Michels, Danielson, Wyffels repeat top Mabel-Canton athletic honors

Drew Wyffels Male Athlete of Year, 3rd yr. Senior Scholar/Athlete Award

Payton Danielson co-Female Athlete of Year, 2nd yr.

Maddy Michels co-Female Athlete of Year, 2nd yr. Senior Scholar/Athlete Award
Chad Smith

Senior Drew Wyffels has been named Mabel-Canton Male Athlete of the Year for the third straight year; senior Maddy Michels and junior Payton Danielson for the second straight year share the Female Athlete of the Year honor.

All three didn’t just excel in the athletic arena. As seniors, Wyffels and Michels also received the 2019 Senior Scholar/Athlete Awards, which are two $100 scholarships for "student-athletes who have combined excellence both in the classroom (must have a minimum B grade point average) and on the playing field throughout their years at Mabel-Canton. The emphasis for winning the award is placed on maximum participation in athletics, class rank and leadership."


The list of awards the Mabel-Canton standout has won is a long one. He’s been All-State in both 9-man football and track and field, All-Area football and All-Section baseball.

He’s been selected all-conference/district in all four sports, a grand total of 12 times in his career. In his senior year, he was selected for a fourth year in baseball, the third year in both football and basketball, and the second year in track.

He’s also won a lot of team awards, including the M-C Most Valuable Player award in all three sports that give the award. As a senior, he was the MVP in both basketball and baseball for the third year as well as football MVP for the second straight season.

The list also includes winning the Hustle Award and Team Player Award in basketball, and for the third season - the Most Valuable Defensive Back in football.

As a senior, during the basketball season, he scored 320 points, giving him 1,177 for his career. He also dished out 157 assists, running his total to 577 career assists.

During the baseball season, the senior batted .385, bringing his career batting average up to .364. He also stole 21 bases, giving him 52 career thefts. Wyffels scored 13 runs, increasing his career total to 68.

During his final football season, Wyffels completed 51 passes, giving him 155 career completions for 32 touchdowns. On defense, he intercepted 6 passes, bringing his career total to 17 career picks.

In track, he won the 8th-place medal at state on the 4x200-meter relay team. He was conference champion in four events, winning triple jump and 100-meter dash as well as running on two SEC championship relays

He was equally successful in the classroom, making Academic All-State in basketball, which recognizes seniors with at least a 3.5 GPA cumulative throughout his four years in high school. He was also Academic All-Conference/District 15 times in his career — five times in baseball, four times in both basketball and football plus both seasons as a track athlete.

"I hope the readers had a chance to watch Drew Wyffels over the years in all three sports," said football and baseball coach Karl Urbaniak. "He has been a special athlete but an even better person. Drew has a great feel for the sports he's played and always displayed real concern for his teammates."


The fact that she faced taller players in both volleyball and basketball every night on the court never bothered the Cougar senior. Michels received Honorable Mention All-Area in volleyball and was All-Conference volleyball for the third year.

Her hard work didn’t stop at volleyball, either. She was voted 2019 basketball Most Valuable Player and also the Hardest Worker Award while also receiving Honorable Mention All-Conference, and she was voted the co-Team Player Award winner in softball.

Michels has been All-SEC five times — thrice in volleyball and twice in softball. She has twice been named All-Section softball.

During her final volleyball season, the 5-foot, 5-inch middle hitter had a team-high 264 kills, finished second with 28 blocks and served at 95%. She graduates with 788 career kills, 268 career digs and 123 total blocks.

In the final basketball campaign, she finished second on the team by averaging 10.8 points and 5.6 rebounds per game. Michels poured in 496 career points along with 443 rebounds.

A defensive stalwart in softball that was hard to steal on, Michels again anchored the defense as the starting catcher and was second in putouts with 56.

She also excelled in the classroom and was Academic All-Conference in 12 of 15 letter-winning seasons.

Her trap shooting career cannot be overlooked. When adding in clay target shooting, she lettered 17 times in five years


Although only a junior, Danielson has already achieved a remarkable feat, surpassing 1,000 career basketball points and 1,000 career volleyball digs.

The Cougar junior was chosen All-Conference for the third year in basketball, All-Conference and Honorable Mention All-Area in volleyball and All-Section for a second season in softball. Her teammates voted her the Hardest Worker Award for a second year in volleyball.

Although only a junior, she has been All-SEC four times - thrice in basketball, once in volleyball.

In basketball this winter, she led the Cougars in a remarkable seven categories — scoring (11.5 points per game), rebounds (8.2 rpg), assists (3.1 apg), steals (3.6 spg), free throw accuracy (74%), field goal accuracy (41%) and tied for the lead in 3-point accuracy (25%).

Danielson has a chance to climb higher in the Mabel-Canton career charts. With another year of eligibility remaining, she already has scored 1,264 points (9.5 ppg) and rebounded 731 times (5.5 rpg).

During the most recent volleyball season, she served at 94% and was third on the team with 210 kills and 46 ace serves. Danielson already has 1,036 career digs, 400 kills and 235 service aces.

During the spring softball campaign, Danielson led the team in sacrifices while also batting .333 with a .400 on-base percentage.

Proving she was truly a student/athlete, she has 13 varsity letters to her name and has been Academic All-Conference all 13 seasons.   

"Both Maddy and Payton epitomize what our Mabel-Canton female athletes have been for a number of years — hard working, undersized, overachievers," said volleyball coach and athletic director Lonnie Morken.  "Whether they are on the court, on the field or in the weight room, they both will give 100% with a team-first mentality.  They also challenge themselves academically and hold themselves to a higher standard than most."