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Male Athlete of the Year: Meisner displays excellence in multiple sports
2011: Conner Hartmann
2010: Gordy Anderson
2009: Leon La Deaux
2008: Matt Foxworthy
2007: Renard Williams
2006: Brent Chriswell, Josiah Kipperberg
2005: Brent Chriswell
2004: Pat Kelly
In an era of specialization, he excelled in three sports.
South Kitsap senior Eddie Meisner placed in the Class 4A state tournament in wrestling. He also quarterbacked the Wolves to the verge of the state playoffs.
For those reasons, he was selected as the Port Orchard Independent's Male Athlete of the Year.
"It was a really good experience," Meisner said. "I will never forget this year."
Even though it involved some difficult lessons.
After pinning Lake Stevens' Shaq Reed in 3 minutes, 15 seconds, in the opening round at state, Meisner thought he was positioned well to win a championship at 220 pounds.
"I thought all of my cards were going right," he said, noting that he previously pinned Tahoma's Aaron Davis en route to a regional title.
But Meisner lost a 6-2 decision against Woodinville's Jake Hollister to derail those dreams. He later watched as Davis needed just 33 seconds to pin Hollister for the state championship.
"I overlooked my next opponent and he got the better of me," said Meisner, who could have given South a state champion for the second straight year. "It was a heartbreaker."
Others saw it through a different prism. Many athletes peak as juniors and struggle to elevate their performance as seniors. Meisner was an exception. He only placed sixth in his weight class at regionals in 2011. And during his junior year, Meisner was among three quarterbacks who saw playing time as the Wolves finished with a 3-7 record — their worst mark since 1977.
Sigurdson attributed that to Meisner's character. He said that was apparent when he saw him playing basketball at Marcus Whitman Junior High and Meisner, who was a post, seemed just as comfortable handling the ball at midcourt as he did in the key.
"He had no fear," Sigurdson said.
"He's a throwback. He's a hard-nosed football player."
Meisner, who was a football team captain last fall, tried to install that mentality during practices leading up to the season.
"Our motto is 'Fight for every inch,' " he said in August. "As a team, we just have to go forward, not worry about injuries and fight for everything. Nothing is going to be given to us."
That aptly could describe his track and field season. During the first meet of the season March 22 against Mount Tahoma, Meisner threw the shot put 47 feet, 3 1/2 inches. That mark would have placed him seventh in the 4A state meet.
It also was a throw he never matched again. Meisner's season ended at the league meet when he finished eighth in the shot put at 44-04.
"One day I would use my legs and another I would use my arms," he said. "I couldn't put it all together."
That might have been the lowlight of the season, but Meisner has faced greater challenges during his lifetime. His older brother, Brian Scott Huber, committed suicide in June 2006. Meisner always donned a blue T-shirt — the color of his brother's alma mater, Bremerton High — and a picture under his football jersey and pads.
"He was more my inspiration than anything," Meisner said in August. "He was my big brother. He was such a great role model and I always looked up to him."
He said he has been thankful for the support of his family over the years. The relationship soon will be from a distance as Meisner will walk onto the football team at Arizona State University. He said the only person he will know down there is his girlfriend, South senior Chelsea Chu, who is moving there with him.
"We just both want the feeling of being on our own and being independent," he said.
That does not mean Meisner envisions leaving his hometown forever. He hopes to major in history — Meisner enjoys discussing subjects from Julius Caesar to current events — and earn his teaching credential. Meisner then wants to return to his alma mater to teach and coach.And show another generation of Wolves how beneficial a broad skill set can be.