation of State High School Associations.

During her high school career, Buff was the captain of her soccer team senior year, and also served as treasurer for Varsity Club and treasurer for the Senior Class. She says she plans to continue to pursue her passion for athletics in college, hoping to play at the club or intramural level. Buff will be majoring in biology or biomedical sciences, with a pre-med track.

“Coach Mehan brought me up as an 8th grader,” recalls Buff. “He always said I was a staple of the team and had faith in me. He helped build my confidence up, which motivated me to continue to work hard. I’d like to thank my coaches, my family, and my teammates. Their support has helped me to keep working to get better and help the team as a whole.”

Her advice to younger athletes:

“Definitely put in all of the extra work you can, even if it’s just going to the gym to shoot around or to the weigh room to lift. If you build the mentality to want to work for things, it will help you in the long run to achieve your goals.”