High schoolers Hayden Lieb of Bethel and Aedyn Concepcion of Anchorage are the first wrestlers to win the award.
The Alaska Sports Hall of Fame announced the “Pride of Youth Award” recipients on May 6.
A closer look at who won, and who coached them, finds Bethel Regional High School wrestling coach Darren Lieb in the middle of the accomplishment. Not only did his son, Hayden Lieb, share the award with Anchorage wrestler Aedyn Concepcion, but Concepcion’s coach, Randy Hanson, got his start in Bethel.
When Hanson was a student at Bethel Regional High School, he was a member of Coach Lieb's wrestling squad. Hanson won several state titles before moving on to wrestle at the University of Minnesota and earn a degree, which equipped him to teach and coach at Anchorage’s South High School. The coaches and the athletes all know each other well.
This is the first time that the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame has given the award to two athletes in the same year, and the first time that the honor has gone to wrestlers.
Both wrestlers were also chosen for Senior All-American Honors for 2020. Lieb was the first wrestler from Bethel to earn that national honor, and Concepcion was named to the national 2020 Academic Team.