The winners of the school’s top athletic honor, the Steve Sluka Award, were Jordan Keefe and Danny Cotter.
Despite standing just 5 feet, 6 inches tall, Keefe established herself as a force by springing to new heights — in the pole vault. The school record holder in the event at 11 feet, 9 inches, Keefe narrowly missed out on winning the state title at the Division 1 finals last year but settled for runner-up. She’ll have another crack at a title in the event next weekend at the state finals at East Kentwood High School.
In basketball, Keefe earned a reputation as a defensive force for the Bucs and took over a starting guard position early on the season. She continued to play a pivotal role on a squad that won the program’s first-ever Class A state title.
Keefe has signed to compete on the Michigan State University track and field team next season.
Cotter, who stands 6-2 and weighs 180 pounds, re-wrote the Grand Haven record books for receiving this fall. He hauled in 62 catches for 1,099 yards and 14 touchdowns — each which were single-season records.
He also contributed 31 unassisted tackles, two interceptions and six pass deflections as a defensive back, and returned seven punts for 67 yards.
For his efforts, Cotter was also named first-team all-state by the Associated Press.
Cotter will continue his gridiron college at the college level at Butler University.
In basketball, Cotter was a versatile wing for the Bucs, as they captured a Class A district championship. He’ll also hoping to lead Grand Haven’s baseball team to back-to-back district titles. He’s one of the Bucs’ top pitchers and also near the top in batting average.
The Todd Chittenden Award, given to team-oriented athletes who exhibit hard work and good sportsmanship, was presented to distance runner Priscilla VanHeest and wrestler Allen Torres.
Other award winners from Wednesday:
Ken Ranta Sportsmanship Award: Jenna George and Jeremy Lattig
O-K Conference Athlete of the Year Award: Alex Law and Will VerDuin
William Louiselle Golf Award: Kristen Carlson and John Morehouse
U.S. Marine Corps Distinguished Athlete: Morgan Hawver and Ethan Beswick
U.S. Army Reserve Scholar Athlete: Julia Stock and Scott Staal
Muskegon Hall of Fame Nominee: Megan Newhouse and Doug Zelenka
State Coach of the Year: James Richardson, wrestling
High School Male Coach of the Year: Aaron Dean, boys soccer
High School Female Coach of the Year: Katie Kowalczyk-Fulmer, girls basketball
High School Assistant Coach the Year: Tom Foley, wrestling
Middle School Coaches of the Year: John Fickes and Mark Londot