Walt Bazylewicz Female and Male Athlete of the Year
The Catholic High School League is pleased to announce Jess Mruzik of Mercy and Brendin Yatooma of Detroit Catholic Central as the 2020 Walt Bazylewicz Female and Male Athletes of the Year. Both individuals excelled in their respective sports while attending a league member school.
Jess had an outstanding career at Mercy culminating with a Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) Division 1 Volleyball state title in 2019. While at Mercy Jess earned All Catholic honors all four years. She is the recipient of many state and national awards, including National Gatorade High School Volleyball Player of the Year. Jess is one of the most decorated female athletes in league history.
Brendin represented Detroit Catholic Central in two of their historic athletic programs, football and wrestling. He is a four-time team wrestling state champion and two-time individual wrestling state champion posting a career record 162-26 with 97 pins. In football, Brendin was a three time All Catholic while earning All State honors for the Shamrocks this past season. Brendin was awarded the Fr. James Whelan Award, given annually to Detroit Catholic Central’s top scholar-athlete as voted by his peers.
The Walt Bazylewicz Athlete of the Year Award was created in the 1988-89 school year to honor the Catholic High School League’s fifth director. During challenging times, Mr. Bazylewicz, better known as “Bazy”, refused to accept budget cuts and a possible dissolution of the organization and set in place a funding base that secured the league's survival. He is the creator of several programs, including the Prep Bowl®, girls' championships and the Hall of Fame. Since 1989, this award has recognized the accomplishments of the league's top male and top female senior athletes.