. Donald Payne
Fayetteville, Ga. > Football
Payne, a sophomore strong safety at Stetson, an FCS school, led all NCAA divisions with 185 tackles this season. He also tied an all-divisions record with 30 takedowns in a 28-24 win over Campbell. Payne, who also had 5.5 sacks and four picks, was named the Pioneer League defensive player of the year.
. Lauren Bair
Flower Mound, Texas > Climbing
Lauren, an eighth-grader at McKamy Middle School who climbs for Team Texas, won gold in the 12-to-13 age division at the Pan-America Youth Games in Mexico City in the speed and sport competitions. She also took gold in speed and silver in sport in July at youth nationals in Atlanta.
. Brian Hawkins
Chesterfield, N.J. > Soccer
Brian, a senior striker at Notre Dame High in Lawrenceville, scored four goals in each of three straight state tournament games to lift the Fighting Irish to the South Jersey Non-Public A title. The (Newark) Star-Ledger's player of the year, he had 35 goals and 11 assists. Brian will play at Rutgers.
. Valerie Higgins
Granada Hills, Calif. > Basketball
Valerie, a 6-foot junior point guard at Chaminade High in West Hills, scored 20 points in a 60-59 win over state No. 1 Mater Dei (Santa Ana) in the Palisades tournament final; she was named MVP. Last year she led Chaminade to the Division II state title. At week’s end Valerie was averaging 16.6 points and 9.3 boards.
. Trevor Reinhart
Ross, Calif. > Cross-country
Trevor, a senior at Marin Academy in San Rafael, won his second state title in three years with a 14:59 finish at the 5K Division V championships in Fresno. His time was the fastest in school history at a state meet. A two-year team captain, Trevor holds eight course records. He will run at Yale.
To nominate an individual for an upcoming edition of Faces in the Crowd, please email editor Alexandra Fenwick with a name, age, gender, hometown, sport, school and all relevant contact information, as well as a short summary of the athlete’s recent accomplishments.