Athena winners: Zurbay wins award for Totino-Grace

By Matthew Davis
Contributing Writer

A ten-time varsity letter winner for athletics at Totino-Grace, Megan Zurbay has been chosen as the Fridley school’s Athena winner.

The annual award goes to a senior at each participating metro area high school who displays excellence in athletics, academics and service to the community.

Zurbay, a resident of Brooklyn Park, served as a captain for both the Eagles girls track and field and girls hockey teams in addition to lettering four times for each sport. She also lettered twice in girls soccer and won All-Northwest Suburban Conference honors once as she did in track too.

Zurbay reached the state true team track meet each season thus far, and she reached the section finals for both the long and triple jump as a junior. The Eagles’ new track season go underway April 1 at an indoor invitational at Bethel University.

Zurbay recently completed her final season hockey where she led the Eagles with 14 points – seven goals and seven assists. Part of her success in hockey stemmed from a variety of experiences on the ice.

“I played boys hockey as a skater until I was 12 and then switched girls hockey because they needed a goalie, and I thought it would be fun, and then I switched back to skating in freshman year,” Zurbay told the Athena committee.

Outside of athletics, Zurbay serves in campus ministry and the positive peer leadership project at Totino-Grace. She also participates in the National Honor Society.

Scott wins Athena for Columbia Heights

Two-sport standout Pashia Scott claimed the Athena award for Columbia Heights after stellar careers in volleyball and basketball.

Scott first started for the Hylanders girls basketball team as a freshman and has excelled ever since. She won All-Tri-Metro Conference honors once and lettered all four seasons. The team’s captain led the Hylanders with 16.5 points per game this winter.

Scott also won all-conference honors in volleyball and lettered for three seasons. She also served as the team captain.

Outside of athletics, Scott particpates in the school’s broadcast team. She plans to study marine biology in college.

Backstrom wins Fridley’s Athena

Lauren Backstrom bounced back from an ACL tear to play her senior season for the Fridley girls soccer team in the fall.

Backstrom led the Tigers with six goals in a season that had few victories on the field at 3-12-1. But, Backstrom considers coming back to to play as one of her biggest victories.

She had played varsity for the Tigers since her eighth-grade season, and she contributed on the field right away. Backstrom assisted on a corner kick in her first varsity game, another achievement she said she appreciates.

Besides girls soccer, Backstrom helped the Tigers girls basketball team get bast Totino-Grace in the section tournament this past winter.

Backstrom also participates in the National Honor Society, and she plans to major in kinesiology at the University of Minnesota.

Lauren Backstrom Megan Zurbay Pashia Scott
Lauren Backstrom