Athletes of the Year

posted Apr 28, 2012, 8:54 AM by Mark Nance

Courtesy Daily Sitka Sentinel

Seniors Brandi Hale and Jaylin Prince were honored last week as the best athletes at Mt. Edgecumbe High for the 2011-12 school year.

At Mt. Edgecumbe’s annual sports banquet, where about 200 student-athletes were recognized, Prince took home the Bob Brown Award, while Hale got the Lillian Lane Award.

The awards are based on a vote by coaches at MEHS. An athlete must win two varsity letters and avoid “major incident reports,” to be eligible for the awards. Academic performance and “coachability” are also taken into account.

Prince won three small-school state wrestling titles during his career at MEHS and was a key member of a Braves basketball team that made three straight trips to state. Hale was a four-year letter winner in basketball and cross country.

And both Hale and Prince are top students, MEHS said.

Hale, from Hooper Bay, complied a 3.95 grade point average and wants to pursue a degree in engineering, Mt. Edgecumbe said.

Prince, from Kotlik, put together a 3.45 grade point average and also plans to pursue an engineering degree.

Lillian Lane, from Point Hope, was a 1975 MEHS graduate. She was a four-time all-conference athlete in volleyball and basketball. Brown was a top athlete at MEHS in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He was killed in an Alaska Airlines crash in Juneau while on his way to start college at Sheldon Jackson in the fall of 1971, MEHS said.

Hale was a team captain in cross country and basketball, winning four letters in each sport. She qualified for the state cross county meet as a freshman and helped the Lady Braves get to state as a team for the first time in at least eight years last fall.

She might best be known for hitting a clutch three-pointer in the fourth quarter of the 2010 3A girls state championship game in Anchorage. A sophomore at the time, Hale’s shot pushed the Lady Braves to an upset victory over Anchorage Christian School.

At the time, it was the first team state title in school history for MEHS.

Prince was 67-1 as a heavyweight wrestler over his junior and senior seasons as he won his second and third state titles, becoming just the sixth 3A wrestler in state history to accomplish that feat. Prince had never wrestled before when he showed up on Japonski Island.

Late in his sophomore season, Prince bumped up to heavyweight and won 10 straight matches on his way to his first state title. Prince was basically unbeatable for the better part of three seasons.

Prince was also an outstanding basketball player, contributing key varsity minutes for MEHS as the Braves played in three straight Region V title games and made three consecutive trips to the state tournament.