WAA High School Awards winners are announced
Athletes, coaches, and teams from Colton, Clearwater Valley, and Troy high schools, along with a booster from Colton were named the overall winners during the fifth annual Warrior Athletic Association’s High School Awards Banquet, held at the Lewis-Clark State College Activity Center on Wednesday night.
A crowd of around 300 was on hand for the banquet, which honored outstanding high school athletes, teams, and boosters for the 2010-11 academic school year. A total of 22 high schools in southeastern Washington and north central Idaho took part in the event.
The WAA, which is the booster organization for LCSC athletics, started the banquet as a way to honor achievements by area high school teams and athletes.
Athletic directors at area high schools are asked to nominate a Female and Male Athlete of the Year, a Coach and Team of the Year, and a booster for the awards. All who are nominated are honored at the dinner with a plaque that has their name and school on it.
Prior to the banquet, a panel composed of area media and athletic officials, picked out four semifinalists in each category and also selected the overall winner.
Colton’s Molly Kramer was selected as the Female Athlete of the Year. It’s the second straight year a Colton High athlete has won the honor as Kramer followed last year’s winner, Kelsey Moser. Kramer helped the Wildcats’ girls’ basketball team to its third straight Washington state Class 1B championship. Last season, Kramer averaged 11.7 points per game and collected 185 rebounds and 85 steals to earn 1A Player of the Year honors and help her team to a 22-2 record. In softball, she hit .475, led the team in home runs, and pushed the team to its third State title in the last four years. Finally, in volleyball, she led her team to a fifth-place finish at State. She was an all-Southeast 1B League selection in all three sports.
The other semifinalists for the award were Megan DeFord of Grangeville, Katherine Samuels of Lapwai, and Jamie Weisner of Clarkston.
Eugene Heavy Runner of Clearwater Valley High in Kooskia was selected the Male Athlete of the Year. He was named Idaho’s Class 1A Player of the Year in basketball and was the central piece to the Rams’ impressive and exciting championship season. Heavy Runner hit two game-winning buzzer-beaters to advance the Rams to their first state basketball tournament appearance in 46 years. He then hit another buzzer-beat in the state semifinal game. The Rams went on to win the title the next event. Out of basketball, he was an all-Whitepine League honorable mention pick in football, and finished second in the 1A State Track Meet in the triple jump and fifth in 800 meters
The other semifinalists were Steve Eacker of Colton, Troy Knebel of Pomeroy, and Ben Servatius of Asotin.
The Clearwater Valley boys’ basketball team also was honored as the Team of the Year. The Rams won 16 of their final 17 games, including three loser-out contests at the district tournament. The team advanced to the Idaho State 1A Tournament and eventually claimed the title. It was the team’s first appearance at State since 1965 and only the team’s second winning season in more than a decade.
Also nominated for the award were the Colton girls’ basketball team, the Lewiston girls’ basketball team, and the Troy football team, all of which won state titles.
The Coach of the Year honors went to Rob Bafus, football coach at Troy. Despite having less than 20 players on the roster, Bafus built Troy into one of the most dominant high school football teams last season. The team rolled to a perfect 11-0 and captured the Idaho State 1A title. Along the way, the Trojans outscored opponents 512-114 during the season.
Also nominated were Pat Teichmer, girls’ basketball coach at Lewiston, Shawn Spencer, girls’ basketball coach at Lapwai, and Adam Uptmor, boys’ basketball coach at Clearwater Valley. All led their teams to state titles.
The final category was the Meritorious Award, which honors a person in the community who has made a difference in athletics at the school. It is based on dedication and a sense of volunteer and community spirit, and usually long-time loyalty and appreciation of what high school athletics means to a community and its high school.
The winner of the Meritorious Award was Colton’s Marv Druffel, who passed away earlier this year. A 1982 graduate of Colton, Druffel’s greatest passions in life were his family, his community of friends, and the youth he went out of his way to mentor. He spent countless hours as a youth basketball and softball coach, and many more hours serving on school committees. He helped on a number school projects including the building of new dugouts and a green house, and also volunteered as the score clock operator at basketball games and did lines for volleyball matches.
The other semifinals were Diana Burt of Pomeroy, Greg Johnson of Kamiah, and Marge Munsterman of Culdesac.