The Faribault Public Schools’ Activities Office recognized six student-athletes with the annual athletic awards as well as Bruce Smith Scholarship money.
Faribault High School senior student-athletes are eligible for the Male Athlete of the Year, Female Athlete of the Year, Bruce Smith Award, and AAUW Sportswoman of the Year Award. The athletic awards are a tradition at Faribault High School that dates back to 1968 when the first Bruce Smith Sportsman of the Year Award was given to Bob Dettmer. Since then, the Faribault Public Schools have added the AAUW Sportswoman of the Year Award in 1975 and the Male and Female Athlete of the Year Awards in 1992. Each award included a $250 scholarship sponsored by the Faribault Booster Club.
The Female Athlete of the Year nominees were Kylie Petricka, Gabrielle Yetzer, Bennett Wolff, Alexis Bottke, and Maria Pierce. Gabbie Yetzer was named the 2021 Female Athlete of the Year.
The Male Athlete of the Year nominees were Andrew Chou, Alex Leet, Tanner Longshore, John Palmer, and Gael Ramirez. John Palmer was named the 2021 Male Athlete of the Year.
The Bruce Smith and AAUW Sportswoman of the Year awards are nominated by the coaching staff and final selections are made by an independent committee of people. Alongside an athlete’s athletic accomplishments, the committee focuses heavily on academic achievement, community involvement, character, leadership, and other volunteer opportunities.
The AAUW Sportswoman of the Year nominees were Maria Pierce, Ruby Gernandt, McKenzie Gehrke, Kylie Petricka, and Alli Velander. Mary Osborne, leader and member of the local AAUW chapter, presented Kylie Petricka with the 2021 AAUW Sportswoman of the Year Award.
The Bruce Smith Sportsman of the Year nominees were Cael Casteel, Andrew Chou, Alex Leet, and Tanner Longshore. Faribault native Bruce Smith, the University of Minnesota’s only Heisman Trophy Winner, was known for his outstanding athletic accomplishments as well as his fine sportsmanship and his commitment to his community. The 2021 Bruce Smith Award was awarded to Alex Leet.
Finally, the Bruce Smith Scholarship was given in memory and honor of Bruce Smith. The scholarship recognizes student-athletes who exhibit athletic team leadership and outstanding academic excellence. Two $1,500 scholarships were distributed to one male and one female student-athlete.
The 2021 Bruce Smith Scholarship money was awarded to Gabbie Yetzer and Nick Ehlers.