Much of New Albany’s success in athletics this school year came from a talented senior class, boasting several exceptionally talented athletes. Awarded for not only their contributions to their respective programs, but also for their continuing dedication to the school were Summer Sanderson and Riley Alef, 2012 recipients of the Bulldog Award.
Sanderson has played an instrumental part in the success of the Lady Bulldogs’ golf program and later joined the soccer team as a junior. Helping both teams make history this school year was the highlight of her athletic career.
“I don’t know if I could sum up my entire athletic career, because I’ve had a great time,” she said. “Probably the greatest memory has been making history with both the soccer and golf team. That was really awesome.”
Alef has lettered in football and baseball, playing a vital role in football, playing multiple positions, as well as baseball, where he excelled at catcher.
“When I started playing sports, I didn’t want to be remembered for being the best, but for working the hardest,” he said. “It’s been a lot of fun, and most of my memories from high school come from playing baseball and football. I’ve enjoyed it tremendously.”
“I’ve always said, if it becomes a chore, you need to stop playing, and thank goodness it hasn’t become that way for me.”
While the competition was close for this year’s Bulldog Award, both are grateful to have been chosen among their peers, but also give credit to their fellow seniors.
“It’s a great honor, especially because there are so many other people well-deserving, if not more than me, to get it,” Alef said. “It’s special for me, and hopefully I’ve well-represented the school.”
Added Sanderson, “My freshman year, I’ll never forget Jenna Davis and Sawyer Wheatley winning that award, and I knew that’s the one award I wanted, so I’ve worked as hard as I could and hoped I could get it. There are plenty of other people who could have won it, so it’s an extreme honor to receive this.”
The duo will continue their education at Northeast next school year. For Sanderson, she will begin to experience life outside of sports.
“I’m just going to be a student, for the first time,” she said. “It’s going to be tough, so I’m glad that I have my final memories of sports at New Albany High School.”
Alef will continue his athletic career having already signed to play baseball for the Tigers.