Postseason stars named Athletes of the Week

Published 6:57 am Thursday, November 4, 2004

By By ADAM FISHER / Niles Daily Star
Two players that advanced a step further in ther respective postseasons last week take home the Niles Daily Star's Athlete of the Weeks honors for Oct. 24-30.
Niles cross country runner Samantha Brawley finished 10th at Saturday's Division 2 cross country regional. While the Vikings ended their team season in 11th place in the regional, Brawley's Top 10 finish was good enough to advance her to the state finals on Saturday and win the Girls' Athlete of the Week award.
The Vikings girls' cross country coach Dan VandenHeede said Brawley is the first girls' runner from Niles in at least a decade to qualify for the state finals.
Brawley has led the Vikings all season despite being a freshman. She is also only a part-time cross country runner. Brawley's main focus in the fall is basketball, which she also plays at Niles.
She finished Saturday's regional race in 21:00, which wasn't one of her best times, VandenHeede said. Brawley is hoping to better that mark at the state finals, held at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn.
The Boys' Athlete of the Week award goes to Buchanan running back Dennis Williams, who helped guide the Bucks to a victory in their first ever playoff appearance.
Williams rushed for 113 yards and a touchdown in Buchanan's 24-13 win over Union City last week. He also helped spark the Bucks' 21-point outburst in the second quarter that advanced them to the second round.
With 9:23 remaining before halftime and Buchanan trailing 7-0, Williams took the ball 34 yards up the middle, breaking tackles on his way to the game-tying touchdown.
From there, Buchanan easily controlled the game. The Bucks look for a repeat performance from Williams in Friday's second round game at Constantine.
Each week, the athletics directors from Niles, Brandywine and Buchanan nominate players for the Athlete of the Week.
The sports editor of the Niles Daily Star then selects a boys' and girls' winner for each week.
Each senior winner will be eligible to apply for the scholarship at the end of the school year. Each week's winners will also receive a month's subscription to the newspaper of the community they represent.
In April, each senior Athlete of the Week winner from all three sports seasons will submit an application for the scholarship.
Leader Publications will then select a boys' and girls' Athlete of the Year from either Cassopolis, Dowagiac or Edwardsburg.
The two athletes will receive a scholarship for an as yet to be determined amount. The winners will be named in May.
Questions regarding the Athlete of the Year scholarships can be directed to Mary Cooper at 687-7732 or Daily Star sports editor Adam Fisher at 687-7703.