Oak Harbor athletes honored

A year’s worth of hard work in academics and athletics paid dividends for Oak Harbor High School senior Grant Bull and sophomore Missy McIntyre, as the duo picked up athlete of the year awards for 2002-03.

Bull, who was the fifth member of his family to receive the award over the last 28 years, was honored to keep the tradition alive.

“It’s one of those things I said wasn’t important to me, but in the back of my mind I was crossing every finger I had,” he said.

Sister Molly won in 2001, sister Lindsey won in 1999, uncle Bruce won in 1979 and father Ron won in 1975.

After deciding to rest during this year’s basketball season, Bull was initially surprised when his name was called Friday morning.

“I’ve always three-sported and this year I ended up not playing basketball, so I was kind of shocked when I got it,” he said.

Despite not playing basketball his senior year, Bull managed to excel in football and soccer.

He was named WesCo North first-team all-league wide receiver, safety and punt returner, putting up outstanding numbers on the gridiron. He scored a total of 16 touchdowns, rushing for seven, catching seven, grabbing one off an interception and returning another off a punt return.

“He scored just about every way possible,” football coach Dave Ward said.

Bull racked up a total of 591 yards receiving and 462 yards on the ground, en route to Oak Harbor’s first football state playoff appearance in 20 years.

“Making a statement on our football team was one thing at the beginning of the year we said we wanted to do,” Bull said. “Making it to state was a pretty big accomplishment.”

Aside from his athletic ability, his leadership is something that will be missed on next year’s squad.

“He has a very consistent temperament as a leader,” Ward said. “He was very deserving of this award on and off the field.”

Bull also had a strong year in soccer where he earned WesCo North first-team all-league honors at the forward position for the second consecutive season.

“I think I played a lot different role on my team this year,” Bull said. “I went from the long striker to kind of a mid-field striker, so I ended up being more assist oriented than anything else.”

As of Friday, Bull hadn’t made up his mind where he would attend college, but had his choices narrowed down to Central Washington University and Washington State University. Wherever he decides, he plans to walk onto the football team and put a heavy emphasis on his education.

“I’m trying to think of my academics right now because in the long run a degree is going to be the most important thing,” he said.

On the girls side, McIntyre accomplished a rarity by winning the athlete of the year award as a sophomore.

“It has to be a pretty significant year for a sophomore to receive this award,” Oak Harbor Athletic Director Jeff Stone said.

McIntyre had just that kind of year for the Wildcat swim team, finishing a perfect 28-0 in individual races and winning the state title in 50-meter freestyle and the 100-meter breaststroke. She also broke six OHHS records this year in 50-meter freestyle, 200-meter freestyle, 500-meter freestyle, 100-meter butterfly, 100-meter breaststroke, and 100-meter individual medley.

“I accomplished more than I thought I would,” she said. “I just wanted to go into state and win the 100-meter breaststroke.”

Despite having such a strong year, she was surprised when her name was announced at the school assembly last Friday.

“Out of all the awards I’ve ever gotten this was the most shocking,” she said. “I had no idea that I was going to get it because I almost thought of it as a senior award. When they called my name I thought they made a mistake.”

Hard work and a rigorous day-to-day practice routine almost 12 months of the year were a large part of her successful season. Weekdays from 5 to 7 a.m., she works out at the pool and after school from 2:45 to 5 p.m. she returns for more practice. She also swims for two hours every Saturday morning.

“Missy is an amazing swimmer as she’s obviously shown,” Wildcat swim coach Emelie Sullivan said. “She’s definitely a dedicated swimmer.”

Along with hard work she attributes her solid season to senior teammate Kyla Muer.

“She was my guiding light,” McIntyre said. “None of this would have happened if she wasn’t there rooting me on and keeping me in line.”

As far as next year, McIntyre knows she’ll be the one people are aiming to beat, but she is setting her goals even higher than the state level.

“Hopefully I’ll be number one in the nation, not just our state,” she said.

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