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Jalen Brooks '19 Named NC Male Athlete of the Year
Rachelle Garbarine

Another school first: Cardinal Gibbons High School is pleased to announce that Jalen Brooks ’19 today, May 2nd,  was named the State Male Athlete of the Year by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) at its annual meeting.

“We are all so proud of Jalen and grateful he is being presented with this prestigious award that recognizes his many accomplishments,” said Director of Athletic Leadership and Legacy Dean Monroe. 

Jalen Brooks at a football game carrying the American Flag.

Brooks, a three-sport Gibbons student-athlete - football, wrestling, and lacrosse - was chosen from a competitive field of nominees throughout the state to receive the 34th annual edition of the Pat Best Memorial Trophy.  A panel of journalists selected the finalists.

“We are all so proud of Jalen and grateful he is being presented with this prestigious award that recognizes his many accomplishments,” said Director of Athletic Leadership and Legacy Dean Monroe. “What makes Jalen so unique is his involvement and leadership not only in sports but in so many varied programs, including as a soloist in the Choral Ensemble.”

During his three years at Gibbons Brooks has distinguished himself as an athlete. He was named Gibbons’ Male Athlete of the Year for 2017-2018.

He has played as both a defensive end and fullback for the Crusaders. A three-year starter Brooks helped Gibbons to 33 wins and two Cap Seven 4A Conference Championships.  He is a two-time Cap Seven Defensive Players of the Year honoree.

His career statistics include 45 sacks, 9 recovered fumbles, and 177 total tackles or 4.9 tackles per game. Brooks earned a 3.4 unweighted grade point average for the fall 2018 term. He helped the team earn NCHSAA Team Scholar-Athlete distinction.

Jalen Brooks ' 19 receives Male Athlete of the Year Award from NCHAA.

Brooks also is a standout wrestler, earning back-to-back, 220-pound division state championship titles at the 4A level. His record is 42-0 in 2018-2019 and 40-0 in 2017-2018.

In addition, he was a three-time regional champion and was named Cap Seven Champion and Wrestler of the Year in the 2018-2019 season. His career record is 117- 6.

This year, Brooks received playing time in his first season of competitive lacrosse for the Crusaders. He earned a spot on the team by convincing coaches of his desire to contribute leadership by example through his work ethic and “team first” mentality. 

In the fall, Brooks will continue his academic career at the United States Military Prep School at West Point.  He will play football for Army.

Other members of the Gibbons Athletics Program also were recognized at the May 2nd ceremony. Varsity Women's Lacrosse Coach Patricia Alexander received the NCHSAA Doris Howard Female Coach of the Year Award. Varsity Men's and Women's Cross Country and Track Coach Nick Mangum '99 received the National Federation of High Schools' NC Girls Cross Country Coach of the Year Award. In addition, our football student-athletes and coaches were recognized with the top Scholar-Athlete Team Award for the highest, unweighted, grade point average for the spring semester among all NCHSAA football teams throughout the state.

The awards were presented as a part of the NCHSAA’s Annual Meeting on May 2 at the Dean E. Smith Center in Chapel Hill.

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