YORK – York’s Michael Powell was named the 2011-12 York News-Times Male Athlete of the Year on Monday night at Foster Park in York.
Powell, who will play football next season for Division II Winona State in Minnesota, was surprised to receive such an award.
“This is really an honor,” Powell said. “There are a lot of good athletes in the area and it’s a great feeling to be picked. It’s nice to know all the hard work I’ve put in has paid off.”
The winner of the athlete of the year award must compete in three sports over the course of the high school sports season. Leadership each athlete demonstrates as well as state wide recognition for their efforts is also taken into consideration.
In football, Powell made the York News-Times All-Area team and was an honorable mention selection by the Omaha World-Herald and the B-6 District. Powell was honorable mention in basketball by the News-Times and in soccer he made the Central Conference’s first team and was selected to play in the Shrine Soccer Classic in June at Hastings College.
Powell talked about being able to create a balance between academics and athletics.
“It can be difficult at times, but you just have manage your time,” he said. “An award like this makes everything you have to do worth it.”
Powell credits his mother Laureen in particular for teaching him the kind of work ethic needed to succeed.
“Just watching her coach and seeing how much work it takes really taught me a lot,” Powell said. “Even after I’m done playing I want to be involved in sports as a coach and I feel like I know what it takes and how hard you have to work.”
Powell was also thankful to his father Russ, sister Amy and all of his coaches who have helped him improve athletically during his high school career.
While Powell is excited to continue playing football in college, there are a few things he will miss about high school athletics.
“There’s nothing better than Friday night lights,” commented Powell. “Something else I’ll really miss is just stepping on the basketball court as a York Duke.”
Powell will head to Minnesota next month to begin his career with the Warriors.
YNT Male Athlete of the Year Recipients
2005-06 David Adams, York
2006-07 David Adams, York
2007-08 Brett Maher, Centennial
2008-09 Isaac Moore, Cross County
2009-10 Tyler Wullenwaber, Centennial
2010-11 Connor Zumpfe, York
2011-12 Michael Powell, York