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AUSTIN EDITION - Bickler honored with Wendy's Award

Pacelli athlete cited for all-around contributions

With the recent passing of Wendy's Restaurants founder Dave Thomas, it seems fitting to remember his legacy in terms of the contributions he made to young people.

The banquet for the Wendy's High School Heisman Awards was held last Saturday night in Bloomington, Minn. Amy Bickler from Austin Pacelli was chosen as one of the state's top-10 finalists in the awards ceremony.

The annual banquet awarded bronze medals to all 21 Minnesota state finalists. The program began eight years ago to honor students based on their accomplishments in sports, scholarship, and community work.

Bickler meets criteria

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To be eligible for the WSHS program, student-athletes must be high school seniors, have maintained at least a "B" average, participated in a sport sanctioned by the National Federation of State High Schools, and taken an active role in the community.

In addition to achieving good grades, Bickler is active in three sports. She is on the Lyle/Pacelli volleyball team in the fall, the Austin gymnastics team over the winter, and on the L/P softball team in the spring. Bickler does her community service by helping the younger kids at the YMCA.

"Amy is a great role model, and Pacelli can be very proud to have her represent the school and community," L/P softball coach Tom Clements said.

New L/P uniforms

The transition to uniforms representing the merger of Lyle/Pacelli athletics is slowly being made. The boys and girls basketball teams are showing off their new uniforms on the court this season.

Carefully mixing the traditional colors of the two schools, the girls have a predominantly blue uniform with green trim and the boys wear green jerseys with blue trim. The new combined logo of a Lion over the Shamrock is also part of the fashion statement.

"We'll continue the transition in the spring with new uniforms for the softball team," L/P athletic director Steve Baumann said. "The volleyball and football teams will also have new uniforms in the fall."

Throughout the first few seasons of the merger, the L/P softball team continued to wear the green uniforms of the old Pacelli team.

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Different football look

After playing the first four seasons of the combined football program in the blue helmets and jerseys of the Lyle Lions, the guys on the gridiron will have a new look. It's been nearly two decades since the Pacelli colors have adorned a football uniform.

"The new helmets will have the letters L-P on them and the new logo will be on the jerseys," L/P football coach Mark Buntje said. "The color scheme on the jerseys will look pretty sharp."

The new uniforms for Lyle/Pacelli athletics will give the kids a renewed sense of team unity.

Scott Kolb is a Post-Bulletin sports writer. His column appears each Tuesday. He can be reached at skolb@postbulletin.com

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