Andrew Drake was a freshman when he learned of the Dude Dent Award, an honor given to Moffat County High School's outstanding male athlete. It was at that moment he made a goal to win it.
Four years, 12 sports and a grade point average between 3.0 and 3.2 later, Drake saw his goal come to fruition shortly before graduating with his 2007 class.
"It just kind of feels good to know that four years of hard work paid off," Drake said. "It lets me know that people noticed my hard work."
The athlete of the year award is based on two criteria: total number of athletic letters earned at MCHS -- each letter award is valued at five points -- and total grade point average.
Drake was a three-sport athlete all four years as a Bulldog, participating in football, basketball and track and field.
Drake's athletic career will continue at the collegiate level at Sterling College in Sterling, Kan. Drake signed with the NAIA school's football team.
"I like the team factor of it," Drake said of football. At MCHS "we were kind of a family instead of a team. I guess it is kind of a manly thing -- I just like the sport."
Drake doesn't have to look far for positive role models in his life.
"My family has always been behind me in all my sports no matter what it was or how far away," he said. "They were always there to cheer me on."
He also credits John Haddan, a basketball and football coach at MCHS, for helping him out and "making practice fun."
"He is a fierce competitor, and everything he does, he pours his heart and soul into," Haddan said. "Sometimes that fierce competitive nature might boil over to something it shouldn't, but if you really know Andrew, he is a great kid and should have a lot of success at Sterling College."
While football will take him to the next level, Drake inked his name in the MCHS record books in track and field.
After placing 10th at the 4A state championships in the 800-meter relay his sophomore and junior years, Drake and his teammates broke a school record this year with a time of 1 minute, 31.09 seconds.
Ironically, Haddan was a member of the 1982 squad that finished in 1:31.13.
As Drake prepares to travel 600 miles east to Sterling, his accomplishments as a Bulldog look to help him out.
"Trying to get that goal (athlete of year) kept me going through all three sports all four years," he said.