MWHS announces athletic award winners at banquet

By Lorrie Ham Laker Correspondent

Mound Westonka High School celebrated athletic achievement at a May 16 breakfast for the Athena and Yost/Haddorff/Leopold winners and senior three-sport athletes at the Gillespie Center.

The winner of the Yost/Haddorff/Leopold award was Will Griffith, son of Judd and Chris Griffith. Also nominated for the Yost/Haddorff/Leopold award were Mitch Kern and Parker Wharram. Emily Halvarson, daughter of Rich and Deann Halvarson, was earlier named the Athena winner and attended the area-wide Athena banquet recently, but was also recognized locally at the breakfast. The Athena winner Halvarson was also the female recipient of the Yost/Haddorff/Leopold Scholarship. The other Athena candidates this year were Kia Johnson, Noelle Wait, Shawna Heilman, Melissa Neitzke and Samantha Scobee.

Three-Sport Athletes

There were also 29 MWHS seniors honored as three-sport athletes at the breakfast. Those recognized included David Bingham, Football, Hockey and Tennis; Karly Boll, Cross Country, Nordic Skiing and Track and Field; Victor Brenk, Cross Country, Nordic Skiing and Track and Field; Andrew Davis, Cross Country, Nordic Skiing and Track and Field; Cole Easley, Soccer, Swimming and Baseball.

Morton Greenslit, Cross Country, Swimming and Track and Field; William Griffith, Soccer, Hockey and Tennis; Emily Halvarson, Soccer, Hockey and Lacrosse; Shawna Heilman, Cross Country, Nordic Skiing and Track and Field; Chas Hewitt, Cross Country, Nordic Skiing and Track and Field; Cole Hoffman, Cross Country, Nordic Skiing and Track and Field; John Inglis, Cross Country, Nordic Skiing and Track and Field.

Kia Johnson, Soccer, Hockey and Lacrosse; Carter Jones, Football, Nordic Skiing and Track and Field; Bjorn Larson, Cross Country, Nordic Skiing and Track and Field; Charlie Maahs, Cross Country, Alpine Skiing and Golf; Michele Mahoney, Diving, Hockey and Lacrosse; Melissa Neitzke, Soccer, Basketball and Golf; Sergei Panchyshyn, Soccer, Alpine Skiing and Track and Field.

Severin Pehlke, Football, Nordic Skiing and Track and Field; Callie Peterson, Cross Country, Nordic Skiing and Track and Field; Erin Rasmussen, Tennis, Basketball and Softball; Samantha Scobee, Volleyball, Hockey and Track and Field; Johan Sjokvist, Cross Country, Nordic Skiing and Tennis; Anders Skodje, Soccer, Nordic Skiing and Track and Field.

Mitchell Spanjers, Soccer, Hockey and Baseball; Noelle Wait, Volleyball, Basketball and Track and Field; Riley Williams, Football, Hockey and Golf; James Woods, Cross Country, Nordic Skiing and Golf.

Triple ‘A’ Winners

Margot Anderson and Parker Wharram were recognized as this year’s school-level Minnesota State High School League Triple ‘A’ winners, an award for Academics, Arts, and Athletics. Although the Triple ‘A’ winners were named last winter they were also recognized at the breakfast. The Triple ‘A’ program rewards a senior boy and girl in each high school in Minnesota for outstanding achievement in Academics, Athletics and the Arts. Region winners are selected from the school winners and all Region winners are in the running for State-level recognition.

Athena Award Winner

Emily Halvarson is a three-sport athlete, participating in Soccer, Hockey, Track and Lacrosse during her high school career. In soccer, she is a three-year letter winner, earning two time All Conference honors, All State Honorable Mention, two times team MVP recognition and a captain her senior year. She also earned the Golden Boot Award.

She also earned three letters in hockey, including All Conference honors each year. She was part of the conference championship team two years and the section runner-up team her senior year, during which she was also a captain. Halvarson lettered in track one year and is competing on the lacrosse team this season.

In addition to sports, Halvarson is a member of DECA and the Link Crew. She also participated in the WSI Summer Institute – Peru, an experience which she says interested her in future travel abroad.

Yost/Haddorff/Leopold Awards

Will Griffith, the Yost winner, is also a senior three-sport athlete, participating in Soccer, Hockey and Tennis during his high school career. He has earned numerous All Conference awards, many Spotlight on Scholarship honors, an All State nomination and was named a Lake Minnetonka Magazine Prep All Star. He made trips to the state tournament in tennis, both as a team and in doubles, where he finished as a consolation semi-finalist last year.

In addition to sports, Griffith is also NHS President, Student Senate Vice President and a DECA officer.

The Yost/Haddorff/Leopold award began as the Yost award in 1953 honoring the late Frank Yost, a local pharmacist and ardent community sports supporter, who died in 1952. In 1994 the award became the Yost/Haddorff/Leopold award also honoring the memories of Oscar Haddorff who died in 1970 a year after retiring as a 25-year MWHS teacher, coach and athletic director, and Corey Leopold, a 1988 MWHS graduate and stand-out high school and college wrestler who was killed in a car accident in 1993. The scholarship component was added to the award at that time and is given to the school’s top male and female athletes.

Members of both the Haddorff and Leopold families were present for the breakfast.