SCHOOL - "Cortland Watson named 2020 Male Scholastic Athlete of the Year"

BEAR RIVER HIGH – By Cari Doutre – May 30, 2020

Cortland Watson - May 11, 2020

Publisher’s note: The Bear River High School Class of 2020 didn’t get the traditional senior awards ceremony that other graduating classes had before them.

The world-wide COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic that closed all public schools in Utah on March 16, 2020 meant high schools needed to find an alternative way to celebrate graduating seniors.

Bear River High administrators opted to do a surprise home visit for the four graduating seniors receiving the 2020 student athletes of the year awards. Working closely with parents to plan it all, administrators and coaches from Bear River High were able to honor these students in a way that meets social distancing guidelines.

Bear River Live and The Valley Headliner – BRVNEWS.com were both invited to capture those surprise moments and the award ceremonies.

Bear River Live produced videos for each of the four students and The Valley Headliner – BRVNEWS.com provided originally written articles and pictures for each of the students.

Find that video posted below the article.


Cortland Watson, a senior at Bear River High School, is a quiet leader, a hard-working athlete but most importantly, Cortland is an excels academically and is an exceptional student.

Cortland received the 2020 Male Scholastic Athlete of the Year for this year’s graduating class at Bear River High. Only Cortland didn’t know he was getting the award until a group of administrators and coaches from the school surprised him at his home in Riverside on May 11.

His parents, Brian and Michelle Bingham, were in on the surprise and even Cortland’s grandparents were in on it too and watched their grandson receive the award.

Story continues below...

Cortland Watson - May 11, 2020

“Cortland has always been a great leader as is shown by his great accomplishments throughout his life,” said Bear River High Athletic Director Van Park during Cortland’s award ceremony.

Cortland has been a member of four different sports teams throughout his high school career – tennis, cross-country, swimming and water polo. In addition to sports, Cortland was a four-year member of both the Bear River High marching band and the Bear River High concert band.

As a four-year member of the Bear River High boys’ tennis team, Cortland lettered three of those years.

“Cortland’s character is instrumental in bringing qualities of excellence to our program. He was our lead team captain and will go on to uplift and inspire people who know him,” said Ken Oxborrow, Bear River High boys’ tennis coach.

Bear River High cross-country coach Dan Line also remarked on Cortland’s contributions to the team during the one year he had the opportunity to coach him.

“Cortland was a first-year senior on the Bear River cross-country team. The program has a great tradition of first-year seniors coming in and adding leadership, hard work, team spirit and success,” Line said.

“Cortland did all of that and then some. He was an amazing asset to one of our best years ever,” he added.

Other achievements and accomplishments include:

· Eagle Scout

· A 12-year member of 4-H

· Utah High School Activities Association Academic All-Region Fall 2019

· Utah High School Activities Association Academic All-Region Winter 2019-2020

· Utah High School Activities Association Academic All-Region Spring 2020

“As you can see, Cortland doesn’t waste time and has a lot of talents and accomplishments, but perhaps his greatest accomplishment is how he always treats people with kindness and respect,” added Park.

More photo coverage can be found below.

Cortland Watson and Van Park - May 11, 2020
Cortland Watson and Van Park - May 11, 2020
Cortland Watson and Dan Line - May 11, 2020
Cortland Watson and Bear River High administrators and coaches - May 11, 2020