• Michigan

DEPSA’s Rickea Jackson, Foley’s Kendel Taylor recipients of 2019 Michigan High School Athlete of the Year awards from DAC

By: Matthew B. Mowery, May 13, 2019, 11:00 pm

Rickea Jackson and Kendel Taylor were named the Detroit Athletic Club’s 2019 Michigan High School Athletes of the Year at the 23rd annual event Monday night.

A TV show with highlights of the event will be broadcast on Fox Sports Detroit this weekend.

Jackson, also the winner of the state’s Miss Basketball Award and Gatorade Player of the Year honors, was a McDonald’s All-American in basketball for Detroit Edison. She led the Pioneers to a third straight state title over the winter, and will play college basketball for Mississippi State next year.

Taylor played football and wrestled for Madison Heights Bishop Foley, and will play football at the U.S. Naval Academy next year. In wrestling, Taylor was 37-4 as a senior, winning the Division 3 individual championship at 189 pounds, becoming the first individual title winner for the Ventures since 1971.

The other five finalists for the girls award were: Julia Ayrault, basketball, Grosse Pointe North;  Madeline Chinn, volleyball, Pontiac Notre Dame Prep; Jansen Eichenlaub, soccer and track, Birmingham Marian; Danielle “Elle” Hartje, tennis, soccer and hockey, Detroit Country Day; and  Ashley Turak, swimming, Farmington Hills Harrison.

The other five finalists for the girls award were: Heath Baldwin, football, track and field, Kalamazoo Hackett Catholic Preparatory; Austin Brown, football, baseball, basketball, Madison Heights Madison; Lance Dixon, football, West Bloomfield; Nick Foster, cross country, Ann Arbor Pioneer; and Derek Maas, swimming, Holland West Ottawa.

The award winners earn $5,000 scholarships from the DAC, while the remaining finalists get $1,000 scholarships.

To be eligible for the award, student athletes had to be a member of the senior class, with demonstrable excellence in athletics in MHSAA sanctioned sports, as well as a grade-point average of 3.0 or higher, and a resume of citizenship (school leadership, community involvement and volunteerism).

Last year’s winners were Lansing Catholic’s cross country and track star Olivia Theis and Dearborn Divine Child lacrosse and football star Aidan Hutchinson.