With the days left on the school calendar dwindling, the annual Wellington High School Sports Banquet was held May 10th.  Parents, coaches, athletes, and family members all came to revel in the glories the Crusaders accomplished over the past year.  Cade Phelps and Avery Rusk were named the the senior male and female athlete of the year for 2017-18.
Jack Walton also won the Wellington High School  John Gifford Award in football.  He commented that he “was estatic with the award, because of how much Crusader football has affected my life and how big of an honor that award is. I plan on going to K-State to major in finance.”
Back in March, Avery was named to the 2017-2018 Girls AVCTL All-League Division 4 1st Team.  Avery was also named ‘Player of the Year.’
Avery commented later that her “Uncle Nate Cornejo won it in 1998, and Jesse Cornejo in 1995, so I am very honored to have my name on the list with all of the previous athletes. “
With graduation coming up on the 19th, Avery said, “I’m going to miss high school and everyone I’ve met, but I’m very excited for the future and what it holds for classmates and I.”
Avery’s younger sister Rylee is coming to the end of her freshman year and still has a few more years of playing for the Crusaders and following in her older sister’s footsteps.  
Cade Phelps already is looking ahead to later this year when he will be “attending Kansas State, just going to school.  No sports.”  He says he will be majoring in kinesiology.  
“I’m actually going to be dual majoring in Kinesiology and nutrition at K-State. Kinesiology is the study and mechanics of body movements. After I get my bachelors in Kinesiology and nutrition, I plan on possibly pursing Physical Therapy School.”
The road to his deciding on this started last fall after he was injured playing football.  “In the fall, I had no clue on what I wanted to do after high school. After I tore my ACL playing football, I made  2-3 physical therapy appointments a week for 4 months up in Derby. That's when I got introduced to physical therapy and saw exactly what physical therapists do daily for their job, helping patients recover from sports injuries.”
It was a rough road for Cade during that time, he says, as he “definitely was not used to not being able to play sports. My whole life, I've been active, doing whatever sport was in season. While I was injured, I just did whatever I could to still be involved. I went to every football practice, game, basketball practice, and basketball game. I just wanted to still be with my teammates, even though I wasn't able to play. Before surgery, my surgeon told me I'd be out for anywhere between six to nine months. My goal from the end of October was to recover and get cleared so I could play some baseball and help my team out in any way that I could. Luckily, I was able to do that; only missing the first double header of the season, and being cleared just 5 months after surgery.”
As the days wind down for his time at Wellington High School, he said he will miss “the whole part about being a “family". The teammates, the coaches, and the community we have supporting us are the best there is. There is no where else that has the small town pride and tradition like Wellington has.”
He said he had no “mentors that really stuck out to me. I'd like to thank all my coaches. They had a huge impact on me and I would not be the athlete/person I am today if it wasn't for all of them.”
He said, “I have 5 people in my family. I have an older sister that is a pharmacist in the Kansas City area, and an older brother that is graduating from Hutch in a few days. They were both also phenomenal athletes at Wellington High School. My brother won Male Athlete of the Year in 2016 and my sister won it in 2007. My mom was born and raised in Wellington, and my dad is from Topeka, but moved to Wellington with his family when he was 3. We've been in Wellington my entire lifetime.”
The Wellington Daily News congratulates Avery and Cade on their award and on their continued success.