2016 Athlete of the Week: Year Review

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We'll take it from the gridiron, to the tee-box as we look back on the Athletes of the Week from 2016.

NAT – 'We would like to congratulate Janay Jumping Eagle for 1,000 points.'
In 2016 we saw athletes from around the Black Hills accomplish unbelievable things.
"We did it, we're world champions."
Like, Auburn Drury and Ahmet Tuncel becoming World Champion boxers. And, Ciara Duffy and the St. Thomas More basketball team winning its third-straight State championship.
NATS - 'your pitcher.'
We cheered on Drew Scherbenske and the Canyon Lake All Stars while they won the Division series, and earned a trip to Indianapolis to play at the Regional tournament.
"We're going to Indy!"
We joined Post 22 super-fan, Tim Ley, and learned that it's okay to cheer for the other guys.

In the spring, we teed it up with Sophie Schwartz out at Douglas, who went to state for golf, and nationals for debate. And in the fall, St. Thomas More's Nick Lust took home second at the State tournament.

For some, 2016 was a year of firsts. We saw Black Hills State women's soccer team play its inaugural season, and South Dakota welcomed its first ever Strong Man competition.
Derek Stone, 'I'm taking part of the Rushmore Strong Strong Man competition.'

From hockey, to tennis, and everything in between; area athletes continue to reach new heights.
Cheerleader, 'I know it's only two minutes and 30 seconds, but it's the hardest two minutes and 30 seconds of your life.'

We hit the pool with Jim Phillips where he amazed everyone by swimming for 12 hours straight on his 70th birthday.
Jim says, 'I'm going to get in lane two right over there, and swim from 7 o'clock in the morning to 7'oclock at night; hopefully.'

We learned something about two-time Athlete of the Week, Jake Sullivan
NATS – 'He has really great hair'… 'I don't know why he says that.'

And, another former Athlete of the Week, Drew Iddings, has gone from playing football for Rapid City Stevens to the University of South Dakota to the Oakland Raiders.

The Pine Ridge football team tugged at our heartstrings with their positive spirits, as they beat the odds of the reservation -
Casey says, 'Everyone was doubting us.'
- and did something unprecedented; making it to the playoffs for the first time ever.
Casey says, 'Football is that way out of the negative situation.'

We learned how tough some athletes really are -
STM football coach, 'When you see him on the field, you know you're going to follow that guy into battle. That's what's so awesome about Jake Aanderud.' - and not to question whether cheerleading is, in fact, a sport.
Stevens cheerleader, 'Competitive cheer is a sport, so there's that.'

Whether it's dribbling down the soccer field, diving into the pool, or going head to head on the wrestling mat, the athletes we saw in 2016 taught us that the key to success is through perseverance.
Tyler Waterson says, 'If you want to be the best you have to train hard.'
Stevens cheerleader says, 'You definitely have the days where you just want to quit and be done, but then you go back to it and you're like, 'I could never quit. I could never leave this sport.''

This is just a small collection of all of the athletes we met over the last year. A big congratulations goes out to all of our sportsmen and women, for being this year's Powerade athletes of 2016.