Athletes of the Year: Maddi Sullivan and Ira Murphey

Two of Central’s outstanding athletes were honored by as Athletes of the Year for their sports achievements.

Written by Kylee Heintz

Last week, student athletes from Central, Stevens, St. Thomas More, Douglas, and Rapid City Christian were honored at the 2016 Rapid City Sports Recognition and Hall of Fame Banquet. Presented at the event were the area High School Male and Female Athletes of the Year awards, College Male and Female Athletes of the Year awards, the Independent Athlete of the Year, and six new inductees into the Rapid City Sports Hall of Fame.

Representing Central in the Female Athlete of the Year category was Maddison Sullivan, a junior who has earned 10 letters so far in her high school career– three in soccer, three in basketball, three in track and one in cross country. She has also been awarded many other awards including soccer’s Golden Boot award (scoring the most goals by any state player) and named to the second team all-state tournament squad. In basketball she had the most assists, and she has finished fourth in the 200 and 400-meter dashes in 2015, and was part of the relay team that ran the 4-by-800 and set a school record. She was in competition for Area Athlete of the Year with Torrie Phillips (Douglas), Rachel Batie (Rapid City Christian), Jamie Schweiss (Stevens), and Ciara Duffy (St. Thomas More).

On the Male Athlete side, junior Ira Murphey was in the running against Colton Hitshew (Douglas), Paul McLaughlin (Rapid City Christian), Grant Young Blood (Stevens), and PJ Friedel (St. Thomas More). Ira has compiled nine letters so far in his high school career, including two for football, two for basketball, three for track and two for baseball.

Though Central didn’t win Area Athlete of the Year, Sullivan and Murphey were both honored to be recognized by the Officials. “It’s an awesome feeling to know that what you do does, in fact, get noticed,” Maddi said. “It really helps with upping self confidence and pushing yourself to be a better athlete and role model.” Both athletes also give a lot of credit to others. “I learned a lot from other athletes,” Maddi explained. “I’ve learned to be humble, and confident, to push others, but to push yourself just as hard, and to enjoy sports in the moment, because you never know when we’ll done playing and when our sports career will come to an end.”  

As for Ira, he says, “Talent is God’s gift to you and what you do to it is your gift for God.” Both athletes excel in their respective sports and are more than deserving of these recognitions. Congratulations to both of you, and we can’t wait to see what you do in your upcoming seasons!