Baker's Wagner named winner of Taylor Haugen trophy

haley wagner award taylor haugen

Baker senior Haley Wagner was announced Monday as the fifth winner of the Taylor Haugen Trophy, named in honor of the Niceville freshman who passed away in 2008.

RANDY DICKSON | News Bulletin
Published: Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 11:41 AM.

BAKER  — Truth be told, Haley Wagner felt like something was up.

A week ago, Wagner, a senior two-sport athlete at Baker High School, spoke to Brian Haugen of the Haugen Trophy Foundation and found out that the foundation was taking a hard look at the 11 candidates for the annual award. Haugen informed Wagner that she’d likely hear more from the foundation in a week’s time.

So when a special assembly was called at Baker on Monday, Wagner couldn’t help but enter the room with a smile.

“I started to think: It’s been a week since I talked to him, and now we are having an assembly,” said Wagner. “All day I’ve been anxious. Once they started talking, I just couldn’t help it. I was pretty emotional.”

Before long, Haugen’s secret was no longer a secret, as All Sports Association president Chad Hamilton announced that Wagner was officially the fifth winner of the Taylor Haugen Trophy.

The award is given annually to a local senior athlete that excels in five areas: academics, athletics, leadership, community service and faith. Those five traits defined Taylor Haugen, the Niceville freshman who died on Aug. 30, 2008, one night after suffering injuries in a preseason classic football game against Fort Walton Beach.

On Monday, Haugen’s parents were in Baker to welcome the fifth member of the Haugen Trophy family.

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