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2005 Athlete of the Year
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Baseball -- Colby Rasmus
Russell County High School - Seale, Alabama
Coached by Rasmus' father, Tony, Russell County High has been ranked No. 1 in virtually every national high school baseball Top 25 this season, and Colby Rasmus is one of the major reasons. Rated a first-round major league draft prospect by, Rasmus, an outfielder who will attend Auburn University, currently is batting .505 and leads the nation with 22 home runs, two more than Bo Jackson's previous single-season state record of 20. He also has 13 doubles, three triples, 61 RBIs and 64 runs scored. He also can run, as he showed last year when he stole 33 bases. His brother, Cory, a junior, also is a future star with a .442 average, 15 home runs, and a 9-0 record and 0.50 ERA as a pitcher. 

Field Hockey -- Katy LePage
Skowhegan High School - Skowhegan, Maine
In 2004, the NHSCA honored Skowhegan High coach Paula Doughty as its National High School Coach of Year. This year, the association returns to Skowhegan to honor LePage, one of her greatest players ever. Small at 5-foot-1, LePage put up big numbers. As a senior, she scored a school-record 32 goals and added 14 assists, and scored the winning goal with under three minutes remaining in a 3-2 championship game victory, making her the first Maine girl ever to play on four state title teams. Voted the state Player of the Year by three Maine newspapers and a member of the Class A All-State Team, she also earned a mention in Sports Illustrated magazine's Faces in the Crowd section. She had 59 goals, also a school record, and 29 assists in her career. 

Football -- Greg Paulus
Christian Brothers Academy - Syracuse, New York
Paulus had a season - and a career - for the ages. The quarterback led Christian Brothers Academy to a 13-0 record and its first-ever Class AA state title, passing for 376 yards and three touchdowns and earning MVP honors as he rallied his team past New Rochelle High, 41-35 in the title game. As senior, he completed 65.5 per cent of his passes for 3,677 yards, breaking his own state record, and 43 touchdowns, just short of his own state record of 45 as a junior. His 11,760 career passing yards, 152 career touchdown passes and 543 passing yards in one game also are state records. However, the 6-foot-3 Paulus, who sports a 92 per cent average in the classroom, will play basketball in college instead, joining NHSCA Boys Basketball Player of the Year Josh McRoberts in Duke University's freshman class. 

Softball -- Valerie Chapple
Olathe East High School - Olathe, Kansas
A third baseman who also can catch and play the outfield, Chapple led Olathe East High to a 26-1 record and the Class 6A state title last season, when she hit .636 with 40 RBIs. Olathe East stands unbeaten at 20-0 and is ranked No. 1 in the state entering this year's state tournament series. A three-time All-State selection, Chapple entered her senior year already in possession of eight school records, including batting average (.598), slugging percentage (.978), on-base percentage (.602), doubles and triples. Chapple, who will continue her career at the University of Kansas, was a National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-America First Team selection as a junior.  

Volleyball -- Cynthia Barboza
Wilson Classical High School - Long Beach, California
The first female athlete - and only the fourth in any sport - to be voted the Gatorade National Player of the Year twice, the 6-foot-1 outside hitter/middle blocker averaged 18.3 kills, 1.57 blocks and 2 aces per match, leading Wilson Classical High to the Southern Section Division I-AA semifinals. She posted a kill percentage of .840 in the semifinal loss to eventual champion Mira Costa High. An alternate on the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team, Barboza was Volleyball magazine's High School Player of the Year, Division I-AA co-MVP and a four-time California Interscholastic Federation First Team All-State selection. Also a straight-A student, she will attend Stanford University. 

Wrestling -- Dustin Schlatter
Perry High School - Massillon, Ohio
A four-time Ohio state champion, Schlatter had a career record of 147-4 and was twice voted the state's Outstanding Wrestler. He won the 145-pound title in the NHSCA National High School Seniors Wrestling Championships in April and was voted the meet's Outstanding Wrestler. A two-time Asics All-America First Team member, he was voted the Wrestler of the Year in 2004. He was a double champion in the USA Wrestling Cadet and Junior Nationals three consecutive years, earning three Outstanding Wrestler awards in the process. He will attend the University of Minnesota. 

Boys Basketball -- Josh McRoberts
Carmel High School - Carmel, Indiana
The 6-foot-10, 240-pound McRoberts is one of the nation's top post players. A three-time All-State selection, the Duke University recruit averaged 17.9 points, 11.4 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 2.9 blocks per game as a senior. McRoberts was the MVP of the prestigious Nike All-American Camp in 2004 and also starred in the McDonald's All-American Game this spring. Shooting 7-of-8 from the field, including a pair of three-pointers, McRoberts scored 17 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead the East squad to a 115-110 victory, also earning MVP honors. 

Girls Basketball -- Abby Waner
ThunderRidge High School - Highlands Ranch, Colorado
Also a Duke University recruit, the 5-foot-11 shooting guard was voted the Gatorade National Player of the Year after leading ThunderRidge High to a record third consecutive Class 5A state title, a 26-2 record and the No. 8 ranking in the final USA Today Super 25. The four-year starter averaged 32.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 5.9 assists and 5.7 steals per game as a senior and scored 61 points - 30 in the first quarter - and added 17 steals in her final regular-season home game. Also an outstanding student with a 3.95 GPA and a 27 on the ACT, she averaged 12 points and 3.8 assists for the gold-medal USA Junior World Team in 2004. 

Boys Cross Country -- Andrew Bumbalough
Brentwood Academy - Brentwood, Tennessee
Bumbalough set course records on virtually every course he ran on during his career. A three-time Division II state champion, he broke the state's 23-year-old course record as a senior, his time of 14:14 winning the race by more than a full minute. Bumbalough also won three state track titles - twice in the 3,200 and once in the 1,600. The 2004 Foot Locker National Championships runnerup, Bumbalough shattered by 11 seconds the course record held by a former NHSCA Senior Athlete of the Year - Alan Webb - in the South Regional, and his qualifying time of 14:32 was more than one minute faster than any other runner in the nation. He will attend Georgetown University. 

Girls Cross Country -- Ramsey Kavan
Yankton High School - Yankton, South Dakota
Perhaps the finest distance runner ever produced by the state of South Dakota, Kavan set course records in the Class A state meet as a senior, the Eastern South Dakota Championships, the USA Track and Field (USATF) Dakotas Association Championships and the USATF Regionals, and finished sixth in the Foot Locker National Championships after winning the Midwest Regional qualifying meet. The three-time state champion was twice voted Female Athlete of the Year by the South Dakota Sportswriters Association and also won all three distance races in the state track meet. She will attend the University of Notre Dame. 

Boys Golf -- Brian Harman
Savannah Christian School - Savannah, Georgia
A left-hander, Harman recently won his second Class 3A state title, shooting 66. He carded a 64 to win the title as a junior. A two-time State Junior Boys champion and two-time state Player of the Year, Harman received sponsor exemptions to compete in two PGA Tour events in 2004 - the MCI Heritage Classic in April and the Buick Championship in August. He was a U.S. Junior Amateur quarter-finalist in 2002, at the age of 15. Also an honor student with a 4.0 GPA, he is a two-time EA Sports All-America selection. He will attend the University of Georgia.

Girls Golf -- Mari Chun
The Kamehameha School - Honolulu, Hawaii
Few athletes matched Chun's accomplishments on the course and in the classroom in 2004. She won the Hawaii State Junior Golf Association Tournament of Champions, the Hawaii State Women's Golf Association Match Play Championships, the Mayor's Cup, the Aloha Section of the Westfield Junior PGA Championships and the Callaway Junior World Championships. On the high school links, she was the state runnerup as a senior, fifth as a junior and seventh as a sophomore. With a 4.12 GPA, Chun is a member of the National Honor Society and was the recipient of the Wellesley Book Award, which honored her as its Outstanding Female Student of the Year. She will attend Stanford University. 

Boys Soccer -- Lee Nguyen
Plano East High School - Plano, Texas
In his first six games as a senior, Nguyen, a 5-foot-8 midfielder/forward, scored eight goals and had six assists to go with the 42 goals and 33 assists he scored as a sophomore and junior. The Parade All-American was voted the Gatorade National Player of the Year. He led the U.S. under-18 national team with four goals in the Copa Chivas Tournament in Mexico in January and scored his team's only goal as the under-20 national team tied the San Jose Earthquakes of Major League Soccer, 1-1 in April. Also an outstanding student with a 3.8 GPA, he will attend Indiana University. 

Girls Soccer -- Amy Rodriguez
Santa Margarita Catholic High School - Rancho Santa Margarita, California
The 5-foot-3 forward scored 11 goals and had eight assists as a senior, leading Santa Margarita Catholic High to a 17-2-3 record. Voted the Gatorade National Player of the Year, she also was a two-time Parade All-American and a two-time National Soccer Coaches Association of America First Team member. She was the only high school player to be a starter on the U.S. Women's National Team that won the gold medal in the FIFA Under-19 World Championships. She also excelled in the classroom, earning a 3.4 GPA, and will attend the University of Southern California. 

Boys Swimming -- Alex Righi
Brophy Jesuit College Preparatory School - Phoenix, Arizona
Righi set a state record (48.00) in winning the 100-meter backstroke as a senior, also won the 100 freestyle (44.76) and came within one-hundredth of a second of tying former Olympian and Brophy great Gary Hall Jr.'s state record in the 50 freestyle (20.31) while swimming the first leg of the 200 freestyle relay, a race his teammates went on to win in a state record time. In the Spring Junior Nationals in March, Righi won five events and set four meet records - in the 100 freestyle (44.24), the 50 backstroke (22.12), the 100 backstroke (47.63) and the 50 butterfly (21.99). His 100 butterfly time shattered the existing record by nearly 1½ seconds, earning him Male Performance of the Meet honors. 

Girls Swimming -- Hannah Smith
Dexter High School, Dexter, Michigan
Smith set state records in winning the 50-meter freestyle and the 100 backstroke as a senior, leading Dexter High to a runnerup finish in the Division II state tournament. She advanced to the finals in six events in the Spring Junior Nationals in March, led by finishes of third place in the 100 backstroke and fourth place in the 200 backstroke. Her other finishes: sixth (50 freestyle, 50 backstroke), seventh (100 freestyle) and 14th (50 butterfly). The 77 points she earned for her club, the Ann Arbor Swim Club, were the most earned by any senior female athlete in the competition and the fifth highest total overall. 

Boys Tennis -- Jack Marsh
Seton Catholic High School - Chandler, Arizona  
Ranked No. 9 in the United States Tennis Association (USTA) Southwest Region rankings, Marsh was never defeated in a high school match during his four-year career. His victory in the state finals earlier this month made him just the third player in state history - and the first above Class A-2A - to win four state titles. He led Seton Catholic High to a sweep of the 3A boys individual titles, the first Arizona team to do so in five seasons. 

Girls Tennis -- Katie Potts
Divine Savior Holy Angels High School - Milwaukee, Wisconsin
A four-time Division I state finalist, Potts finished her senior year with a 26-1 overall record, a 24-match winning streak and back-to-back state titles, also leading DSHA to the team title. That accomplishment earned her a mention in Sports Illustrated magazine's Faces in the Crowd section in the December 6, 2004 issue. Potts, whose career record was 126-5, is a three-time All-America selection by the National High School Tennis All-American Foundation. A three-sport athlete, she scored a goal and an assist in the state title game to lead the Dashers to the Division I girls soccer crown this spring and also was a starting forward on the basketball team. She will attend the University of Notre Dame.

Boys Track and Field -- Kevin Craddock
James Logan High School, Union City, California
Craddock established himself as the nation's top high school hurdler a year ago, leading James Logan High to the boys state track title by winning his second state title in the 110-meter hurdles (13.39) and adding the 300 hurdles (35.93), a race he won by more than a full second. Craddock also finished sixth in the 300 hurdles as a sophomore and seventh as a freshman, and was a finalist in the 110 hurdles his freshman year. Heading into this summer's National Junior Championships, his adjusted time of 13.74, run last July, is the best time in the event run at the Junior level in the past year, a level that also includes college freshmen. He will continue his career at UCLA. 

Girls Track and Field -- Alexandra Anderson
Morgan Park High School - Chicago, Illinois 
Anderson is about to conclude one of the greatest girls track and field careers in Illinois high school history. She will try to win the 100, 200, 400 and long jump titles for the second consecutive year, and if she does so, will be a four-time champion in the 100 and 200. She set a state record in the 100 as a junior, and her time of 11.41 was the fastest high school time in the nation and just 27 hundredths of a second off Marion Jones' national high school record time. Her times in the 200 and 400 were the second fastest in state history, and her winning long jump (19-11) was the longest in the state tournament in 17 years. She will continue her career at the University of Texas.

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