The Athlete of the Week survey continues to be a highlight of my work.
Athletes are invested. The coaches are invested. The fans are invested.
We’ve seen it with the wrestling community, which has voted four grapplers Athlete of the Week over the past month and a half. And we’ve seen it especially with Fort Walton Beach High, which continues to vote in droves for all sports winning seven of the 20 Athlete of the Week nominations.
Even so, Baker, Choctaw, Crestview, Freeport, Niceville and South Walton were each represented and each major sport managed to make an appearance in the winner’s circle of our acclaimed poll.
Since voting began at the end of August, we’ve seen four wrestlers, five cross-country runners, three soccer stars, two swimmers, a volleyball player, a golfer, two soccer players and two basketball players take the honors and with that a feature and all sports Association T-shirt.
In total, support totaled more than 620,000 votes to lead all Florida Gannett properties.
Who Will Join Quinn Carper, Alex Davidson, Layne Franks, Sam Sherer, Zak Vosburgh, Spencer Mackenzie, Donovan Campbell, Will Jetton, Kemper Hodges, Ashton Nunes, Kayleb Wagner, Belicia O’Grady, Luke Larkin, Bailey Gable, Parker Nunley, Landon Campbell, Page Dolloff, Kaleb Hollins, Mariane Johnson and Sophia Edwards and this week?
The poll is live on nwfdailynews.com until Friday noon. The winner (the same athlete cannot win the AOTW twice in a season) will receive a unique NWF Daily News Athlete of the Week t-shirt sponsored by All Sports Association at their school and a weekend end.
For future purposes, applicants are accepted via email or phone at email@example.com or 252-414-4239. Coaches, fans, parents and grandparents, athletes…all submissions are welcome.
Is your team or sport missing from the Athlete of the Week? Be sure to file stats with sportswriter Seth Stringer or keep your MaxPreps page up to date.
Now let’s vote.
Week 21 Nominees
Men’s Basketball: Obian Howard, Crestview — Helping lead Crestview to a pair of wins over Navarre and Pensacola to extend the Bulldogs’ winning streak to nine, Howard combined for 28 points, 11 assists, six rebounds and three steals.
Women’s Basketball: Katie Tusa, South Walton — Tusa had a big week for the 16-1 Seahawks, scoring a team-high 11 points in the 33-29 win at Paxton to kick off a 3-0 week.
Wrestling: Luke Latham, Rocky Bayou — Latham won the George Mulligan Tournament at 132 pounds and became the first Rocky Bayou Wrestler to reach 100 wins. He is 34-5 this season.
Boys Football: Emanuel Circa, Walton — Circa had three goals and two assists to help the Braves 9-6 to a 3-1 week.
Women’s soccer: Natalie Denton, Niceville — Denton had one goal and one assist in a week the Eagles beat Choctaw 2-1. They are the highest ranked team in their district tournament.
Follow sportswriter Seth Stringer on Twitter at @SethSnwfdn.