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It’s a tradition that began more than two decades ago.

For the last 20-year years, The Herald Journal has been recognizing the female and male Scholar-Athlete of the Year. This is among the valley high schools and will once again take place.

It has been printed in the past and the same holds true today. High school athletics are important to people in the valley. Keeping up with the many prep sports and athletes can be a challenge. However, coaches, parents and athletic directors at the seven high schools in the valley help the paper out a lot.

The female and male recipients for the 2019-20 school year will be profiled next week in the newspaper and online. Like it has been for most of the 20 plus years, deciding on who should get these awards is tough. Choosing just one female and one male is very challenging.

Athletic directors at each high school in the valley were contacted and asked to nominate a top male and female senior athlete for this award. Preston High School did not nominate any athlete this year.

There are many great athletes in Cache Valley and many are doing really well in the classroom. The 12 nominees this year combined for a grade point average of 3.757. The girls were a bit higher than the boys with a 3.838, compared to a 3.676. Four athletes had 4.0 GPA’s, while two more were really close.

While multi-sport athletes are encouraged, it’s not required to be nominated. Nearly all 12 of the nominees played at least two sports during their high school careers and more than half did three.

As is always the case, a good amount of time was spent debating the merits of each candidate. Performance in athletics, GPA and involvement in the community were all taken into account. It has never been easy deciding the HJ Scholar Athletes of the Year.

Here is a list of those student-athletes nominated: The females included Birkli Barrera (Mountain Crest), Dana Kim (Sky View), Annie Spach (Logan), Naya Tillitt (Ridgeline), Shante’ Falslev (Green Canyon) and Kenlee Nance (West Side). The males were Hunter Schroeder (Mountain Crest), Mason Falslev (Sky View), Quincy Wildman (Logan), Rhett Gebert (Ridgeline), McKay Yorgason (Green Canyon) and Jaxon Moser (West Side).

The story on the female winner will be in Tuesday’s edition, while the story on the male recipient will run in Thursday’s paper.

Shawn Harrison is the sports editor at The Herald Journal. He can be reached at sharrison@hjnews.com or 435-792-7233.

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