The Elite 15 female high school athletes were awarded this past weekend in Sioux Falls at the Holiday Inn City Centre during the Girls and Women in Sport Awards Banquet.
Each year a day in February is set aside as National Girls and Women in Sports Day. South Dakota schools were asked by the SDHSAA to recognize one or more outstanding athletes during NGWSD festivities. Four hundred thirty-nine girls were so recognized in the state. Eighty-two senior girls were nominated by their schools to apply for the Elite 15 award. This award recognizes athletes with the highest achievements in the areas of athletic ability, leadership, scholarship and community involvement.
The Elite 15 Award winners are as follows: Courtney Neubert, Aberdeen Central; Cassie Clement, Redfield; Conner Anderson, Rosholt; Briana Jung, Warner; Amanda Johnson, Bison; Amy Leiferman, Brookings; TyAnn Buddenhagen, Huron; Emmylu Antonsen, Kadoka Area; Kelsey Schmidt, Mt. Vernon; Hannah Van Demark, Sioux Falls O'Gorman; Sami Smith, Sioux Falls Washington; Katy Freidel, St. Thomas More; Whitney Kuyper, Stickney; Madeleine Takahashi, Sturgis; Madison McLaughlin, Wall.
Lynn Hanson of Aberdeen, Georgia Adolph of Flandreau, and Neysa Villa of Makinaw, Ill., were awarded the South Dakota Girls and Women in Sport Leadership Award. This award was established in 1995 to recognize individuals for their consistent and outstanding effort and leadership on behalf of women and girls participating in sports in South Dakota.
Susan James of Cheyenne, Wyo., was awarded the second annual South Dakota Officials Leadership Award. This award was established last year to recognize individuals for their outstanding contributions and long-time dedication to promote the development of officials in South Dakota.