Owatonna recognizes its AAA award winners


Athletics, academics and the fine arts- what do they have in common? These are some of the many characteristics that define a well rounded student-athlete, and they are also some of the many requirements for the Minnesota AAA (academics, arts and athletics) award that is presented every spring. Being a student-athlete requires the ability to manage time in order to excel athletically, in the fine arts, as well as in the classroom. OHS is a school that prides itself on having hardworking students with these qualities.

The OHS has recognized Carter McCauley and Kelly Nuebauer as its male and female AAA athletes. Athletic director Ryan Swanson said, “We had a lot of strong resumes sent in this year. Even though the number of applicants was low, there were some very tough decisions to make.” The selection process is a grueling one due to the many hard working student athletes at OHS. Swanson said, “Our school has produced some very strong candidates in the years past and this year is no exception. The minimum grade point average required for the award is a 3.0 yet our students, more often than not, sit in the high 3.8 range.”

Owatonna’s male award winner, Senior Carter McCauley, is athletically involved in football, soccer, and baseball. In regard to the award, McCauley said, “It’s really humbling just to be recognized as an AAA athlete. There are just so many people that put in a lot of time as student-athletes, so it’s really a great honor for me.” Outside of sports, McCauley is involved in choir and orchestra. He has his sights set on biochemistry as a potential major for college. “I’ve always thought that music has helped me with school-work and I’m very thankful that it was something that my parents got me involved with at an early age.” McCauley went on to say that time management and being proactive in school are some of the many things that have helped him as a student-athlete. Swanson said, “Carter is a very strong student-athlete and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for him.” After high school, McCauley plans to go to college to play football and one day run his own biochemistry lab. MaCauley will be representing the section 1AA for this award at the state level.

Owatonna’s female award winner, Senior Kelly Neubauer, is involved athletically in gymnastics. Outside of sports, she is involved with concert band and orchestra. Neubauer said, “Music is something that has always been a part of my life and it’s something that I will always enjoy.” Neubauer plans to continue her musical career in college. In regard to the award, Neubauer said, “It’s an honor to be recognized as many other great students have in the past.” The AAA program has been around for over 20 years. Swanson said, “Kelly is a very strong student-athlete with a bright future ahead of her.” After high school, Neubauer plans to attend Gustavus and will play clarinet for their band.

The OHS is a school that prides itself on excellence. When you hear students say “We Are Owatonna,” we know what it implies and with such diligent student-athletes like those recognized, who put the time in everyday to better themselves. There is no question as to why Owatonna is a school that prides itself from its hardworking students.