High-SchoolPlayer-of-the-Year: North Dakota

North Dakota Boys Track AOY: Drew Wiseman

June, 21, 2012
6/21/12
5:16
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A dedicated ESPNHS team managed the Gatorade State Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year selection process, resulting in winners based on the program's three pillars: athletic production and impact in the 2012 season, high academic achievement and exemplary personal character.

For his 50 fellow Gatorade State Boys Track & Field Athletes of the Year winners, click here.


THE WINNER: Drew Wiseman

THE BASICS

School: Century (Bismarck, N.D.)
Grade: Junior
Event(s): Sprints/hurdles
Height: 6-foot-2

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Wiseman won individual state titles in the 200-meter dash with a time of 21.76 seconds, the 400-meter dash in 48.82, the 300-meter hurdles in 37.06 this spring, leading the Patriots to a second-place finish as a team at the Class A state meet. He also anchored the 4x400-meter relay quartet to a state title. A two-time First Team All-State honoree, his winning 300 hurdles time at the state meet ranked as the nation’s No. 14 clocking among prep competitors in 2012 at the time of his selection.

Academic excellence: Wiseman has maintained a 4.0 GPA and ranks first in his graduating class of 375 students.

Exemplary character: He has volunteered locally on behalf of the Adopt-A-Highway Litter Removal Service of America, Inc. and as a youth track and field coach.

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North Dakota Girls Track AOY: Morgan Milbrath

June, 20, 2012
6/20/12
5:16
AM ET
A dedicated ESPNHS team managed the Gatorade State Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year selection process, resulting in winners based on the program's three pillars: athletic production and impact in the 2012 season, high academic achievement and exemplary personal character.

For her 50 fellow Gatorade State Girls Track & Field Athletes of the Year winners, click here.


THE WINNER: Morgan Milbrath

THE BASICS

School: Minot (N.D.)
Grade: Junior
Event(s): Sprints/hurdles
Height: 5-foot-10

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Milbrath won four individual state championships this spring and led the Majettes to a third-place finish as a team at the Class A state meet. She won the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.10 seconds, the 200-meter dash in 24.33, the 400-meter dash in 56.02 and the 300-meter hurdles in 44.19. The 2010-11 Gatorade North Dakota Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year, Milbrath also set meet records in the 100 (11.98) and the 200 (24.35) at the Class A West Regional meet. Her 400 clocking at the state meet ranked as the nation’s No. 24 time by a prep competitor at the time of her selection.

Academic excellence: Milbrath has maintained a 3.97 GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: A member of the National Honor Society and the Future Farmers of America, she has volunteered locally on behalf of Dream Catchers USA, a non-profit organization that provides outdoor activities for the physically challenged, and as a youth basketball and volleyball coach.

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North Dakota Softball POY: Sydney Greenlund

June, 6, 2012
6/06/12
5:14
AM ET
A dedicated ESPNHS team managed the Gatorade Softball Player of the Year selection process, resulting in this winner based on the program's three pillars: athletic production and impact in the 2011-12 season, high academic achievement and exemplary personal character.

For her 48 fellow Gatorade State Softball Player of the Year winners, click here.

THE WINNER: Sydney Greenlund

THE BASICS

School: West Fargo (N.D.)
Grade: Senior
Position: C/3B
Height: 5-foot-5

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Greenlund led the Packers (33-2) to their 15th straight Class A state championship this past season. She batted .465 with three home runs, 49 runs scored, 41 RBI and a .711 slugging percentage. Greenlund is a two-time First Team All-Eastern Dakota Conference selection.

Academic excellence: Greenlund has maintained a 3.98 GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: The winner of West Fargo High’s Outstanding Commitment and Leadership Award, she has volunteered locally as a bell ringer for the Salvation Army, as a youth softball coach and on behalf of Big Brothers Big Sisters Fargo.

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North Dakota Baseball POY: Andy Young

May, 30, 2012
5/30/12
5:14
AM ET
A dedicated ESPNHS team managed the Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year selection process, resulting in this winner based on the program's three pillars: athletic production and impact in the 2011-12 season, high academic achievement and exemplary personal character.

For his 47 fellow Gatorade State Baseball Player of the Year winners, click here.

THE WINNER: Andy Young

THE BASICS

School: West Fargo (N.D.)
Grade: Senior
Position: SS/RHP
Height: 5-foot-10
Weight: 175 pounds

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Young led the Packers to a 30-5 record entering the Class A state tournament, scheduled to begin Thursday. The Eastern Dakota Conference Senior Player of the Year, he batted .389 with six home runs and 38 RBI through 35 games. Young produced a .708 slugging percentage and .478 on-base percentage. He owned a 5-0 record with a 1.74 ERA and 40 strikeouts in 40.1 innings pitched. A returning Class A First Team All-State selection, Young led West Fargo to the 2011 Class A state title game as a junior and carried his American Legion team to a state runner-up finish this past summer.

Academic excellence: Young has maintained a 3.35 weighted GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: In addition to donating his time as an instructor at youth baseball camps, he has volunteered as a Little League Baseball coach.

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North Dakota Girls Soccer POY: Emily Wendorff

May, 23, 2012
5/23/12
5:07
AM ET
A dedicated ESPNHS team managed this spring's Gatorade Girls Soccer Player of the Year selection process, resulting in winners based on the program's three pillars: athletic production and impact in the 2012 season, high academic achievement and exemplary personal character.

For her 27 fellow Gatorade State Spring Girls Soccer Player of the Year winners, click here.
For the 22 Gatorade State Fall Girls Soccer Player of the Year winners, click here.

THE WINNER: Emily Wendorff

THE BASICS

School: Davies (Fargo, N.D.)
Grade: Junior
Position: Forward
Height: 5-foot-7

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Wendorff led the Eagles to a 12-3-1 record entering this week’s regular-season contest with North (Fargo, N.D.), scheduled for May 22. She scored 19 goals and passed for 13 assists through 16 games. Wendorff was a First Team All-State selection as a sophomore.

Academic excellence: Wendorff has maintained a 3.95 GPA in the classroom and represents one of the state’s top academic candidates in meeting the Gatorade Award’s broad criteria.

Exemplary character: A member of her school’s environmental club, she has volunteered locally as a Sunday school teacher.

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Eye on POY: North Dakota baseball

May, 18, 2012
5/18/12
12:11
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The window on the Gatorade State Baseball Player of the Year race is closing, and the search for elite student-athletes is in full swing. The award recognizes not only athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field. Here are two top candidates who meet the basic award criteria as determined by our ESPNHS team that administers the program’s selection process.

Dwight Mack
Senior catcher, Mandan (Mandan)

2012 Team record: 9-11 (Class A)
2012 Team standing: Class A state tournament begins May 31

2012 Batting average: .516
2012 RBI: 8
2012 Runs: 7

2012 W-L record: 1-1
2012 ERA: 6.00
2012 Strikeouts: 7

Academics: B-plus average
Collegiate destination: North Dakota State University

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: Producing a .581 slugging percentage and .634 on-base percentage. Battling a fractured left thumb and partially torn ligament injury this spring. 2011 American Legion state champion. 2011 Class A First Team All-State selection. 2012 & 2011 All-Western Dakota Association selection. 2012 Class A state champion.

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The window on the Gatorade State Girls Soccer Player of the Year race is closing, and the search for elite student-athletes is in full swing. The award recognizes not only athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field. Here are two top candidates who meet the basic award criteria as determined by our ESPNHS team that administers the program’s selection process.

Sabra Bertsch
Senior Midfielder, Bismarck Century High (Bismarck, ND)

2012 Team record: 7-2-3
2012 Team standing: 1st in Western Dakota Conference

2012 Goals: 6
2012 Assists: 3
2012 Points per game: 0.90
Career goals: 24
Career assists: 11

Academics: B average
Collegiate destination: University of Mary

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: All-State Tournament Team; Won state title in 2011; Second Team All-Conference

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Tragedy strikes North Dakota XC community

March, 26, 2012
3/26/12
2:48
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The ESPNHS team that administers the Gatorade Player of the Year Program would like to extend our condolences to the family of Robyn Essler, a Gatorade North Dakota Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year finalist this past fall.

The 15-year-old Garrison (N.D.) freshman was reportedly killed in a car crash Thursday afternoon near her hometown, according to local NBC affiliate KFYR-TV.

Essler captured the Class B individual state championship this past season, covering the 4K course with a time of 14:52.60. She also won the Class B West Regional meet, establishing herself as one of the state's premier running talents along with two-time reigning Gatorade North Dakota Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year Tarin Lachowitzer.

Essler maintained an A average in the classroom and participated in both her school's band and choir. In addition to donating her time as a youth basketball instructor, she also volunteered extensively on behalf of her church, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Future Farmers of America and several local festivals.

She lived the Gatorade program's three pillars of athletic excellence, academic achievement and exemplary character.

North Dakota Boys Hoop POY: Dexter Werner

March, 22, 2012
3/22/12
5:16
AM ET
A dedicated ESPNHS team managed the Gatorade Boys Basketball Player of the Year selection process, resulting in winners based on the program's three pillars: athletic production and impact in the 2011 season, high academic achievement and exemplary personal character.

For his 50 fellow Gatorade State Boys Basketball Player of the Year winners, click here.

THE WINNER: Dexter Werner

THE BASICS

School: Bismarck (N.D.)
Grade: Senior
Position: Forward
Height: 6-foot-5
Weight: 210 pounds

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Werner averaged 20.2 points, 8.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.8 steals per game this past season, leading the Demons (21-4) to the Class 4A quarterfinals. Also the 2010-11 Gatorade North Dakota Boys Basketball Player of the Year, he is a three-time First Team All-State selection.

Academic excellence: Werner has maintained a 4.0 in the classroom and is ranked first in his class of 371 students.

Exemplary character: A member of the Spanish Club, the Key Club and the Boy Scouts of America, he has volunteered locally on behalf of the American Cancer Society, the Special Olympics and recently completed a service-mission trip to the Dominican Republic.

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Eye on POY: North Dakota Boys Basketball

March, 15, 2012
3/15/12
9:21
PM ET
The window on the Gatorade State Boys Basketball Player of the Year race is closing, and the search for elite student-athletes is in full swing. The award recognizes not only athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field. Here are two top candidates who meet the basic award criteria as determined by our ESPNHS team that administers the program’s selection process.

Mack Arvidson
Senior shooting guard/forward, Red River (Grand Forks, ND)

2011-12 Team record: 23-2
2011-12 Team standing: Won Class A state title

2011-12 Points per game: 20
2011-12 Rebounds per game: 6.6
2011-12 Assists per game: 2
2011-12 Blocks per game: 0.3
2011-12 Steals per game: 1.8

Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: Undecided

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: 2010-2012 First Team All-Conference; 2011 Second Team All-State; 2012 First Team All-State

Dexter Werner
Senior forward, Bismarck (ND)

2011-12 Team record: 21-4
2011-12 Team standing: Lost in Class A quarterfinals

2011-12 Points per game: 20.2
2011-12 Rebounds per game: 8.7
2011-12 Assists per game: 2
2011-12 Blocks per game: 0.3
2011-12 Steals per game: 1.8

Academics: A average
Collegiate destination: North Dakota State

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: 2011-12 Gatorade North Dakota Boys Basketball Player of the Year; 2010-2012 First Team All-Conference; 2010-2012 First Team All-State; 2010 and 2011 First Team All-Tournament

Make no mistake, the Gatorade State Boys Basketball Player of the Year race isn’t over yet. Time remains for one standout student-athlete among thousands to rise to the top of our list. Here are some more of many who’ve been in the conversation throughout the 2011-12 campaign.

A.J. Jacobson: Junior forward, Shanley (Fargo, ND)
Mac Kroeplin: Junior guard, Red River (Grand Forks, ND)
Devin Coyle: Senior guard, Mandan (ND)

Think we're missing a deserving Gatorade State Player of the Year candidate in your state? Let us know via e-mail at ESPNHS_GPOY@ESPN.com.

North Dakota Girls Hoop POY: Holly Johnson

March, 8, 2012
3/08/12
5:35
AM ET
A dedicated ESPNHS team managed the Gatorade Girls Basketball Player of the Year selection process, resulting in winners based on the program's three pillars: athletic production and impact in the 2011 season, high academic achievement and exemplary personal character.

For her 50 fellow Gatorade State Girls Basketball Player of the Year winners, click here.

THE WINNER: Holly Johnson

THE BASICS

School: Minot (N.D.)
Grade: Senior
Position: Wing
Height: 5-foot-10

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Johnson led the Majettes to a 17-6 record and a berth in the Class A state tournament, scheduled to begin Thursday. She averaged 17.8 points, 6.4 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.9 steals through 23 games. A 2011 First Team All-State selection, Johnson was also named the 2011 Minot Daily News Player of the Year as a junior.

Academic excellence: Johnson has maintained a 3.23 GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: A devoted member of her church community, she has served on the student council and has volunteered locally on behalf of an area homeless shelter and a clothing drive for needy children.

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Eye on POY: North Dakota Girls Basketball

March, 5, 2012
3/05/12
5:06
AM ET
The window on the Gatorade State Girls Basketball Player of the Year race is closing, and the search for elite student-athletes is in full swing. The award recognizes not only athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field. Here are two top candidates who meet the basic award criteria as determined by our ESPNHS team that administers the program’s selection process.

Alexis Jacobs
Senior forward, Century (Bismarck, ND)

2011-12 Team record: 19-3
2011-12 Team standing: Will begin Class A state tournament on March 8

2011-12 Points per game: 13.6
2011-12 Rebounds per game: 7.3
2011-12 Assists per game: 0.7
2011-12 Blocks per game: 0.6
2011-12 Steals per game: 1.9

Academics: B-plus average
Collegiate destination: Undecided

How she’s played herself into the State POY conversation: Led Century to Western Dakota Association championship; 2011 First Team All-State

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North Dakota Boys Soccer POY: Jacob Weiler

February, 22, 2012
2/22/12
5:07
AM ET
A dedicated ESPNHS team managed this past fall's Gatorade Boys Soccer Player of the Year selection process, resulting in winners based on the program's three pillars: athletic production and impact in the 2011 season, high academic achievement and exemplary personal character.

For his 29 fellow Gatorade State Fall Boys Soccer Player of the Year winners, click here.

THE WINNER: Jacob Weiler

THE BASICS

School: South (Fargo, N.D.)
Grade: Junior
Position: Midfielder
Height: 6-foot-1

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Weiler scored 11 goals and passed for 13 assists this past season, leading the Bruins (8-10-2) to fifth place in the state tournament. He was a First Team All-Eastern Dakota Conference honoree and a First Team All-State selection.

Academic excellence: Weiler has maintained a 3.79 GPA in the classroom.

Exemplary character: Also a talented musician, he has volunteered locally assisting the elderly and on behalf of the US Youth Soccer TOPsoccer program serving young athletes with disabilities.

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The fall soccer season may have concluded, but the search for Gatorade State Boys Soccer Players of the Year is in full swing. The award recognizes not only athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field. Here are two top candidates who meet the basic award criteria as determined by our ESPNHS team that administers the program’s selection process.

Patrick Fernandez
Senior Forward, Bismarck High (Bismarck, ND)

2011 Team record: 13-4-0
2011 Team standing: Lost in state title game

2011 Goals: 25
2011 Assists: 10
2011 Points per game: 2.06
Career goals: 54
Career assists: 26

Academics: B average
Collegiate destination: Undecided

How he’s played himself into the State POY conversation: Three-time First Team All-State; All-State Tournament team; led state in goals scored.

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North Dakota Boys XC ROY: Jake Leingang

January, 23, 2012
1/23/12
5:16
AM ET
Return of the ROY: Jake Leingang
Darrell Anderson/ESPNHSJake Leingang is the returning Gatorade North Dakota Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year.
A dedicated ESPNHS team managed the Gatorade State Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year selection process, resulting in winners based on the program's three pillars: athletic production and impact in the 2011 season, high academic achievement and exemplary personal character.

For his 50 fellow Gatorade State Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year winners, click here.


THE WINNER: Jake Leingang

THE BASICS

School: Bismarck (N.D.)
Grade: Junior
Height: 5-foot-9

THE PILLARS

Athletic achievement: Leingang raced to a second consecutive Class A individual state championship this past season with a time of 14:59.80, leading the Demons to first place as a team. The state’s returning Gatorade Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year, he placed second at both the Nike Cross Nationals Heartland Regional championships, in 15:26.58, and the Foot Locker Midwest Regional championships, in 15:10. He captured fourth place at the national Foot Locker Cross Country Championships in 15:21.1 and took eighth at the Nike Cross Nationals Final in 15:34.61

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