Finalists named for WAA High School Awards banquet
Athletes and coaches from smaller schools in the area dominated the finalist selections in the Warrior Athletic Association’s High School Awards Dinner, which will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 17, starting at 6 p.m. at the Lewis-Clark State College Activity Center.
As a way to honor accomplishments of area high school teams, athletes, and coaches during the 2006-07 academic year, the WAA decided to sponsor a fundraising dinner to acknowledge those accomplishments.
A total of 21 high schools in southeastern Washington and north central Idaho chose to take part in the event. School officials were then asked to submit their selections for the school’s Female and Male Athletes of the Year, Team of the Year, and Coach of the Year, using whatever selection criteria they want to follow. The four winners from each school will be honored during the dinner.
A selection committee not associated with the high schools or the WAA was then assembled to choose the finalists and the overall winners, who also will be announced at the dinner. School officials were asked to pass along their selection criteria for their award winners so it could be used to help select the four finalists in each category. If a school failed to provide selection criteria, then athletic performance was used as a determining factor.
The four finalists for Female Athlete of the Year include Katie Hinrichs of Pullman, Nicole Nida of Prairie in Cottonwood, Ellen Rouse of Orofino, and Morgon VanderEsch of Grangeville. The Male Athlete of the Year finalists are Clatyon Foster of Kamiah, J.T. Levenseller of Pullman, Shane Moser of Lewiston, and Jeffrey Roy of Genesee.
For Team of the Year, the nominees are four state championship teams – Asotin football, Clarkston boys’ tennis, Genesee boys’ basketball, and Prairie girls’ track. The Coach of the Year nominees include Asotin football coach Sal Lopez, Genesee boys’ basketball coach Jeff Boyd, Kendrick football and baseball coach Kevin Driskill, and Pullman volleyball coach Jen Greeny.
Tickets for the banquet are $25 per person and can be purchased from the athletic directors at participating high schools or from the LCSC Athletic Ticket Office, located upstairs in the Activity Center. Tickets also can be purchased with a credit card by calling (208) 792-2275.
The event is the first of its kind in the Activity Center and allows the WAA to recognize outstanding high school athletes and coaches in the area. The WAA is planning to make this an annual event.
Major sponsors of the event include Tyler-Kelly Motors, Gear Athletic, Lewiston Orthopaedic Associates, and Potlatch #1 Federal Credit Union.
For more information on the event, contact Rick Hill at (208) 791-7517 or at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Paul Thompson at 792-2088 or email@example.com
Here is more detailed information on the finalists.
FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR:
Katie Hinrichs, Pullman: Was a first-team all-Great Northern League selection in both volleyball and softball, and a first-team all-state selection in volleyball. Also started on the basketball team.
Nicole Nida, Prairie: Won the 200 and 400 Idaho State 1A track titles and also anchored the winning 400-relay team, while finishing second in the 100 for 38 points at state meet. Also starting guard on basketball team that qualified for state.
Ellen Rouse, Orofino: Won the unusual combinations of 100 and 200 meters, and shot put and discus titles as the Idaho State 2A track meet for 40 individual points. Also, she was a powerful hitter on the volleyball team.
Morgon VanderEsch, Grangeville: The only junior of the four nominees, she was a first-team all-state selection in basketball by the Idaho Statesman. She averaged 19.3 points per game at State. Also was on the volleyball and track teams, and placed second in state to Rouse in the shot put.
MALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Clayton Foster, Kamiah: Won his fourth straight Idaho state wrestling title and also won a national wrestling title. He also was named co-Defensive Player of the Year in the Central Idaho League in football.
J.T. Levenseller, Pullman: Earned MVP honors in the Great Northern League in basketball and was co-MVP of the league in baseball as an outfielder. He also was a GNL first-team quarterback and a second-team defensive back in football.
Shane Moser, Lewiston: Was a second-team all-state selection in basketball by the Idaho Statesman and was co-Player of the Year in the Inland Empire League after averaging 17 points per game.
Jeffrey Roy, Genesee: Was a first-team all-Whitepine League selection and second-team all-state pick by the Idaho Statesman in basketball. He won three state track titles at the 1A meet, including setting school records in the 3,200 and 800. He also ran the anchor leg on record-setting medley relay team. Played football as well.
COACH OF THE YEAR
Jeff Boyd, Genesee: Led boys’ basketball team to a 25-1 record and the Idaho state 1A championship. Team won the district title as well.
Kevin Driskill, Kendrick: Led the Tiger baseball team to 11 straight wins to finish the season and claim the Idaho 1A state championship with 23-6 record. He also coached the football team to 8-2 record and a berth in the Idaho state playoffs.
Jen Greeny, Pullman: Led the Greyhound volleyball team to a 25-1 record. The team won its first 24 games before losing in the semifinal round of the State Tournament, but bounced back to claim third place.
Sal Lopez, Asotin: After the football team started the season 0-3 with close losses to three Central Idaho League teams, the Panthers respond with 10 straight wins and capture the Washington state 2B title.
TEAM OF THE YEAR
Asotin football: The 0-3 start to 10-3 state championship marked the Asotin’s first state football title and the first time in the 32-year history of 2B state titles that a team won the crown with three losses.
Clarkston boys tennis: Thanks to doubles teams finishing first and fourth, and a player finishing third in singles, Clarkston surprises the field and wins its first State title in boys’ tennis.
Genesee boys’ basketball: The Bulldogs suffered only one loss during the season on their way to a 25-1 record and the 1A state championship. The Bulldogs also won the Whitepine League and District II titles.
Prairie high girls track: Prairie wins the state title by one point when near the end of the meet Nicole Nida nips another runner at the tape to win a relay race. The opponent had the lead but celebrated too soon and Nida was able to lean in and touch the tape first. That two-point swing helps Prairie claim the title.