Sports have been on hiatus for some time, but to fill that void, the annual KPAX sports awards are back!
Big Sky, Hellgate, Sentinel, Loyola and Valley Christian each have a male and female athlete nominated for the KPAX scholar athlete award. The winners will earn $1,000 scholarships toward the colleges they attend. The winners will be announced on May 13.
We'll highlight the nominees, starting with Big Sky's Whitney Morrison and Everett Fred. Morrison stood out on the soccer pitch and as a track & field athlete while Fred also competed in track and played football and basketball for the Eagles. While both saw their spring sports seasons canceled in their senior year, both are on scholarship to compete in track & field at the University of Montana next year.
Check out the video above to see more about the two nominees from Big Sky.
Everett Fred's nomination essay titled, "How High School Athletics Affected My Life."
One minute. That’s all we had to make the comeback. The end zone loomed seventy yards away. Third down, thirteen yards to go for first down.
Drenched from the pouring rain, it was now or never. As we broke from the huddle, I jogged to the line of scrimmage and my foot sank into the mud as I readied for the snap.
After the quarterbacks cadence, and the ball was snapped, I took off on my route. When I turned to look at my QB, the ball was rifling towards me. I had a moment of doubt about the catch due to the rain, but I quickly shrugged it off and reached out to receive the ball. As I wrapped my hands around the ball I felt the defenders arms envelop my waist! I quickly planted my foot and spun out of his grip, sprinting down the field. Just five yards later, another defender came hurtling in to tackle me, but somehow slipped off my right leg and I continued down the field as fast as I could!
I crossed the fifty, the forty, the thirty, the twenty. As I approached the ten yard line I felt a defender's body hit my legs and I stumbled and slipped in the mud, almost going down just ten yards from the endzone. Yet by some miracle I stayed on my feet and scored the touchdown. I turned around and as I was surrounded by ecstatic teammates, I watched the score change. Big Sky was now in the lead.
Sports have affected my life in so many ways. Sports gave me the opportunity to experience some of the most exciting moments of my life as well some of the most heartbreaking. There are few moments in life that are as exhilarating as a narrow victory or more heartbreaking than a narrow loss.
Along with memorable moments, sports has taught me many life lessons such as hard work, dedication and mental fortitude. Not only have these lessons impacted my life throughout highschool, they will stick with me and benefit me in the future. Waking up early every morning for my last four summers of football lifting is the best example of dedication and hard work. As a team captain in both football and basketball, I had to set an example for my teammates on and off the field/court.
Off the field/court, I never missed a day of lifting and tried to be a voice of reason for my teammates. On the field/court, I tried to lead by example and make sure my teammates did not act uncharacteristically in the heat of the moment. My desire to be a good example for my teammates may be one of the biggest impacts sports had on my life as it made me always consider my actions and what the repercussions would be. I believe it helped me stay out of trouble and influenced me to become the best version of myself possible.