Minneapolis (Oct. 24, 2018) – Tonight, Sports Minneapolis, powered by Meet Minneapolis, honored athletes, coaches and sports icons at the second annual Minnesota Sports Awards, which celebrates the best of Minnesota sports over the past year. Former Minnesota Lynx player Lindsay Whalen was named the Professional Athlete of the Year; Minnesota United FC midfielder Collin Martin received the Courage Award; and Sid Hartman became the first inductee in 12 years named to the Star Tribune Minnesota Sports Hall of Fame. The top honors were announced during a gala awards event at U.S. Bank Stadium, which will be broadcast Friday, Nov. 9, at 7 p.m. on FOX Sports North.Winners of the 2018 Minnesota Sports Awards include: High School Athletes of the Year (Presented by Mall of America®) – Awarded to the high school athletes who have set the highest standard for excellence in their sport and in their contributions to the community during the past year or athletic season.
Owen King – Caledonia Area High School
Owen King was Minnesota’s Football Player of the Year for the 2017 season. As quarterback, he helped his team win the MSHL Class 2A State Championship. A standout in two sports, King earned All-Tournament honors in basketball, and still found time during the year to volunteer at school. King is currently playing basketball at South Dakota State University.
Loli Fidler – Edina High School
Loli Fidler was a standout on the ice and in the classroom. A four-time all-conference hockey honoree, Fidler earned the prestigious Athena Award, and she was a Minnesota Ms. Hockey semi-finalist for 2017-2018. Fidler served as a peer tutor and nursing home volunteer during her free time at Edina. She’s currently playing hockey at Penn State.
College Athletes of the Year- Awarded to the collegiate athletes who have set the highest standard for excellence in their sports, and their contributions to the community during the past year or athletic season.
Sidney Peters – University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Sidney Peters has a lengthy resume on the ice. She was the 2018 WCHA Final Faceoff’s Most Outstanding Player, a four-time WCHA Scholar-Athlete, a WCHA All-Academic and Academic All-Big Ten honoree. Peters earned the 2018 Hockey Humanitarian Award for her contributions to the team and her community. Air Force 2nd Lt. Peters is now a first-year medical student at the U.S. Department of Defense F. Edward Hebert School of Medicine at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland.
Obsa Ali – University of Minnesota Twin Cities
It took Obsa Ali just one year to land at the top of the podium in the 3,000m steeplechase, winning a national title last year. He is now the Gophers’ record holder in in the 3,000m steeplechase and 10,000m cross country race – breaking marks that were previously set in the 1970’s. Ali volunteers for Big Brothers/Big Sisters, he mentors younger athletes, and is a current member of the Gophers Men’s Track & Field team.
Professional Athlete of the Year (Presented by FOX Sports North) – Awarded to the professional athlete who has set the highest standard for excellence in their sport and in their contributions to the community during the past year or athletic season.
Lindsay Whalen – Minnesota Lynx
This hometown favorite is a five-time All-Star, four-time WNBA Champion, and two-time Olympic Gold Medalist. She retired at the end of this season as the WNBA’s career leader in games won at 323. Off the court, Whalen shared her talents during youth basketball clinics, and donated hundreds of game tickets to underprivileged youth.
Courage Award (Presented by TRIA) - Awarded to an athlete or other sports figure who overcame significant challengers on or off the playing field, inspiring others with their courage, perseverance and determination.
Collin Martin – Minnesota United FC
Collin Martin’s June tweet, coinciding with the team’s Pride Night celebration, was a watershed moment. With that tweet, Martin became the only active player in the five men’s professional sports to share with the public he is gay. Martin hoped his tweet would inspire others to be proud of who they are.
Coach of the Year – Awarded to a coach who has set the highest standard of excellence in their sport and in their contributions to the community during the past athletic season.
Mike Zimmer – Minnesota Vikings
Under Mike Zimmer, the Vikings finished the 2017-2018 season at the top of the NFC North with a 13-3 regular season record. He also coached the Vikings to the team’s first playoff win since the 2009 season. In addition, Zimmer gives back to the community through the Mike Zimmer Foundation, benefitting youth through academic and sports programs.
Sports Moment of the Year – Voted on by the public in a Star Tribune online poll, this award recognizes a single sports moment from a game or competition in the past year that energized Minnesota sports fans, displayed remarkable athletic skill or demonstrated incredible sportsmanship.
Dunk to Win the State Title – Cretin Derham-Hall High School
The Raiders were down 78-77 against the defending champs in the Boys Class 4A State Basketball Final. With 5.5 seconds left on the clock, Sy Chapman took the in-bounded ball from the back court, dribbled and passed to Ryan Larson, who tipped it to Daniel Oturu. Oturu jammed it through the net to win the game 79-78 against Apple Valley.
Star Tribune Minnesota Sports Hall of Fame Inductee – Sid Hartman, Star Tribune
Sid Hartman’s first writing job came in 1944, and in 1948 he began writing for the paper that eventually became the Star Tribune. Along the way, he has been a cheerleader-in-chief for Minneapolis sports and its athletes. His views, both in print and on WCCO radio, have earned Sid respect among his peers locally and nationwide. Hartman becomes the first inductee into the newspaper’s Minnesota Sports Hall of Fame in 12 years.
The Minnesota Sports Awards were determined by public nomination. A committee of sports journalists and sports executives from around the state selected the finalists and winners for seven of the awards. The Minnesota Sports Moment of the Year was decided upon by a public vote on the Star Tribune website. Photos of the winners will be uploaded to a Dropbox later this evening
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