White, Watson honored as Athletes of the Year

June 10, 1993|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,Staff Writer

Yesterday's 27th annual Baltimore Sun Athlete of the Yea banquet honored the area's best high school athletes at Sheraton Baltimore North in Towson.

But it was also a family affair, with Orioles assistant general manager Frank Robinson, the guest speaker, setting the tone by emphasizing education and cooperation among coaches, parents and athletes.

And when Dulaney's Amanda White made history by being named Female Athlete of the Year for the second straight time, her father, Stan, was there, camcorder in hand.

Moments later, Jimmy Watson fought back tears behind a pair of sunglasses as his son, Michael, of St. Paul's, walked onstage after being named Male Athlete of the Year.

"The parents are the unsung heroes and they don't get too much credit for the time, effort and work they put in," said Robinson.

"You have to learn to take criticism in life, and it starts with your parents," said Robinson. "Parents and coaches should have patience, sometimes giving a pat on the back or a little encouragement."

White, who turned 18 on Monday, became the award's first two-time winner -- a year after becoming the first underclassman to take top honors.

"When people ask me 'What are your greatest accomplishments in sports or academics?' I always list this," said White, a six-time All-Metro pick and a 19-time state champion in cross country and track. "Winning last year's award was one of the best things to happen to me. It feels good winning again."

This year, White won the Dial Award, given to the nation's top female scholar-athlete; captured the Kinney Cross Country National title en route to her third straight All-Metro Runner of the Year honor; was a member of the U.S. Swimming Junior National and Swimming Scholastic All-American teams; earned her third straight All-Metro Track Performer of the Year honor; and became the first Baltimore-area female to win an individual event at the Penn Relays, taking the 3,000-meter race in a state-record 9 minutes, 46 seconds.

White, who is headed for Stanford University, also won her third 4A track state titles in each of the 800, 1,600 and 3,200.

"Last year was a year of second places -- in the Kinney Nationals, in the indoor mile and at Penn," said White, a straight-A student. "I guess I just wanted everything more [in 1993]."

So did Watson, a two-time lacrosse All-Metro and All-American and this year's lacrosse Player of the Year who will attend Virginia.

Watson, 18, ranks third on St. Paul's all-time scoring list with 151 goals and 71 assists, having helped the Crusaders to 34 straight victories and two straight Maryland Scholastic Association crowns.

Lacrosse overshadowed Watson's three years as a starter on the school's basketball team, and his first varsity season playing football.

"I did pretty well in sports, but there are so many good athletes, I didn't think I had a shot at winning [Athlete of the Year]," said Watson.

He led the basketball team to two C Conference titles, earning Most Valuable Player honors last year, and this year averaging 19.5 points (16.4 for his career) and 5.2 assists.

Watson was the top scorer in football with nine touchdowns for the 9-0, four-time MSA champs.

"I'm a competitive person, but the main reason I played sports is to have fun," said Watson, a 3.0 student. "I had a great time with my coaches and teammates."

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