Athletes of the Year Greater Houston

Updated: May 13, 2009, 12:02 PM ET
ESPN RISE Magazine

BOYS' ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

RUSSELL SHEPARD
Cy Ridge / Football
Shepard capped his awe-inspiring career with a senior season to remember in the fall. The 6-foot-1, 180-pound quarterback threw for 1,843 yards and 20 touchdowns while also rushing for 1,946 yards and 28 scores. In the Rams'final game of the year, a 55-48 loss to Copperas Cove in the regional semifinals, Shepard accounted for 538 total yards of offense and six TDs in a fitting final performance. Rated the nation's No. 3 senior recruit in the ESPNU 150, Shepard will continue his career at LSU.

OTHER FINALISTS

COLE CRAGIN
Friendswood / Swimming
Cragin, a senior Texas recruit, capped his outstanding career by setting a junior national record in the 100 backstroke with a time of 46.75 seconds at the Class 4A state meet. It was the fourth straight year Cragin claimed the 100 back state title.

TOMMY MASON-GRIFFIN
Madison / Basketball
Mason-Griffin put up a huge senior season to earn Gatorade State Player of the Year honors. The Oklahoma signee averaged 22.8 points, 5.3 assists and 4.4 rebounds per game and was named to the McDonald's All-American Game.

ERIK SPJUT
The Woodlands / Wrestling
Spjut had a season for the ages as a senior, going 65-0 en route to his third state championship. A Virginia Tech recruit, Spjut breezed to the title at state and finished the year rated the nation's No. 2 130-pounder by W.I.N. magazine.

GIRLS' ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

BRITTNEY GRINER
Nimitz / Basketball
Griner is arguably the most dynamic girls'high school basketball player ever. The 6-8 senior dunked with ease throughout the season and played the game at a different level than her opponents. Need some examples? In the Class 5A state semis, she went for 44 points and 17 boards. Prior to that, she piled up 25 blocks in a single regular season game. For the year, the senior Baylor recruit averaged 27.5 points, 12.3 rebounds and 7.7 blocks per game to earn Gatorade State Player of the Year honors and secure the No. 1 rating in the ESPNU HoopGurlz 100.

OTHER FINALISTS

SARAH ANDREWS
The Woodlands / Cross Country
Andrews comfortably outdistanced the competition to win the Class 5A state meet while at the same time leading the Highlanders to the team title in the fall. A junior, Andrews went on to finish second at the Nike Cross Nationals.

MICHELLE CABASSOL
Montgomery / Diving
Only a sophomore, Cabassol set a Class 4A state-meet record this season en route to her second consecutive title. This spring, she won the platform national championship at the USA Diving Spring Nationals.

MEAGAN MAY
Klein Oak / Softball
Rated the nation's No. 8 senior recruit in the ESPNU player rankings, May was an offensive force for the nationally ranked Panthers. The catcher/first baseman hit better than .500 during the regular season and has signed with Texas A&M.