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Voting begins for Readers’ Choice Athlete of the Year

By Breeze Staff Report - | May 26, 2022

It’s been quite a year for high school athletics in The Cape Coral Breeze coverage area. The 2021-2022 high school season brought two state championships to area teams: the Mariner girls soccer team and Island Coast baseball team.

The Breeze will be recognizing its Athletes of the Week at the Breakfast of Champions event June 4 at the Cape Coral Yacht Club. There, each Breeze selected Athlete of the Week for the entire year will be honored.

Additional awards will be given for male and female Athlete of the Year, Coach of the Year, and male and female Team of the Year. There is also a readers’ choice Athlete of the Year, with 10 nominees to choose from. Voting is open online until June 2 at noon and can be found here.

The Breeze sports staff has selected the following student-athletes to be nominated for Readers’ Choice High School Athlete of the Year:

• Keon Anderson, Island Coast High School: The senior excelled both on the football field and in track & field, leading the Gatos ground game on the gridiron and bringing home district championships in shot put and discus

• Katarina Hagler, Oasis High School: The sophomore had a tremendous season on the lanes for the Sharks, as she was runner-up in the 2021 FHSAA bowling state championships.

• Ryleigh Acosta, Mariner High School: The junior was the Tritons leading scorer (26 goals, 26 assists) and helped the Mariner girls soccer team capture its first state championship in school history.

• Melissa Blaine, Cape Coral High School: The sophomore swam to a first-place finish and school record in the 200 IM at the FHSAA swimming state championships in Stewart. She also finished third in the 500 free, third in the 200 medley relay and second in the 400 free relay — setting another school record with three other swimmers.

• Kevin Martinez, Island Coast High School: The junior was an integral piece of Island Coast’s 4A State Championship team with both his arm and bat. Martinez hit .452 on the year and posted a 12-1 record on the mound with a 1.27 ERA.

• Maximus Brady, Mariner High School: Brady became the first freshman at Mariner to win a FHSAA Wrestling State Championship as he took home the 2A title at 113 pounds. Brady finished the year with a record of 54-2.

• Michelle Horan, North Fort Myers High School: The senior led the Red Knights girls soccer team to the state regional finals and a 16-1-1 record, totaling 23 goals and 22 assists along the way – both team-highs.

• Chris Minto, Mariner High School: The junior collected his second consecutive FHSAA Wrestling State Championship (2A) and completed an undefeated season (55-0) in the 138-pound weight class. Last year, Minto was the state champ at 120 pounds.

• Wyatt Whalen, Bishop Verot High School: Along with being a key cog in the Verot football offensive line, the junior took home the FHSAA 2A State Championship in shot put and finished third in discus. Both were personal and school records.

• Kaleb Staple, Ida Baker High School: The senior broke Ida Baker’s single-game rushing record with a 301-yard performance against Cape Coral. Staple performed at a high level all year for the Bulldogs’ offense.