Milbank High School alumnus and former South Dakota State University Jackrabbit football player, Nick Mears, will be the featured speaker at the annual Milbank High School athletic banquet. The dinner is set for Wednesday, May 10, at 6:30 p.m. at the Milbank Armory. Tickets are on sale at the high school office for $14 each. Milbank Area athletes attend for free. Tickets must be purchased in advance by Friday, May 5.
“It’s an honor to be asked to come back and speak at the school that helped me become who I am,” said Mears. “I owe a lot to this school and the staff that helped me reach my dreams. My goal is to convey a message that people will understand and appreciate about what I did to reach some of my goals both academically and athletically.” Mears is currently employed as a medical sales representative for an orthopedic medical device company, Arthrex, in Bismarck, North Dakota. He is engaged to be married to Olivia Barlund in September of this year.
At MHS, Mears was a three-year starting quarterback for the Bulldogs, a point guard on the basketball team, and a sprinter with the track team.
Mears was a finalist for the South Dakota Gatorade Player of the Year after a record-setting career at quarterback. He racked up more than 7,500 yards of total offense – throwing for 4,595 career yards with 58 touchdowns and rushing for another 3,000 yards with 34 TDs. He also registered 115 career tackles.
He led the Bulldogs to its only State Class 11A championship title in 2009. He was a three-time All-Northeast Conference player and earned All-State recognition as both a punter and quarterback. He was a member of the Sioux Falls Argus Leader Elite 45 team and named Most Valuable Player at the South Dakota All-Star games following his senior year.
A well-rounded athlete, Mears was named to the All-Northeast Conference basketball team in 2012. In track, he was a state qualifier in the sprints, triple jump, and relays. He was an Academic All-State honoree in all three sports, a member of the National Honor Society, and graduated with a 4.0 grade point average.
His list of accolades continued to grow at SDSU. He was a three-year starter for the Jackrabbits football team at safety and named a team captain his senior year (2016). He finished his career with 225 total tackles and graduated in December 2016 with a 4.0 GPA in economics. He also was named the Economics Student of the Year in 2015 and 2016, was a member of the student-athlete advisory committee, and the Intercollegiate Athletic Board.
His list of football honors include:
• CoSIDA Academic All-America First Team (2015, 2016)
• CoSIDA/Capital One Academic All-District (2014, 2015, 2016)
• FCS Athletic Directors Association Academic All-Star Team (2015, 2016)
• Missouri Valley Football Conference All-Academic First Team (2015, 2016)
• MVFC Presidents Council Academic Award (2015, 2016)
• MVFC Commissioner’s Academic Excellence Award (2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)
• MVFC Honor Roll (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016)
• Football Scholar/Athlete Award Winner (2016)
• Campbell Trophy Semi-Finalist
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