BILLINGS — Less than three months after naming eight finalists for the Montana AAU Little Sullivan award, the Montana Amateur Athletic Union has announced that Mac Bignell and Taylor Mims are the 2018 winners of the award.
Bignell recently completed his football career at Montana State, becoming one of the Bobcats’ all-time fan favorites. The linebacker from 8-Man Drummond led the Bobcats with 93 total tackles last fall, 62 unassisted, including a season-high 14 against Northern Arizona. He added 2.5 sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss for coach Jeff Choate, and tied a program record with his eight career fumbles forced. Bignell ended his career with two straight wins over rival Montana, posting 10 tackles and a fumble recovery in the fourth quarter this season at Bobcat Stadium.
Bignell recently received a rookie camp invite from the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles.
Mims, a former Billings Senior volleyball standout, was named the 2014 Gatorade player of the year after leading the Broncs to their third consecutive State AA title. Mims committed to Washington State University and became a starter in her freshman season. She made the move from the middle to an outside hitter position this past season, shining for WSU. Mims tallied a team-high 525 kills this season, good for an average of 4.17 kills per set. She also had 274 digs, second-best on the team, and 95 blocks.
Mims was named to the U.S. Collegiate National Volleyball team in March, and will compete in Croatia in July.
Other finalists for the award included Olympic skiers Brad Wilson, Maggie Voisin and Darian Stevens. Fairfield’s Jill Barta, now a member of the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx, was the other female finalist.
Montana State thrower Kyle Douglass of Missoula and former Malta and MSU Billings basketball player Kendall Denham were the other male finalists.
Montana’s version of the award is fashioned after the national AAU Sullivan Award, created in honor of James E. Sullivan, the founder of the Amateur Athletic Union. Montana’s first award was given in the 1950s, and past winners include Patrick Casey, Mike Person, Rachel Semansky and Jordan Sullivan.