What a decade it was in the local world of sports. Area athletes left legacies that will go down as some of the greatest to ever play the games. In my estimation, these are the local athletes of the decade:
Taylor Bryant – NHS Class of 2017
Bryant was a standout in all areas, from the track, to the trails, to the softball field, to the courts. A five-sport star for the Lady Indians, Bryant lettered in cross country, track and field, volleyball, and softball. But it was in basketball where she made her biggest impact. Bryant was a four-year captain, made All Conference multiple times in both the EUP and SAC, won Player of the Year awards in both leagues, was an UPSSA Dream Team selection, and U.P. Player of the Year. She earned All State recognition from the Associated Press and Basketball Coaches Association of America. Her teams won conference, district, and regional championships, and reached the MHSAA Quarterfinals. Bryant finished her career as Newberry’s all-time leading scorer, with 1,429 points. She also has the career record for assists and steals. In all, Taylor set nine records in basketball, three in track and field, and six in softball, while earning 15 Varsity letters for the Lady Indians and was a state champion in track. Bryant is a currently junior at LSSU, where she plays college basketball.
John Paramski – NHS Class of 2017
The original “Man Child”, Johnny P was an all-around athlete for the Indians. He was a standout in high school football, basketball, and track and field. A difference maker on both sides of the ball, Paramski set school records and was an All Conference selection three years in a row at both quarterback and linebacker. As a senior, John totalled 153 tackles and was named U.P. Player of the Year for eleven-man football. The Indians made multiple playoff appearances during his time, and Paramski has the school record for total touchdowns (96) and career tackles (483). In basketball, he was a four-year starter and passed the 1,000 career point mark. In track, Paramski medaled in multiple events at U.P. Finals, leading the Indians track to a Division 2 State Championship. Paramski later signed with Michigan Tech to play football for the Huskies.
Olivia Vaughn – Engadine Class of 2017
Another multi-sport standout, Vaughn led the Lady Eagles to their second state semi final appearance in school history as a senior. Averaging 18.3 points per game, Vaughn was selected as the UPSSA Class D Player of the Year, was an All State Honorable Mention pick by the AP, and scored a game high 30 points in an impressive showing in the state semi finals. Vaughn also earned 1st Team and Player of the Year awards in the EUP Conference. But it wasn’t just in basketball where she shined. In volleyball, Vaughn received All Conference selection multiple times, and led the Lady Eagles to multiple district championships.
Andrew Blanchard – Engadine Class of 2019
Blanchard will no doubt go down as the best boys basketball player Engadine has ever seen. The school’s all time leading scorer with 1,149 total points, Blanchard became a Dream Team selection and was named the EUP Conference Player of the Year as a senior, averaging 22.2 points, 7 rebounds, 5.8 assists, and 4.7 steals per game. He also set records with 351 assists and 279 steals. Known for his flowing hair, deep threes, and rim rattling dunks, Blanchard electrified an Engadine program that was winless before he started. Blanchard was a star on both offense and defense for the Eagles football team. An All League selection in the former Bridge Alliance Conference, Blanchard was an All UP Football Pick as a Defensive Back after leading the entire state in interceptions as a senior. He was an AP All State selection at QB, totaling 27 TDs and leading Engadine to the playoffs in multiple seasons. Andrew is playing college basketball at Alma.