The accomplishments of male student athletes at OHS

Izaya Vazquez, Writer

As the school year and sports seasons start to wrap up, there are many awards to be handed out to student athletes at OHS. Some of these awards include Junior Athlete of the Year, Oldenburg Senior, Senior 110%, “O” Club recipient, Excel recipient and Triple “A” award winner. All these awards are very special and it takes a lot of work and commitment to receive them. Activities Director Mr. Marc Achterkirch said, “One of the reasons why it’s been around so long is because of the special awards handed out.” All of the potential award recipients are nominated by the coaches staff who had determined the top three male athletes in the junior and senior classes. This year’s junior finalists are Blake Burmeister, Justin Gleason and Trevor Schirmer, and this year’s senior finalists are Preston Meier, Landen Johnson and Grant Achterkirch.

Senior Finalists
Grant Achterkirch is also a three sport athlete at OHS, and he is involved in football, hockey and baseball. Achterkirch has been passionate about football from a young age as he committed to play at University of St.Thomas as an inside linebacker. He has been honored to have been a captain for all three of his sports. Achterkirch has consistently been a good example on and off the rink and field. Achteritch is involved in two physical sports, football and hockey, so it can be difficult to stay healthy. Achterirch said, “I faced some adversity throughout my year, and it took hard work, so to be able to be in the position I am now is a very big honor.”

Landen Johnson is a one sport athlete at OHS and is involved in wrestling. He has broken the school record for pins and is second for career wins. His record this year was 43-3. Johnson went to state and became a two-time state champ in class AAA at 160 pounds. He has had a major impact on the team and was one of the team captains. He has set high standards for himself as well as for the team because the team wanted to make it to the state wrestling tournament. As Johnson is only a one sport athlete, it is harder to gain recognition. Senior Landen Johnson said, “It makes it harder being a one sport athlete because I am only able to show my ability in the winter and not year round like multi sport athletes.”

Preston Meier is a three sport athlete at OHS, involved in cross country, hockey and lacrosse. Preston was the number one runner on the cross country team as his best 5K was a 16:15.11. He has competed at the state meet three times in row including his sophomore, junior and senior years. Meier’s passion and determination for athletics is evident as he committed to play lacrosse at University of Concordia Wisconsin as he will be playing his main position in high school which is midfielder. Being a captain for all their sports including hockey has been a big honor to Meier. With high responsibilities for both academics and athletics, it’s difficult to balance everything as a three sport athlete. Meier said, “It takes a lot of balance trying to develop the skills to be good in every sport.”

Junior Finalists
Blake Burmeister is a three sport athlete at OHS, and he is involved in soccer, basketball and golf. Burmeister was also part of the basketball team this year, and was an asset as a starting guard. His speed on the court has transferred onto the soccer field where he plays defense. His talent has continued into the golfing season. Burmeister competes on the varsity level for all three of his sports. As the award ceremony gets closer, Blake Burmesister said, “I would be honored to receive Junior Athlete of the Year for all of my hard work.”

Justin Gleason is a two sport athlete at OHS, competing in track and field and football. Gleason’s determination and growth has been one-of-a-kind to watch this year. He has broken the triple jump school record with a jump of 44 feet and 10 inches at the Mayo Invitational meet this month. His strength and speed come off the track and into the football field as he is able to step into the roles of wide receiver and defensive back. Being a two sport athlete certainly requires hard work. Gleason said,”I have to have a great football season next year and continue to improve in track and field.”

Trevor Schirmer is a three sport athlete at OHS and is involved in football, basketball and track and field. Schirmer will be a captain next year in all three of his sports. Schirmer was part of the state-competing basketball team this year and kept the bench hot. He plans on making it to the track and field state meet in the upcoming year for shot put and discus. With the characteristics he has, Schirmer is able to positively impact his teams as a leader. He said, “My leadership will help me lead by boosting my confidence in my ability to compete at the varsity level.”

The finalists waited patiently to find out who will receive these prestigious awards for their hard work and dedication as student athletes. The award ceremony was held at Owatonna High School in the auditorium on Wednesday, May 25 at 5:00 p.m. Preston Meier was named the senior finalist and Trevor Schirmer was named the junior finalist.