December 6, 2012 at 6:50 AM
SUMMIT, NJ - Balancing sports and school is always a challenge, but for Summit High School senior Mike Badgley it’s a piece of cake. His achievements on and off the field recently led him to be honored as one of the 50 players who were recipients of the 2012 Mini Max High School award for the state of New Jersey.
”It’s awesome to be in the top 50,” he said.
The players were nominated by their coaches throughout the season and were evaluated based on criteria including academics, football performance and community service. For the second year in a row, he has helped lead the Hilltoppers to the state championship game. Their opponent is Palisades Park on Saturday Dec. 8, whom they have never played.
“That was our goal as a team - to get back to the championship,” he said. “They’re going to bring their 'A' game and we got to bring ours. It’s going to be a very good game.”
Badgley said he knew Head Coach John Liberato nominated him, but he didn’t worry about the award because his focus was football and school. He said he worked hard, did his work, studied and had great relationships with his teachers.
He said he never felt too much pressure from anyone, but always tried his best. For the past four years, he poured his heart, blood, sweat and tears into every game, he said. However, he is extremely excited about winning the award and is looking forward to attending the dinner in January with his family and friends.
Liberato said he nominated Badgley because he is a captain, a leader a great teammate and a good person. He said he is really proud of Badgley’s accomplishments over the past four years and is happy he received the award.
“He does everything for us,” Liberato said. “He really does a great job.”
The winners will be recognized by the Maxwell Football Club at the New Jersey Mini Max Awards Dinner on Jan. 13 in New Brunswick. This is the only statewide high school football awards program in New Jersey.