On Friday, January 9 at Freeport High School, Mary Kate Myrick was announced as this years’ Taylor Haugen Trophy winner. She is the 7th person to win this coveted award. HS seniors are nominated from their school, one nominee per school, in the three County (Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Walton) area. This year, 13 nominees were considered based on the character traits of the trophy’s name sake, Taylor Haugen, who passed away on Aug 30, 2008 of abdominal injuries suffered during a football game while playing wide receiver for Niceville High School. Those traits are Academics, Athletics, Community Service, Leadership and Christian Faith. Additionally, each nominee must write an essay that speaks to their perseverance in keeping with Taylor’s motto of ‘Don’t Quit … Never Give Up.’
The Trophy is sponsored through the All Sports Association who have 4 permanent voters on the committee. Additionally, the Taylor Haugen Foundation has 5 permanent voters and all past trophy winners also get a vote. The surprise and confidential announcement will took place at the Freeport HS media center. The actual awarding of the 26 inch 32lb trophy will take place at the All Sports Association’s annual FCA breakfast in February.
This year’s winner is unique in that Mary Kate Myrick is the younger sister of past trophy winner Collin Myrick who won the same award in 2012. Mary Kate is pictured with Brian and Kathy Haugen and her brother, Collin.