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2001 Athlete of the Year
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Boy's Baseball -- Joe Mauer
Cretin-Derham Hall High School - St. Paul, Minnesota

"Athletes like Joe Mauer are among the success stories produced in high school athletics today," NHSCA executive director Bob Ferraro said. "He has worked extremely hard to develop his skills and has become one of the best baseball players not only in the state of Minnesota, but the entire nation, and we are proud to be honoring him."After quarterbacking Cretin-Derham Hall's football team to the Class 5A state title for the second time last fall, Mauer was selected as the Gatorade High School Football Player of the Year, and earned a scholarship to Florida State University. However, he is expected to be one of the first 10 picks in the first round of the upcoming Major League Baseball amateur draft. A catcher, the 6-foot-4, 220-pound Mauer hit home runs in seven consecutive games this spring. Through his team's first 19 games, Mauer was hitting .576 with 13 home runs, 35 runs batted in, and 33 runs scored after hitting .565 last season and .550 last summer for Team USA in the World Junior Championships. Mauer's games routinely attract 30 or more major league scouts.  As a quarterback, Mauer passed for 5,528 yards and 73 touchdowns, and posted a 25-2 record as a starter.  

Boys Basketball -- Kelvin Torbert
Northwestern High School - Flint, Michigan
"Athletes like Kelvin Torbert are among the success stories produced in high school athletics today," NHSCA executive director Bob Ferraro said. "He has worked extremely hard to develop his skills and has become one of the best basketball players not only in the state of Michigan, but the entire nation, and we are proud to be honoring him." The 6-foot-4, 215-pound Torbert, who will attend Michigan State University, ended his career as Northwestern High's all-time leading scorer with 1,978 points. As a senior, he averaged 26 points, 8.2 rebounds, 3.8 blocked shots, 3.5 assists, and 2.5 steals per game, shooting 52 per cent from the floor. He was selected as the Gatorade High School Player of the Year and was a USA Today First Team selection.  

Boys Cross Country -- Dathan Ritzenheim
Rockford High School, Rockford, Michigan
"Athletes like Dathan Ritzenheim are among the success stories produced in high school athletics today," NHSCA executive director Bob Ferraro said. "He has worked extremely hard to develop his skills and has become one of the best runners not only in the state of Michigan, but the entire nation, and we are proud to be honoring him." A two-time Class A state champion, Ritzenheim, who will attend the University of Colorado, has not lost a race in the United States in his age group the past two years. He is a two-time champion in the Foot Locker National Cross Country Championships. In the prestigious Penn Relays this spring, Ritzenheim finished second in the Olympic Development 5-kilometer race when he ran a time of 13:51.69, the second-fastest time ever by a high school athlete. The only prep athlete to better that time, Gerry Lindgren, ran the event in 13:44 in 1964. Ritzenheim won a bronze medal in the World Junior Championships in Belgium this spring.  

Boy's Football -- Tyler Ebell
Ventura High School - Ventura, California 
"Athletes like Tyler Ebell are among the success stories produced in high school athletics today," NHSCA executive director Bob Ferraro said. "He has worked extremely hard to develop his skills and has become one of the best football players not only in the state of California, but the entire nation, and we are proud to be honoring him." The 5-foot-9, 175-pound Ebell, who will attend UCLA, set a national single-season rushing record last fall, piling up 4,502 yards in 14 games, an average of 321 yards per contest, and his 64 touchdowns are second on the all-time single season list. Ebell rushed for more than 300 yards 10 times this year, and rushed for 284 yards to help his team beat Arroyo Grande High in the Division IV Southern Section championship game. In his career, Ebell rushed for 7,526 yards, a state record. A finalist for the Wendy's High School Heisman Award, Ebell was selected to play in the inaugural National High School Football All-Star Game in December. He also was selected National Player of the Year by SchoolSports.com.  

Boy's Golf -- John Bradley Holmes
Taylor County High School - Campbellsville, Kentucky
"Athletes like John Holmes are among the success stories produced in high school athletics today," NHSCA executive director Bob Ferraro said. "He has worked extremely hard to develop his skills and has become one of the best golfers not only in the state of Kentucky, but the entire nation, and we are proud to be honoring him." Holmes, who will attend the University of Kentucky, has finished in the Top 10 in the state tournament the past three years, winning the state title as a sophomore in 1998. He finished ninth in the state in 1999 and sixth this past year. Recently, Holmes advanced to the sectional round of qualifying for this year's U.S. Open Championship. Holmes also has won the individual title in the NHSCA National Sports Festival the past two years, in 1999 at Jekyll Island, Ga. and in 2000 at Orlando, Fla. He also finished 18th in the inaugural National Sports Festival in 1998, making him the only male golfer to earn All-America honors all three years the event has been held.  

Boy's Soccer --  Ned Grabavoy
Lincoln-Way High School - New Lenox, Illinois
"Athletes like Ned Grabavoy are among the success stories produced in high school athletics today," NHSCA executive director Bob Ferraro said. "He has worked extremely hard to develop his skills and has become one of the best soccer players not only in the state of Illinois, but the entire nation, and we are proud to be honoring him." Grabavoy, who will attend Indiana University, grabbed national attention as a junior by scoring 42 goals, leading Lincoln-Way High to the first of back-to-back appearances in the Class AA state championship game. As a senior, Grabavoy added 43 more goals to lead nationally-ranked Lincoln-Way to a record of 52-4-3 over two years. A two-time high school All-American and captain of the U.S. Under-18 National Team, Grabavoy was selected National Player of the Year by SchoolSports.com.  

Boy's Swimming -- Matt McDonald
Hamilton Southeastern High School - Fishers, Indiana
"Athletes like Matt McDonald are among the success stories produced in high school athletics today," NHSCA executive director Bob Ferraro said. "He has worked extremely hard to develop his skills and has become one of the best swimmers not only in the state of Indiana, but the entire nation, and we are proud to be honoring him." McDonald is a three-time state champion in the 100-yard butterfly, setting a state record in the event as a senior. He also won the title in the 100-yard backstroke as a senior, and was the recipient of the Indiana High School Athletic Association's Mental Attitude Award. Also an outstanding student, McDonald stands No. 4 in his class academically and will attend Stanford University.  McDonald also holds the national boys 15-16 record in the 100 butterfly, and was a semifinalist in the 2000 U.S. Olympic Trials in the event, finishing 13th.  

Boy's Tennis -- Brandon Gill
Park Tudor School - Indianapolis, Indiana
"Athletes like Brandon Gill are among the success stories produced in high school athletics today," NHSCA executive director Bob Ferraro said. "He has worked extremely hard to develop his skills and has become one of the best tennis players not only in the state of Indiana, but the entire nation, and we are proud to be honoring him." Since the adoption of the current state tournament format in 1980, Gill is the first player, male or female, to win an individual state title both in doubles and in singles during his career. Gill won the state singles championship last fall, finishing the season with a 16-1 record. He was part of the state championship doubles team as a sophomore in 1998.  

Boy's Track and Field -- Alan Webb
South Lakes High School - Reston, Virginia 
"Athletes like Alan Webb are among the success stories produced in high school athletics today," NHSCA executive director Bob Ferraro said. "He has worked extremely hard to develop his skills and has become one of the best track athletes not only in the state of Virginia, but the entire nation, and we are proud to be honoring him." In January, Webb, who will attend the University of Michigan, became just the fourth runner in American high school history to run a sub-four-minute mile, in 3:59.86 at the New Balance Games in New York. It was the U.S. indoor boys record. Webb became the first American high school runner to do so since Marty Liquori in 1967. He also set the Virginia Class AAA indoor record for the 1,000-meter run.  At the Penn Relays this spring, Webb anchored South Lakes High's 4X800 meter relay team and distance medley relay teams to victory. Running the anchor leg of the 4X800, Webb's time of 1:49.1 was the fastest in the meet's 107-year history. The medley relay team's time of 9:58.66 also was a meet record and the sixth-fastest time ever recorded by an American high school team.  

Wrestling -- Steve Mocco
Blair Academy - Blairstown, New Jersey
"Athletes like Steven Mocco are among the success stories produced in high school athletics today," NHSCA executive director Bob Ferraro said. "He has worked extremely hard to develop his skills and has become one of the best wrestlers not only in the state of New Jersey, but the entire nation, and we are proud to be honoring him." Mocco won his fourth National Prep Championships title this year, making him the first wrestler in American high school history to win four state-level titles in the heavyweight division. He has won the Junior National Freestyle Championships the past two years without surrendering a single point.  Mocco, who will attend the University of Iowa, also won the heavyweight championship in the NHSCA National High School Seniors Wrestling Championships last month at Newark, Del. He also became the first wrestler in the event's 12-year history to win both individual awards, for the most falls in the least aggregate time and the Outstanding Wrestler award.  

Girl's Basketball -- Shyra Ely
Ben Davis High School - Indianapolis, Indiana
"Athletes like Shyra Ely are among the success stories produced in high school athletics today," NHSCA executive director Bob Ferraro said. "She has worked extremely hard to develop her skills and has become one of the best basketball players not only in the state of Indiana, but the entire nation, and we are proud to be honoring her."  The 6-foot-2 Ely, who will attend the University of Tennessee, was one of the nation's most decorated players after scoring 2,004 points and pulling down 1,128 rebounds in her career, averaging 16.9 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. She was named Indiana's Miss Basketball and was the winner of the girls Naismith Award, was selected as the Gatorade High School Player of the Year, and was named Player of the Year by USA Today.  

Girls Cross Country -- Sara Bei
Montgomery High School - Santa Rosa, California
"Athletes like Sara Bei are among the success stories produced in high school athletics today," NHSCA executive director Bob Ferraro said. "She has worked extremely hard to develop her skills and has become one of the best runners not only in the state of California, but the entire nation, and we are proud to be honoring her." Bei is the first athlete, male or female, to win four state cross country championships in California history, leading Montgomery High to the state team title last fall. She also won titles in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter run in the state track and field championships last spring, and was the recipient of the event's Sportsmanship Award. At the national level, she is a two-time national champion at 3,200 meters, and won the Foot Locker National Cross Country Championships last winter. Also an outstanding student, Bei holds a 4.52 grade-point average, scored 1310 on the SAT, and will attend Stanford University. She was the recipient of the North Coast Section Scholar Athlete Award, and the California Interscholastic Federation selected Bei as its Female Scholar Athlete of the Year for 2001.  

Girl's Field Hockey -- Carey Fetting-Smith
Bryn Mawr School for Girls - Baltimore, Maryland
"Athletes like Carey Fetting-Smith are among the success stories produced in high school athletics today," NHSCA executive director Bob Ferraro said. "She has worked extremely hard to develop her skills and has become one of the best field hockey players not only in the state of Maryland, but the entire nation, and we are proud to be honoring her." A two-time high school All-American, Fetting-Smith scored 11 goals and added 15 assists last fall to lead Bryn Mawr to a 20-0-2 record and a fourth consecutive independent school state title. She was the captain of the 1999 U.S. Under-16 National Team and was a member of the 2000 U.S. Under-20 and Under-19 National Teams. She also was selected National Player of the Year by SchoolSports.com.  

Girl's Golf -- Sarah Sparks
East Noble High School - Kendallville, Indiana
"Athletes like Sarah Sparks are among the success stories produced in high school athletics today," NHSCA executive director Bob Ferraro said. "She has worked extremely hard to develop her skills and has become one of the best golfers not only in the state of Indiana, but the entire nation, and we are proud to be honoring her." Sparks starred in two sports at East Noble High. In addition to her golf achievements, she was a three-year starter on the basketball team and captain as a senior, leading her team in field-goal percentage and earning second-team All-Conference honors. A two-time individual golf state qualifier, Sparks finished ninth in the state tournament last fall and was named the winner of the Indiana High School Athletic Association's Mental Attitude Award. Also an outstanding student, Sparks will graduate No. 1 in a class of 292 students, and will attend Xavier University. She earned a grade-point average of 11.2 (on a scale of 11.0) and scored 1410 on the SAT.  

Girl's Soccer -- Mary McDowell
Wheat Ridge High School - Wheat Ridge, Colorado
"Athletes like Mary McDowell are among the success stories produced in high school athletics today," NHSCA executive director Bob Ferraro said. "She has worked extremely hard to develop her skills and has become one of the best soccer players not only in the state of Colorado, but the entire nation, and we are proud to be honoring her." McDowell was named the Gatorade National Player of the Year after scoring 21 goals and adding 12 assists this season as a center midfielder. A versatile athlete, McDowell competes for Wheat Ridge High in four sports: soccer, basketball, cross country, and track. Also an outstanding student, McDowell stands No. 1 in her class and holds a 4.0 grade-point average.  

Girl's Softball -- Catherine "Cat" Osterman
Cypress Springs High School - Cypress, Texas
"Athletes like Catherine Osterman are among the success stories produced in high school athletics today," NHSCA executive director Bob Ferraro said. "She has worked extremely hard to develop her skills and has become one of the best softball players not only in the state of Texas, but the entire nation, and we are proud to be honoring her." Osterman, who will attend the University of Texas, was named the Gatorade National Player of the Year after striking out 812 batters her junior and senior years. As a senior, she posted a 19-3 record, struck out 435, and did not allow an earned run all season. She threw eight no-hitters in the first month of the season alone and led Cypress Springs High to the Class 5A region semifinals. She batted .343 and excelled in the classroom as well, earning a 6.071 grade-point average (on a 6.0 scale). Osterman also struck out all 21 batters she faced in a seven-inning perfect game as a junior. Osterman was voted to the American Softball Association All-America Third Team in 1999 and the First Team in 2000. Last summer, she helped lead the Katy Cruisers club team to the Under-18 ASA Gold national championship, striking out 106 batters in 53 tournament innings. She also struck out 11 batters in five innings for the Cruisers in an exhibition game against the Olympic gold medal-winning USA Softball Team.  

Girl's Swimming -- Kaitlin Sandeno
El Toro High School - Lake Forest, California
"Athletes like Kaitlin Sandeno are among the success stories produced in high school athletics today," NHSCA executive director Bob Ferraro said. "She has worked extremely hard to develop her skills and has become one of the best swimmers not only in the state of California, but the entire nation, and we are proud to be honoring him." Sandeno is a seasoned national and international veteran, earning an Olympic bronze medal last summer in the 400-meter freestyle. She also competed in the Olympic Games in the 400-meter individual medley, finishing fourth, and in the 200-meter butterfly, finishing sixth. At the USA Swimming Championships, she won the 200 butterfly and the 400 individual medley, and finished second in the 400 freestyle. She was selected as the National Athlete of the Year by SchoolSports.com.  

Girl's Tennis -- Brittany Dietz
Osborne High School - Osborne, Kansas  
"Athletes like Brittany Dietz are among the success stories produced in high school athletics today," NHSCA executive director Bob Ferraro said. "She has worked extremely hard to develop her skills and has become one of the best tennis players not only in the state of Kansas, but the entire nation, and we are proud to be honoring her." Dietz is the only female player in the nation to win a fourth state singles title this year, winning the Class 3A-2A-A title last fall and completing two consecutive unbeaten seasons. She also earned National High School All-America honors in the NHSCA National Sports Festival the past two years, in 1999 at Jekyll Island, Georgia and in 2000 at Orlando, Florida.

Girl's Track and Field -- Monique Henderson
Samuel F.B. Morse High School - San Diego, California
"Athletes like Monique Henderson are among the success stories produced in high school athletics today," NHSCA executive director Bob Ferraro said. "She has worked extremely hard to develop her skills and has become one of the best track athletes not only in the state of California, but the entire nation, and we are proud to be honoring her." Henderson, who will attend UCLA, is the nation's top female sprinter. She will be going for her third straight state title in the 400-meter dash and her second straight 200-meter title this year. She set the national high school record in the 400 in the state finals last year - her time of 50.74 seconds marked the second week in a row she had set a national record in the event. She also has run the nation's fastest 200-meter time this year, in 23.16 seconds on April 21. Henderson also has run the 100-meter dash, a race that is not her specialty, in 11.61 seconds, and will try to set Southern Section records in all three events this week.  

Girl's Volleyball -- Jennifer Saleaumua
Bonita Vista High School - Chula Vista, California
"Athletes like Jennifer Saleaumua are among the success stories produced in high school athletics today," NHSCA executive director Bob Ferraro said. "She has worked extremely hard to develop her skills and has become one of the best volleyball players not only in the state of California, but the entire nation, and we are proud to be honoring her." A 5-foot-10 outside hitter, Saleaumua, who will attend the University of Hawaii, led Bonita Vista High to a 40-0 record, the California state title, and national title recognition as well. In a five-game title match victory over Stockton St. Mary's High, Saleaumua recorded 57 kills, a state and national record. She was selected National Player of the Year by SchoolSports.com.

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