The 2008 Bob Johnson Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Meadville Area High School Senior Morgan Nickerson during the first period of the Penguins' game on Jan. 3.
The 19-year-old high school hockey star will use the $2,500 scholarship to help with his education at Colgate University, where he is majoring in Cellular Neurosurgery. The scholarship is co-sponsored by the Pittsburgh Penguins Booster Club.
“Everyone knows about 'Badger' Bob Johnson and all the great things he did for Pittsburgh. So to get a scholarship from him is a great honor,” Nickerson said.
The scholarship has been awarded annually to a Western Pennsylvania high school senior who displays leadership, sportsmanship and a positive attitude on their high school hockey team, as well as demonstrating academic excellence and community service.
Nickrson’s older brother, Christian, won the scholarship four years ago. He graduated from Penn State and is now attending law school at Pepperdine University.
Like the Staal family, the Nickersons' have four boys who all play hockey. Morgan is the second out of four and has been skating since the age of 2, and began playing hockey at 4. As a kid, he looked up to Penguins' forward Kevin Stevens, who had 555 points in 10 seasons with the Penguins.
“Growing up, I was always a big Kevin Stevens fan because we both play left wing," Nickerson said. "He was always a guy I looked up to.”
Nickerson served as captain of his Meadville high school team and broke previous school scoring records with 72 goals this season. He was named to the PHIL All Star team three times and was named to the Top 25 Players in Pennsylvania Hockey. Nickerson will continue his hockey career at D-1 Colgate.