Empire High School Recognizes Class of 2016 Student Athletes of the Year By Matt Woods, Empire High School Athletic Booster Club

The two 2016 graduates that were awarded “Student Athlete of the Year,” Caleb Dusek and Courtney Crawford, were honored during a half-time presentation at the Empire Boys’ Basketball home opener.  Caleb, a freshman at NAU, was unable to attend, but was represented by his parents Thom & Cynthia Dusek.  Courtney, in her first year at the U of A, made the journey across town for the celebration.

Both of these outstanding student-athletes were multi-year Cross-Country and Track & Field varsity lettermen.  Caleb and Courtney each represented Empire High numerous times at the Arizona State Championships in both individual and team events.  Their selection was based on not only their athletic accomplishments while at Empire, but also their community involvement and academic standing.  Caleb graduated Empire with a weighted GPA of 4.419, while Courtney was a 4-year National Honors Society member.

Monday night’s event was emceed by Shannon Woolridge, Empire’s Athletic Director; present were both Principal Matt Donaldson and Assistant Principal Lainie Kitzmiller.  The evening was especially meaningful for Margarito Casillas and Heather Frushour, the coaches that helped guide these amazing student-athletes during their careers at Empire.  The event culminated with Joe Grossi, of Jostens Southern Arizona Scholastic Products, presenting a Student Athlete of the Year ring for both Caleb and Courtney; a memory both will cherish for a lifetime!

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