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Alpena’s Anna Young and Eli Winter earn top athlete of the year honors

ALPENA, Mich. — Recently, the Alpena High School Athletic Department named Eli Winter and Anna Young as the 2019-20 Male and Female Athletes of the Year during the Virtual Senior Awards.

Anna was a three-sport standout athlete in cross country, basketball, and soccer. She qualified for the state meet in cross country as a freshman running 20:00. Although plagued by injuries, she remained a solid contributor during the rest of her cross country career.

On the hardwood, Anna was a hard-working player defensively and was a strong force on the boards. Her speed and quickness made her a dangerous transition player in fast breaks.

In soccer, Anna was the leading scorer for all three of her varsity seasons. She set records for goals scored (37) and assists (20) in a career and was named a two time All BNC (Big North Conference), All-Region selection, and All-State Honorable-Mention. This upcoming fall, she will continue her soccer career at Delta College. 

“Anna was the offensive engine to our team,” said Tim Storch. “She had a nose for the goal and could gain separation from defenders with ease. She will go down as one of the top Wildcat soccer players despite missing her senior season.”

Eli Winter was very talented in both football and track and field. He was a standout on the football field as a two-way player. Winter led the Wildcats in rushing and was named the top running back in the BNC as a senior. His blocking ability also aided fellow running back Jordan Schultz to be named First-Team BNC.

“Eli Winter epitomizes both leadership and hard work,” said Eric Mitchell. As a captain, Eli was stoic and offered a levelheaded approach to everything we did. He is extremely coachable and truly wanted what was best for the team, not just for himself. The fruits of his hard work show themselves: All-State, First-Team All-Conference in two sports, and a scholarship to the University of Michigan. It is a blessing as a coach to have the best athletes to be your hardest workers, and I cannot be more proud of Eli what he has accomplished as a Wildcat.”

In track, Eli set marks as BNC and Regional champion in Discus and Shot Put over the course of his varsity career. During his junior year, he captured the State Title in the Discus and placed 7th in Shot Put. During his senior year, Eli dominated in the weight throw as he won the state title with a throw of 68’3″.  Eli will continue his track career at the University of Michigan.

“Eli is one of the hardest working individuals I know,” said Collin Riffert. “He strives for perfection in everything he does. Eli is a great athlete because he doesn’t stop, he has no offseason. You will find him in the weight room, at the track, throwing implements wherever he finds room. A perfect example of what hard work can accomplish.  Alpena is lucky to have such a great role model. I was lucky to have the opportunity to coach such a fine young man.”