The Big Bend Preps Athlete of the Week has returned for winter sports and the Big Bend showed up big time.
More than 13,000 voters cast ballots this week for 12 area athletes.
The voting was tight with four candidates each compiling more than 1,000 votes.
However, it was soccer player Alex Poage of Chiles High who emerged victorious with 43 percent (5,841 votes) of the votes to be crowned Big Bend Preps Athlete of the Week.
Poage played a key role in Chiles's dominant 6-0 win over Leon on Jan. 4, leading the Timberwolves with two goals for four points. Poage has been a constant scoring force for Chiles, balancing her game between goals and assists with five goals and six assists on the year.
Poage has also propelled the Timberwolves (6-3-2) atop the Big Bend standings and as a top-20 team in Class 6A. The Timberwolves are expected to be a threat once again in the post-season.
Congratulations to Poage and finalists Cade Swart (Chiles), Garrett Marschka (Chiles), Anthony Robinson (Florida High), Jenna Lindsey (Aucilla Christian), Xander Hawkes (Florida High), Jakyla Diawara (Leon), Tajden Davis (Godby), Alana Hall (Taylor County), Dakayla Hopkins (Madison County), Jayden Florence (Taylor County) and Shane Croston (Maclay).
The Tallahassee Democrat/Big Bend Preps runs an Athlete of the Week contest every week, recognizing one standout high school athlete out of eight nominees. Voting for AotW opens on Monday and closes on Thursday.
The Athlete of the Week will be announced at noon on Friday.
Jack Williams covers prep sports for Tallahassee Democrat. Contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, on Twitter @jackgwilliams, or over phone at 701-270-1075
This article originally appeared on Tallahassee Democrat: Big Bend Preps Athlete of the Week: Alexa Poage, Chiles