Third annual WAA High School Awards honors 2008-09 teams and individuals
Lapwai High School’s Chelsey Leighton, Genesee’s Beau Dahmen, Prairie’s football team, Lewiston’s Dave Cornelia, and Pomeroy’s John Gates were named the overall winners at the third annual Warrior Athletic Association High School Awards, which took place at the Lewis-Clark State College Activity Center on Wednesday night.
The banquet, which honored high school athletes, teams, coaches, and supporters for the 2008-09 academic year, was hosted by the WAA and the Lewis-Clark State College athletic department. Approximately 250 attended the dinner.
A total of 21 high schools from southeastern Washington and north central Idaho took part in the event and each of the participating schools honored Male Athlete, Female Athlete, Team, and Coach of the Year winners along with a Meritorious Award winner. From those winners, four finalists were selected in each category to determine an overall winner.
A five sport athlete, Layton played in the District II All-star game in both basketball and volleyball, and was a 1A second-team all-state selection in basketball as her team won both the district and state title. In track she was a member of the 1,600 meter relay team that won the state title and set a state record. She also set school records in the 100, 200, and 400, qualified for state in cross country, and played on the softball team.
The other finalists for the Female Athlete of the Year Award were Grangeville’s Shiann Dreadfulwater, Pullman’s Erika Hanson, and Prairie’s Kaylee Uhlenkott.
Beau Dahmen, named Male Athlete of the Year, was the 1A Player of the Year in basketball, and was also named the North Idaho Male Athlete of the Year. He averaged 25 points a game to lead the basketball team to a state title and earn All-Palouse honors. In football, he was an All-Palouse selection as a quarterback, and in baseball he led his team as a starting pitcher and shortstop.
Other finalists for the award were Kamiah’s Luke Lane, Prairie’s Kyler Shumway, and Lewiston’s Ryan Young.
Prairie’s football took home the Team of the Year title. After finishing 6-3 the past two seasons, Prairie cruised to a 12-0 record and the 1A state title. Other finalists for this category were Genesee’s boys’ basketball, Lapwai’s girls’ basketball, and Lewiston’s boys’ basketball.
Already named the Idaho State Coaches Association 5A Coach of the Year, Cornelia won the Coach of the Year honor for his efforts in leading the boys’ basketball team to its first state championship since 1948. Other finalists for this category were Genesee’s Jason Boyd, Prairie’s Travis Mader, and Lapwai’s Shawn Spencer.
The Meritorious Award went to longtime Pomeroy public address announcer John Gates. Gates, now in his 43rd year as the PHS football announcer (he announced his first game for Pomeroy in the fall of 1967), has missed only one home football game in all of his years of service. In addition to football, he also has served as the public address announcer for basketball since 1969, and served as the director of Pomeroy Little League baseball for 25 years.
Officials from each participating school chose the winners from their school, while a panel of media and sports enthusiasts, not associated with the high schools or the WAA, was assembled to choose the finalists and the overall winners.
Major sponsors of the event include Lewis & Clark Orthopaedic Institute, Tyler & Kelly Motors, and Pepsi.