Justin: What student athlete doesn’t want to have his or her playmaking skills recognized with a good cheer from the crowd? Well, what if this crowd was full of the country’s top young athletes and you were among the two named gatorade’s athlete of the year? Check this out.
For most student athletes, the opportunity to be recognized for all of your hard work probably comes in the form of cheering fans or state championships. But tells us why for two high school athletes, the reward is much more?
Imagine having your name join the ranks of all-stars like Candace Parker, Olympic Gold Medalist Allyson Felix and, this guy, Lebron James. Well, that is just what happened to two high school athletes, who like those all-stars, were named Gatorade’s High School Athlete of the Year.
Announcer: And the winner of the 2011 Gatorade Male High School Athlete of the Year goes to… Dylan Bundy. The 2011 Gatorade Female High School Athlete of the Year award goes to…Morgan Brian.
Justin: Dylan is the star pitcher for Owasso High School in Owasso, Oklahoma. And Morgan dominates the soccer field at Fredica Academy in St. Simons, Georgia.
“I was very surprised. I was not expecting it.”
“It means a lot because it’s not just athletic abilities, it’s academics and your character. So, it means a lot to me.”
Justin: Because the title, Athlete of the Year, isn’t just about rocking it on the field.
“It’s not just about sports. What are you doing in the classroom? What do you for your community? Because at the end of the day, that’s what makes you great.”
Justin: And being a great student and athlete isn’t easy.
“You give up a lot of things that normal kids do, like prom, homecoming, anything like that. A lot of times, I say they’re sacrifices, but in the end I’d pick soccer over anything.”
Justin: Morgan averaged almost four points per game last season. She also led her high school team to a fourth state championship and was captain of the U.S. Under Twenty National Soccer Team in 2011. But that is not all. She was class president, graduated with a 3.84 GPA and helped create a charity foundation that helps youth in Haiti through soccer.
And Dylan has his own impressive list of accomplishments. He is a pitching phenomenon. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound high school grad throws a mean, 100 mph fast ball. And at just eighteen, he is already pitched eight complete game shutouts.
In addition to dominating on the mound, Dylan also excels in the classroom. And, after the devastating, F5 tornado that ripped through Joplin, Missouri back in May, Dylan made it his mission to help. So, he led a relief effort with other athletes from his high school to help victims in Joplin.
But with games, practices, homework and charity work, how does one person manage so many activities?
“Really just take it one step at a time. Time management. Use your time wisely is what I tell people.”
Justin: One of the presenters at the 2011 Gatorade Athlete of the Year Awards was NFL quarterback Matt Stafford. In 2006, Stafford was named Gatorade Texas Football Player of the Year. So, he knows just how special the award is.
Matt Stafford: These kids were pretty unbelievable athletes, and not only that, obviously, they were great students and great in their community too. Which is, you know, what makes this award to special. It’s a total-person award.
Justin: But whether it is sports or academics, volunteer work or just a hobby, Stafford says it is all about setting goals.
Stafford: Set your goals high, you know, strive for them. You know, good things can happen. If you’re motivated and you’re doing what you love, then anything can happen.