THE WINNER: Hannah Heacox
School: Stillwater Area (Stillwater, Minn.)
Athletic achievement: She has led Stillwater to a 19-3 record entering the Class AAA state tournament, scheduled to begin June 6. Heacox owned a 14-2 record with one save, a 0.80 ERA and 194 strikeouts in 114.1 innings-pitched entering the postseason round of eight. A Class AAA First Team All-State selection as named by the Minnesota Fastpitch Coaches Association, Heacox also batted .346 with two home runs and nine RBI through 22 games. She led Stillwater to the 2012 Class AAA state championship as a junior and captured Most Outstanding Pitcher honors at the 2011 USSSA Fastpitch World Series.
Academic excellence: Also a swimming and ice hockey standout, Heacox has maintained a 3.80 weighted GPA.
Exemplary character: She has volunteered locally as part of multiple food drives for the needy, at Stillwater's Lumberjack Days celebration, in association with the National Honor Society and as a youth athletic instructor on behalf of the school’s Pony Pals initiative.
“She’s a fierce competitor,” said Frank Roth, head coach of rival Mounds View (Arden Hills, Minn.). “She’s not physically intimidating, but she’s worked very hard at her craft, and she’s very good at it. She’s very poised. From everything I’ve seen of her on the field, it would be a privilege to have someone like that on my team. This season, as well as she’s done, she’s gone through a lot of adversity.”
THE FUTURE: Heacox has signed with Gustavus Adolphus College, where she will play softball and hockey.