This scholarship fund has been made possible due to the loving and generous contributions from those who have honored Billy’s memory by contributing to the establishment of this fund. Gracious donations made by his cherished friends from Hopkins’ St. Joe’s Catholic School (grades 1- 8), Hopkins (Minnesota) Schools (grades 9 – 12), the University of Minnesota, his restaurant career, his extended family, and his life as a husband, father, and grandfather, have made this scholarship fund possible. The Light family thanks each person and family who has supported this fund; we are so honored to share Billy’s spirit for athletic competition and his passion for the the people he loved. A special thanks goes to the Hopkins Optimist Club for its generous donation that extends the life of the scholarship fund one extra year.
Billy Light graduated from Hopkins High School (Minnesota) in 1968. He played football and basketball for the then Hopkins Warriors. His passion for sports began as a young Hopkins boy when he lived for playing anything from stick ball in the streets, to unorganized pick-up games with his friends, to organized Mighty Mites, Babe Ruth, Little League and Connie Mack baseball teams. Vacant lots and Hopkins athletic fields were his homes away from home, and his coaches and teammates reigned supreme. Following his senior football season in 1967, he was highly recruited to play at the collegiate level. The decision of where to attend became very easy for Billy once he was offered a full scholarship to the University of Minnesota to play under Murray Warmath. This opportunity fulfilled a childhood dream. While at the University of Minnesota he set – and still holds – tackle records as middle linebacker, and he was voted by his teammates to be the individual team captain for his 1971 senior season – an honor that ran deep through his heart.
Billy’s sportsmanship and athletic accomplishments earned him inductions into the Hopkins High School and the University of Minnesota Athletic Halls of Fame. Beyond records set and honors received, Light’s lasting reputation is built on solid character, serious commitment, unwavering toughness and steady humility. His coaches, teammates, family and friends know him as an over-comer, fierce competitor, loyal friend, dedicated husband and father. It is in this respect of this life and legacy that this scholarship has been created.
Billy’s experiences at Hopkins High School and the University of Minnesota were life-changing. The intent of this scholarship is to encourage and support young men who have experienced some of Billy’s perseverance, drive, interests and passion. This scholarship is open to Hopkins High School male graduates who have exhibited a fierce commitment and love for athletics, who have participated in high school sports sophomore through seniors years, and who will be attending the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities campus. It is not expected that the applicants participate in any sport at the University. Up to $2,500.00 will be awarded annually.