Urbandale Senior Hannah Sawyer was one of twelve Girls Basketball Players statewide to receive the E. Wayne Cooley "You Can" Award as awarded by the Iowa Girls Coaches Association.
Sawyer was nominated by Head Girls Basketball Coach, Gary Birdwell, who's nomination included the following:
"Hannah has exemplified leadership and character in her career as a student athlete at Urbandale High School, however her leadership and positive influence on the team and program has skyrocketed her senior year despite adversity. Hannah has had a difficult season as she has overcome a devastating knee injury from this past spring. Even when she wasn't cleared by the doctor to play, she came to every single open gym, scrimmage, practice and team event to watch and support her team until she was cleared. When cleared, she was the hardest worker on the court and her energy and positive attitude brought others with her. Hannah is the Urbandale Girls' Basketball program's constant. She is always consistent with her respect of the team, her positive attitude, and being a leader that the girls and coaches could look to for support or clarification in all aspects of the game. We had a very young team and she has always stepped in as a leader to those girls, not through playing time or points, but by lifting others up, providing an example of hard work every day, and overcoming adversity with her injury."
The E. Wayne Cooley "You Can" Award will be awarded by the IGCA in appreciation of the longtime Executive Secretary of the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union, E. Wayne Cooley. Mr. Cooley is a builder; under his leadership the IGHSAU was transformed into the nations leading high school program for girls.
The sponsor of the E. Wayne Cooley "You Can" Award is our partner, the Iowa National Guard. "You Can" (the Iowa National Guard motto) illustrates the qualities of determination, character and the values of Pursuing Victory With Honor. These are attributes Mr. Cooley, the Iowa National Guard and the Iowa Girls' Coaches Association are proud to represent.
The purpose of the award is to recognize inspirational Iowa Girl athletes. All nominated athletes receive a certificate. The athlete must show the elements of good character (trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship). Any athlete who influenced their team in a positive manner while demonstrating great character, overcoming great odds or sacrifice is eligible.