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2021 Wiz Wyatt Award Winner

By YHH Staff , 05/01/21, 12:15PM CDT


Hermantown's A.J. Francisco, a star on the ice, the baseball diamond, and the soccer pitch, earns this year's award.

2021 Wiz Wyatt Award - AJ Francisco

2021 WIz Wyatt Award Winner: AJ Francisco

A.J. Francisco, Hermantown Peewee AA

According to Google, “triple threat” includes several references to a 2019 film that debuted in China, a sports bar in Midland, Texas, and a competitive cheerleading squad based in Fort Lauderdale. 

A glaring omission from the search engine’s algorithm is AJ Francisco.
Like the Wiz Wyatt winners before him, Francisco is a gifted athlete across multiple sports. He thrives in AAA baseball in the spring, you can find him roaming the soccer pitch in the fall, and of course, in the winter, he’s all over the ice. 

Francisco helped lead Hermantown’s Peewee AA team to a 29-11-7 record against some of the state’s best competition, culminating in an appearance at this year’s Peewee AA State Tournament. 

In addition to his athletic exploits, Francisco maintains a 4.0-grade point average at Hermantown Middle School.

2021 Wiz Wyatt Award Finalists

Player Team
Cole Braunshausen Stillwater Peewee AA
Andy Brown Bloomington Jefferson Peewee AA
A.J. Francisco Hermantown Peewee AA
Henry Sampair Mahtomedi Peewee AA
Mason West Edina Peewee AA

Wiz Wyatt Award Past Winners

Year Player Team
2020 Andrew O'Neill Fargo
2019 Drew Stewart Minnetonka
2018 Zam Plante Hermantown
2017 Brody Lamb Dodge County
2016 Kyle Kukkonen Osseo Maple Grove
2016 Landen Gunderson* Osseo Maple Grove
2015 Matt Gleason St. Paul
2015 Tyler Haskins* Rochester
2014 Ben Brinkman Edina
2014 Brock Faber* Osseo Maple Grove
2013 Jack Olsen Lakeville South
2013 Grant Slukynsky* Warroad
*Squirt Winners

Wiz Wyatt with 2020 award winner Andrew O'Neill.

About the award and its namesake

Each year YHH watches hundreds of games, hosts tournaments all over the state, and collects some great information on thousands of players. There are so many great stories of so many great kids. 

In 2013, we began handing out the Wiz Wyatt Player of the Year Award as a way to recognize players for athletic, academic and leadership achievement. Our criteria for the award is pretty simple. 

  • The player must be an outstanding player (top 1%)
  • The player must be a great student and leader.
  • The player must be a multi-sport athlete.

The award is NOT given to the best player in the state. When you read the accomplishments of Wiz Wyatt, you will see that he was a rare and talented athlete who was respected both on the field, in the locker room and in the classroom. I was fortunate to have been coached by Wiz, and he was a tremendous balance of teacher, mentor and friend. 

Wiz Wyatt was a highly-decorated three-sport star at Minneapolis West in the early 1970's. After graduating from West, he went on to Harvard and played hockey for the Crimson for his collegiate career. Post-graduation, Wiz coached youth hockey in Minneapolis and Edina both as a non-parent and parent volunteer. He currently lives in Edina with his wife Jane and is the father of four adult children Susan, Mary, Michael, and Jessie.

This year, courtesy of EliteProspects Shop and KAV, Youth Hockey Hub is awarding a customized KAV Helmet to the winner of the award in recognition of their performances on the ice over this past season. The KAV Helmets represent the latest cutting-edge technology for the on-ice safety of players, coaches, and officials."

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