High School Sports

West Valley’s Abramowicz caps senior season with 2nd Gatorade Player of the Year award

high school sports, ASAA state cross country championships, division 1

West Valley High School distance runner Daniel Abramowicz capped off his sensational senior season by earning his second Gatorade Player of the Year award this week. Abramowicz was named the track and field award winner Wednesday after claiming his first this past fall in cross country.

The 2022 graduate led the Wolfpack to a Division I Cross Country state title and a runner-up finish in the Division I state track and field championships where he placed first in the 800-, 1,600- and 3,200-meter races. He maintained a 4.49 GPA and signed a national letter of intent to run at the University of San Francisco.

His second recognition marks the third of the school year for West Valley in Fairbanks. Junior Stewart Erhart was named Gatorade Player of the Year for boys basketball in March.

Olyvia Mamae of Bettye Davis East Anchorage High School was named the winner of the girls track and field award Thursday, capping a stellar junior season. Mamae burst onto the track scene this past spring and capped a dominant season off with state titles in the 100- and 200-meter races as well as the 100-meter hurdles while maintaining a 3.66 GPA.

She joined fellow East student-athlete Kyler Johnson as an award winner this year. Johnson earned his by guiding the school’s football team to its second state title in the last four years in the fall.

Both of the award winners for soccer, Keegyn Applegate and Joseph Butzke, are recently graduated seniors from Dimond High.

Applegate was a key contributor on a dominant Lynx team that won its third title in the last four years and second in a row in 2022. She scored six goals and logged 23 assists as a senior while maintaining a 3.97 GPA, and she signed a National Letter of Intent to play Division I soccer at George Mason University this fall.

Butzke scored nearly half of his 31 career goals with 15 in his senior season to go along with six assists. He maintained a weighted 4.07 GPA signed a National Letter of Intent to continue his soccer career on scholarship at Fort Lewis College in Colorado this fall.

South High tacked on two more recipients of this award in the spring to bring their total to four for the year after a pair of Wolverines led their respective teams to state titles. Junior Emily McCutcheon led the softball program to back-to-back championships whiles senior Curtis Hebert used his versatility to help the South baseball program to consecutive titles.

McCutcheon recorded a batting average of .658, 58 RBIs, scored 59 runs and hit 16 home runs while maintaining a 3.79 GPA.

Hebert was a star behind the plate, on the mound and at bat for the Wolverines to help them complete consecutive undefeated seasons with titles. He signed a National Letter of Intent to play Division I baseball at the University of Portland in Oregon.

The Gatorade Player of the Year awards were established in 1985 to acknowledge the country’s most outstanding high school student-athletes for not only their athletic dominance but their academic acumen and high character.

Josh Reed

Josh Reed is a sports reporter for the Anchorage Daily News. He's a graduate of West High School and the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.