Charlie Thackeray scholarship

Charlie Thackeray, a graduating senior at Upper Arlington High School, has dedicated his high school career to serving his community.  

Also, as a co-captain of the varsity Golden Bears ice hockey team and a Columbus native, he has grown up alongside the Blue Jackets.  

But the recipient of this year's CBJ High School Hockey scholarship has a background in the sport that goes beyond simply attending Blue Jackets games as a kid.

“My connections to hockey in Columbus extend much further than the Blue Jackets,” he said. “I started playing because my grandpa Bill Koniewich, who we lovingly refer to as Papa K, played at Bowling Green. And then, after his years at Bowling Green, he came back to Columbus and then my uncle played for Upper Arlington. After hearing stories and whatnot about those two playing, I decided, hey, you know, I'm just going to play because we have the Blue Jackets here. 

“I remember I was going to games as kids and always remember having so much fun, just getting the chance to go to games, and I thought I might want to give hockey a shot. But having the Blue Jackets here locally had been a big influence on why I decided to play.” 

Thackeray was actually at a CBJ game early in the season with Upper Arlington co-captain William Schauss for the Jackets' annual High School Hockey Night when he heard about scholarships awarded by the CBJ Foundation.

“They announced that there would be a scholarship for seniors, and I was like, ‘Oh, I might be a great candidate for that,’ ” Thackeray said. “I started to create a résumé and look at some of the questions, and I'm like, 'This could very well be me who could win it this year. I might as well give it a shot,’ and it paid off.

“I'm very glad I applied for it.” 

The High School Hockey Scholarship is awarded each season to a graduating senior who played high school hockey, excelled in academics and was a vital member of their community. The $10,000 scholarship is given by the CBJ Foundation to one student who plans to continue their education after graduation and excelled off the ice as much as or more than on it.

Thackeray has been very involved in his community and school while also being a multisport student athlete. He said his countless clubs and teams – including varsity lacrosse and water polo, The Bear Den student section, Letters for Rose Club, UA Athlete Mental Health Club and Business Club – he participated in at UA and his volunteer opportunities were done in hopes to better his community.

He said his community has given him everything, so he always hoped to return that. It seems like he has done just that. 

“I was admitted into the National Honor Society, and that was something I was really proud of,” he said. “I have made honor roll every quarter of my high school career, which I'm also very proud of. This year, I won my Service Hours & President Volunteer Award, which is for completing over 100 hours of service from March 2023 to March 2024. And then being first-team all-academic for the high school hockey team has always been something important to me.”

Many of his volunteer hours were spent teaching hockey to others, and he also maintained a part-time job during high school. 

Thackeray got the email saying he was chosen for the scholarship right after taking a math test. He said he went up to his teacher and asked if he could go call his parents in the hallway. When he got back into the room, his table mates asked what was going on, despite his best efforts to hold his excitement in. But once he told them, they were all so happy for him.  

Thackeray was excited to be invited to the Jackets game March 30 vs Pittsburgh, where he was recognized during intermission and had the opportunity to watch the game from a suite.

“This is all a really cool experience for me,” he said. “The recognition in itself is just out of this world cool. Being a hockey player and having the team I grew up watching, having the organization recognize me for some of the work I've done in my community, what I've done in school and on the ice, it is honestly amazing.” 

Thackeray is interested in both fitness and business, becoming interested in health and wellness when he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2020. He also hopes to start his own company in the future with his business degree.

Interested in learning more about 2024-25 Ticket Plans? Please fill out the form below and a Blue Jackets representative will reach out with more information!