Richard Hirth III’s presence on the football and baseball fields is equally as strong as the work he puts in the classroom.
In March, the Trivium Preparatory Academy senior was selected to the 2019 Valley of the Sun Chapter National Football Foundation Scholar Athlete Class. The chapter is a prestigious award that honors student athletes who exemplify academic excellence and outstanding play on the field.
Hirth, who goes by Max, carries a 4.0 grade point average. He played varsity football for the Crimson Knights each of the last three seasons. He’s also logged three seasons on the varsity baseball team, according to Maxpreps.com.
At 6-foot-1, Hirth was a Swiss Army Knife for the Crimson Knights football team this season. He bounced around several positions on both offense and defense, totaling 157 receiving yards, 40 tackles and four touchdowns.
“It’s really amazing,” Hirth said of the recognition. “It’s an honor I never would’ve seen coming. It’s a great end to my high school career.”
The award typically features the “top 33 scholar athletes” from roughly 186 high schools spanning the Northern and Central Arizona areas, according to the chapter’s website.
The foundation’s mission statement is to “promote amateur football and help develop the qualities of leaderships, sportsmanship, competitive zeal and the drive for academic excellence in Arizona’s young people.”
Trivium Preps’ head football coach, Michael Spencer, said Hirth is “easily one of the smartest kids I’ve ever coached” in his 19 years of coaching.
“Max set the standard as far as being a true team player. He’s such a smart young man that he was able to play multiple positions on the field, whether it was tight end, quarterback, defensive end, outside linebacker. He kind of did it all, which is why he was one of our team captains last year.”
Hirth is planning to attend the Air Force Academy in the fall. Courtesy of his nomination to the NFF Scholar Athlete Class, he will be granted a $1,000 scholarship.
“We are very proud of Richard,” said Heidi Vasiloff, Trivium Prep’s headmaster, in a press release. “It really is quite fulfilling to see one of our own excel and be recognized as an athlete and academic.”