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Haga earns Wendy's Heisman state honors

Crater senior softball player Sarah Haga has been named the female state winner of the Wendy's High School Heisman Award, a prestigious honor that could lead to national recognition.

The list of winners was released on Friday.

She and Cristian Sanchez of Ontario were chosen from 55,000 applicants, surviving rounds that narrowed contenders to one male and one female winner from each school, and then to Oregon's group of 20 state finalists.

Among her contributions to the community, Haga created an organization called Dream Dresses, which provides underprivileged high school students with dresses for school dances. She also tutors and is a student liaison between the Crater Multicultural Student Union and Central Point Multicultural Committee.

"I just felt so honored to receive a national award of that degree," said Haga, who is 17. "I wasn't really expecting it, but I feel really fortunate and privileged to receive it."

Haga, who owned a 4.11 GPA through her junior year, was named to the Southern Sky Conference first team for a third straight year and received third-team all-state honors as a catcher in softball last spring. She batted .375 with 11 doubles and 23 RBIs for the Comets, who went 18-8 overall and fell to Century in the Class 5A state quarterfinals last season.

"It is Sarah's philosophy in life to do the best she can in whatever it is that she's doing," Crater head softball coach Chris Arnold said. "Getting that award is just another day in the life of Sarah Haga. She is involved in so many things and is passionate about everything she does. It is nice when that effort is recognized."

Haga will next compete for the national award, which celebrates hard work, dedication and an exceptional record in athletics, academics and community leadership. Going up against winners from other states, she'll get the chance to be named one of 12 national finalists, who then go on to compete for the national title in New York City on Dec. 10. National finalists will be featured during a televised ceremony on an ESPN network, receive a gold medal and get a $2,000 award for their high schools.

Roseburg swimmer Kaylin Bing was a finalist for the state award, which is now in its 17th year.

Reach reporter Dan Jones at 541-776-4499, or e-mail djones@mailtribune.com