Hope College’s Boone Marois made the most of every step he took during his college experience, whether sprinting down the track, studying or assisting others.

The senior from Traverse City, Michigan (Traverse City Central HS) has been recognized for his individual successes and contributions to his surrounding community as the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association’s 13th recipient of the Albert L. Deal Male Scholar Athlete Award, MIAA Commissioner Penny Allen Cook said.

The award is named in honor of Albert L. Deal, who served as MIAA Commissioner from 1971-1991. It recognizes a senior man from an MIAA member college who has excelled in academics and athletics and displayed outstanding leadership qualities.

Marois (pronounced MA-ROY) is Hope’s second recipient of the Deal Award since the recognition debuted in the 2003-04 school year. He joins baseball player Cory Schmidt (2012-13) as Flying Dutchmen honorees.

Hope co-athletic director Tim Schoonveld said Marois is an outstanding young man who epitomizes what it means to be a student-athlete.

“We are proud of all of his accomplishments. He is a perfect representative of the Division III model of athletics,” Schoonveld said. “All of us at Hope are so happy for Boone and thankful for the impact he has had on Hope College.”

Marois graduated from Hope last month after majoring in biochemistry and molecular biology. After accepting a deferral from the University of Michigan, Marois plans to begin medical school there in August of 2017.

Hope track & field coach Kevin Cole said he cannot think a more deserving recipient than Marois.

“He’s been a leader since his freshman year. He’s a major reason our 4x100 relay was All-American,” Cole said. “When I am not at practice, or even if I am, he helps with all the sprinters. He got that relay team to work as a team and get those handoffs down. He’s very goal-oriented.”

Marois said he is humbled to be named the 2015-16 Albert L. Deal Award winner.

“It’s huge for me. It’s what you strive for as a student-athlete, not only being recognized for your athletic achievements and your leadership on the team, but also academics,” said Marois, a four-year member of the Flying Dutchmen track & field program. “If you do all the right things, things fall into place.”

Marois is poised to conclude his Hope career as a four-time MIAA Academic Honor Roll recipient. This spring, Marois claimed academic all-district honors from the College Sports Information Directors of America and received Hope College’s Otto van der Velde Award that is presented since 1932 to a senior man for outstanding contribution to the college in athletics, scholarship and participation in student activities.

Marois helped the Flying Dutchmen’s 4x100-meter relay earn All-America honors with an eighth-place finish at the NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Hope’s 4x100 relay set school and MIAA records this season.

Marois earned All-MIAA outdoor track & field honors for the second time in his career this spring after becoming MIAA champion in the 200 meters as well as the 4x100 relay he anchored. He was league champion in the 200 meters as a freshman as well.

Marois cherishes the opportunities and encouragement he received at Hope to set aside at times his athletic and academic pursuits. He volunteered at the Holland Free Health Clinic and worked at Hope to promote the national “It’s On Us” campaign to stop sexual assaults and interpersonal violence on college campuses.

“One of the reasons I chose Hope was they really emphasized academics over athletics. I knew from the start I wasn’t going to be a professional athlete. I still wanted the competitive and team aspects as part of my daily life,” Marois said. “Athletics keeps you focused. I found Hope to offer the perfect balance.

“Being involved with volunteer activities, especially with the Holland Free Health Clinic, gave me a sense of the Holland community, not just the Hope bubble. It gave me a sense of who I was working toward serving and representing. It impacted my journey toward medical school.”

Photography: Hope College