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ATHLETES OF THE YEAR: Sullivan, Brown boast game for all seasons

Juggling homework, five sports between them and recruiting processes that netted both college scholarships, Marcus Sullivan and Johnna Brown didn’t have much downtime as high school seniors.

But that didn’t stop the multiple-sport standouts from enjoying the past year.

Sullivan, a football and track star at Cheyenne, and Brown, a volleyball, basketball and softball standout at Centennial, have been named the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s High School Athletes of the Year.

Sullivan, who called his senior campaign a “perfect year,” signed to play football at UNLV.

The 5-foot-9-inch, 165-pound Sullivan rushed for 1,643 yards and 20 touchdowns as a senior, leading Cheyenne to a 10-2 record and the semifinals of the Class 4A Sunset Region playoffs.

He accounted for 28 TDs overall, also throwing for two scores, and played defensive back, as well.

Sullivan was named Most Valuable Player of the Lions Club High School All-Star Football Game in May after totaling 130 yards from scrimmage and running for the game-winning touchdown.

He could end up playing running back or wide receiver at UNLV.

“It feels great playing at home, in front of family,” he said.

In track, Sullivan won the 400-meter title at the 4A state meet in 47.92 seconds. He also ran the third leg on Cheyenne’s 1,600 relay team, which won state in a meet-record 3:16.95.

“I was very proud because we lost a runner at the beginning of the year,” Sullivan said of the record. “We worked hard at state.”

Sullivan said the transition from speedster in football to sprinter in track is not as seamless as it might appear.

“Football and track are two different techniques,” he said. “You’ve got to train differently, but it keeps you in shape.”

Staying in shape was never a problem for Brown, who started at outside hitter in volleyball, wing in basketball and shortstop in softball.

The 6-foot Brown passed up Division I offers in either softball or basketball to sign with Division II Dixie State (Utah), which will allow her to play both.

Brown led the Bulldogs to 4A state titles in basketball and softball.

“The first one was probably the best feeling in the world,” she said of the basketball championship. “I knew for basketball, I wasn’t going to leave high school without a state championship.”

In volleyball, Brown was a first-team All-Northwest League selection who helped the Bulldogs to a 27-3 record and the Sunset semifinals.

In basketball, she averaged 17.5 points, 9.2 rebounds and 5.1 assists on the way to the Review-Journal’s state player of the year award. The Bulldogs went 32-2, took their first state title since 2005 and won their 14 league games by an average of 49.8 points.

In softball, Brown hit .582 with eight home runs and 45 RBIs on the way to first-team all-state and Northwest MVP honors. Centennial finished 30-10, winning its first state crown since 2004.

Overlap of schedules could be a hurdle for Brown at Dixie State because the Red Storm’s basketball season ends in March and softball begins in February. But she is determined to make it work.

“If it goes well, I’ll continue doing it,” she said. “The coaches have talked about working it out. School and sports will keep me busy.”

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