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2023 KPAX Sports Awards: Big Sky's Natalie Ellis and Drew Paxton

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Posted at 4:03 PM, May 22, 2023

MISSOULA — It's the fourth day of this year's KPAX Sports Awards nominees, and we'll take a look at the finalists from Big Sky High School.

The female nominee for Big Sky is Natalie Ellis who has been a key part of Big Sky's volleyball and track and field programs in her high school career. The male nominee for the Eagles is Drew Paxton.

Ellis has been a four-year volleyball participant and in track and field, she's ready to make one final run as one of the top shot put throwers in Class AA.

But athletics isn't all she's been involved in as Ellis has also been part of Big Sky's music program in choir.

And after high school concludes, she'll head over to Spokane, Washington at Whitworth University where she'll sing in choir and also compete on the track and field team.

"There's always like athletic and music kind of balance, but it's just been so much fun to do music and athletics, especially when you get to go to the games and sing the national anthem, and then go play in the game, that's been a lot of fun too," Ellis said.

Paxton has been part of Big Sky's football program over the last several years and was a three-time letter-winner, and he also competes in basketball and track and field.

In basketball he saw the Eagles make state the past two seasons including a third-place finish in 2022, and he's also been involved in multiple community service events both in and out of sports.

He's staying in Missoula once school concludes and he'll attend UM as he begins pursuing a career in physical therapy.

"They've helped me, like being in sports with my friends, it's always been a good time just coming and hanging out with your friends just getting better everyday knowing that you're going to come back to it eventually," Paxton said.

We have one more day of nominees for the KPAX Sports Awards and we'll round everything out with the finalists from Loyola on Tuesday before Wednesday's Sports Awards banquet.