Clawson High duo named athletes of the year

By: Christian Davis | Royal Oak Review | Published June 27, 2011

 Clawson High graduates Emily Banules, left, and Kevin Cunningham won the Robert Herm Coaches Award.

Clawson High graduates Emily Banules, left, and Kevin Cunningham won the Robert Herm Coaches Award.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Recent Clawson High graduates Kevin Cunningham and Emily Banules have put in the work, and it’s paid off in more than just victories.

The duo won the school’s Robert Herm Coaches Award and will have their names engraved on the trophy, which stays at the high school.The award is given based on the votes from all the varsity coaches in the school.

“It felt really good. I mean, I put in four years of hard work and dedication in sports and school, and it all paid off,” Cunningham said. “I was glad to be recognized for my hard work.”

Cunningham was the salutatorian of his class and excelled in cross country, wrestling and track.

“Wrestling was my favorite. It’s such a hard sport, and you’re doing it all by yourself,” he said. “You still have a team and it’s a team sport, but when you win a match, it’s your own hard work and dedication put in. It’s a sport where every ounce of hard work you put in, you’ll receive in return.”

Wrestling coach Keil Jorgenson praised Cunningham’s leadership qualities.

“His hard-work ethic and mental toughness made him an athletic success,” the coach said. “I was extremely honored to have a young man with those attributes on my team. He made everyone around him work harder, listen better and wrestle tougher.”

Cunningham is attending Michigan State University in the fall on scholarship and plans to study history and education.

He also plans on playing clubs sports, including hockey, which he has played his whole life.

“I’ve been playing sports since I was a little kid,” Cunningham said. “It’s something that motivates you. Sports teaches you how to live your life and how to be competitive, and to work to always do your best. … You have to always push to another level.”

Banules excelled on the volleyball court, soccer field and in the pool. Along with being a premier athlete, she also finished in the top 10 of her class academically.

“Emily is a student-athlete to be modeled after and a deserving recipient of this year’s Athlete of the Year,” soccer coach Jared Kullman said.

Banules brother, Anthony, won the award in 2009.

“It’s what the coaches voted on, so it proves to myself that I was a leader on the team,” she said.

She added that it’s the competition that she enjoys most about sports.

“I love fighting to win, and I love working hard at practice to win the big game,” she said.

Banules is attending Wayne State University in the fall, and she plans to study art education and child psychology.