Two San Jon High School senior girls, April Pullen and Shasta Slutz have been named the New Mexico Athletics Association Class A Sportsmen of the Year. The two were acknowledged as the Sportsmen of the Year in a special ceremony held at the halftime of the District Girls’ Championship basketball game held in Grady, Saturday, Feb. 28.
According to a NMAA spokesman usually only one person per class is so honored, but in the case of the San Jon duo, they made an exception because of the over 40 letters of recommendations they received from opposing coaches, officials, teachers, members of the media, administrators and business people in the area.
According to one of her coaches, James Phipps, the two could not be more deserving of the honor they received.
“These two girls are hard workers and extremely dedicated and as the award said, they are great sportsmen,” said Phipps.
He said that was evident throughout the months leading up to them receiving the award.
“I’m very proud for them,” said Phipps. It is a big honor for anyone. I’m very pleased because they’re very deserving of this award.
April is the daughter of Donna Pullen and Shasta is the daughter of James and Robin Slutz. Both girls said they were stunned to receive the state award.
“I’m very excited and surprised,” said Pullen about the award, “because I didn’t know I would be getting it.”
Pullen’s reaction was echoed by Slutz. “I’m very surprised,” said Slutz. “Well, I’m surprised that anyone would nominate me for this award. It’s wonderful.”
Surprisingly, Neither of the girls is the first in their families to win the award. In 1995, Pullen’s grandfather, Bob Frost, won the adult version of the award and in 1993 Slutz’s second cousin Cynthia Benally Lee, won the award while a student at San Jon.