Trey LaNasa, FWBHS, Named National Wendy’s High School Heisman Award Finalists

This is Heisman Trophy week and Okaloosa County Schools has their own National finalist!

Trey LaNasa, a Fort Walton Beach High School Senior, found out in early November in a surprise ceremony he had been named one of the twelve National Wendy’s High School Heisman Award Finalists.  Trey travels to New York City this weekend to participate in the Heisman awards ceremony where the two winners will be announced.

The Wendy's High School Heisman program, created in 1994, recognizes high school seniors who excel in academics, athletics and in their communities.  To achieve award eligibility for the Wendy’s High School Heisman Program, students must be seniors and applicants must:

  - Have a cumulative high school grade point average (GPA) of a B (3.0) or better;
  - Participate in at least one of 27 eligible school-sponsored sports; and
  - Be a leader in school and in the community and serve as a role model for underclassman.

This year, thousands of students applied for the Wendy’s High School Heisman Award.  The field was narrowed to more than 900 State Finalists and then, to 102 State Winners—that’s one male and one female from each state and the District of Columbia.  To stand out from this competitive pool of applicants is a great achievement on its own, and Trey not only met the award criteria and was selected the State Winner - he was selected to move onto the next phase of the program as a National finalist as well.

The National finalists are special, not only because of their own achievements, but because they inspire their peers to achieve greatness.  These students embody the Heisman ideals of excellence and truly deserve this honor.

This week Trey, along with the other eleven National Finalists, will fly to New York City to experience what will become one of the most memorable weekends of his life.  Not only will these twelve finalists get to experience the excitement of NYC through events and activities planned throughout the weekend, they will be also be recognized during the Heisman awards ceremony to honor their outstanding achievements.

The finalists will experience the stage where great collegiate Heisman winners like Archie Griffin, Bo Jackson, Barry Sanders and Tim Tebow have stood before.  They will join the Heisman family, made up of individuals who continue to achieve greatness and inspire those around them, and become a part of the legacy of the Wendy’s High School Heisman Program.  More than anything, this year’s twelve finalists will meet each other for the first time and have the chance to create friendships with others who share their passions and ambitions and meet a network of individuals who will serve as mentors for the rest of their lives.

The finalists will also be presented with a gold medal, $100 Wendy’s gift card and a $2,000 donation to their high school.

The National Finalists will attend the Wendy’s High School Heisman Award Banquet to be held December 12, 2014 in which the two National Winners (one male and one female) will be announced nationally during a pre-recorded broadcast on ESPN2.  The broadcast will air on ESPN2 on December 14 at 5:00 p.m. EST.

In preparation for the ESPN special, a three person ESPN video crew plus a professional photographer spent two days on Fort Walton Beach High School’s campus to capture the Trey’s story for the Wendy's High School Heisman ceremony and ESPN television special.  The crew followed Trey around and conducted interviews and captured footage to illustrate his accomplishments in academics, athletics and community service.

Stay tuned for the announcement of the two National Winners on Friday, December 12th and be sure to tune into the national broadcast of the Wendy’s High School Heisman ceremony on ESPN2, December 14th at 5 p.m. EST.

Congratulations Trey and good luck!

For more information on the Wendy’s HS Heisman program and to see more about Trey and the other eleven National Finalists visit:

To see a gallery of photos from announcement ceremony and ESPN filming, visit the OCSD Facebook page.

Photographs in this article are courtesy of photographer, Matthew Coughlin.


Trey’s Profile on the Wendy’s High School Heisman Website:

Making His Move.

The choice to run made all the difference for this athlete. Now he's making a difference for others.

In eighth grade, Trey LaNasa couldn't finish a one-mile jog. As a Hurricane Katrina evacuee, he was dealing with some disarray in his family life, and developed an unhealthy lifestyle. Overweight and pre-diabetic, he decided it was time to make a change. With encouragement from his older brother and his Scoutmaster, Trey was inspired to beginning running and he's never looked back.

Today, Trey is the captain of his cross country and track teams, he holds multiple school records and he's being recruited by several NCAA Division 1 schools. His transformation from sedentary to fleet of foot has inspired him to promote personal fitness to his peers and his community. Trey volunteers his time to support middle school running programs, as well as community runs to help instill healthy habits in young teens. As a long time Scout, Trey chose to build a new long jump pit for an area middle school as his Eagle Scout service project. Although the scouting community initially questioned the community impact of this project, Trey stayed committed to his vision, reiterating the many personal and community benefits of good health. Ultimately, he recruited and led more than 35 volunteers to move eight tons of sand and dirt, making his initiative one of the largest scouting projects in the area.

Trey believes that finding athletics has been the best blessing of his young life. He is passionately dedicated to sharing his own health story with others as a means of inspiring them to get moving and take a stand against obesity. The opportunity to promote healthy choices is what keeps Trey leading his team and his community toward success…one step at a time.

Trey’s Resume:

Cross Country
Track & Field

Academic Honors
National Honor Society
AP Scholar with Distinction
Scholar Athlete Award
Current Event State Champion Team, Ranked #7 Nationally

Athletic Accomplishments
Cross Country
3 years Captain
4 years Varsity Letter Winner
4 years All-Conference
4 years All-District
Team Academic State Champions 2012
Okaloosa County Champions 2012 & 2013
Panhandle Top Ten Finisher

Track & Field
2 years Captain
3 years Varsity Letter Winner
2 years MVP
3 years All-Conference
3 years All-District
All-State as a Junior
High School 3200m Record (9:31)
High School Distance Medley Relay Record; 1600m leg (10:55)
1600m National Silver-Elite Time (4:21)
3200m National Silver-Elite Time (9:31)
5000m National Silver-Elite Time (15:52)
Okaloosa County 1600m Champion 2012

Varsity Letter Winner as a Freshman
Most Improved as a Freshman
Youth Group School Record

School/Community Involvement
Student Council (President)
Mu Alpha Theta
Academic Team
Interact Club
Catholic Youth Group: RCIA Sponsor (President)
Boy Scouts of America (Eagle Scout)
Middle School and Community Running Program Volunteer