Malia Cali earns prestigious High School Heisman in 2009.
Cali selected one of only a handful of Wendy’s High School Heisman Winners.
The Wendy's High School Heisman Memorial Trophy Award (also known as the Wendy's High
School Heisman), named after former college football player and coach John Heisman, is a prestigious award in
American high-school athletics. It is sponsored by Wendy's Restaurants. The current spokesman is Archie Griffin,
the only two-time Heisman Trophy recipient and current President/CEO of the Ohio State University Alumni Association.
In 1994, the Wendy's High School Heisman (WHSH) was created to honor high school
student-athletes. Each fall, the program recognizes the nation's most esteemed high-school-senior men and women
for excellence in academics, athletics, and community involvement.
Each school can nominate one male and one female student-athlete per year. To date,
there have been more than 136,000 nominees. The field of nominees is narrowed to 1,020 State Finalists, 10 male
and 10 female per state (plus the District of Columbia), who are announced in late October. In early November,
the field is narrowed to 102 State Winners, one male and one female from each state.
In 2009 Saint Thomas senior Malia Cali won the prestigious award being one of only 19
women’s winners to date. The 2013 women and men winners will represent the twentieth recipients since the award’s conception making this a truly rare achievement.
Malia Cali was a three-year All State selection in track and field, cross-country and
soccer, and commanded the number one academic ranking in her senior class. Cali won four straight Class 2A
cross country titles. She was also an all-state selection in soccer.
In addition to lettering as a three-sport
varsity athlete, Malia was active in the St. Thomas Aquinas Academic Honor Society, a member of the Fellowship
of Christian Athletes and for two consecutive years, and received the Joe Distefano Academic Scholarship.
Cali founded Cleats for Kids, a non-profit organization, that delivers athletic cleats to children in foreign countries. She also
participated in Habitat for Humanity and Relay for Life.