WAA High School Awards winners are announced at sixth annual banquet
LEWISTON, Idaho – Nominees from Clarkston, Grangeville, Kamiah and Lewiston high schools were named the overall winners during the sixth annual Warrior Athletic Association’s High School Awards Banquet, held at the Lewis-Clark State College Activity Center on Tuesday night.
A crowd of around 300 was on hand for the event, which honored outstanding high school athletes, teams, and boosters for the 2011-12 school year. A total of 21 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, and the event has grown each year.
Athletic directors at area high schools are asked each year 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 bears their name and their school.
Prior to Tuesday’s banquet, a panel composed of area media and athletic officials picked out five finalists in each category and also selected the overall winners.
Clarkston High’s Jamie Weisner was selected as the Female Athlete of the Year. Weisner, who was Clarkston’s nominee last year as well, was the Washington Class 2A State Basketball Player of the Year in her senior season, helping the Bantams to their first ever state championship. She set school records for field goals in a season and rebounds and was named as an All-State honoree and a McDonald’s All-America nominee. She was also an All-Great Northern League pick in volleyball and track, setting school records in the high jump and the long jump in the process. Additionally, she won the 2A javelin championship. A Scholar Athlete at Clarkston, she is now a freshman on the Oregon State women’s basketball team.
The other finalists for the award were Haley Moser of Colton, Latisha Phillips of Lewiston, MeShel Rad of Prairie, and Megan Sullivan of Grangeville.
Justin Robie of Grangeville High was selected the Male Athlete of the Year. Robie rushed for 45 touchdowns and 2,976 yards in leading Grangeville to league and state championships. His touchdown total was a school record and he was named the football Player of the Year and Male Athlete of the Year at the North Idaho sports banquet earlier this year. Robie also won a state wrestling championship at 182 pounds, compiling a 24-1 record despite missing a portion of the season due to injury. Additionally he played varsity baseball at Grangeville, helping the team to a fifth place finish at the state tournament. He is currently at Eastern Oregon University on a football scholarship.
The other finalists were Sam Druffel of Genesee, Tory Knebel of Pomeroy, Jack Nygaard of Kamiah, and Josh Straughan of Colton.
The Clarkston girls basketball team was honored as the Team of the Year. The Bantams defeated East Valley Yakima 53-41 to win the program’s first ever state championship, finishing 25-1. The only blemish on Clarkston’s record was a loss to Lewiston, another state champion. Four members of the squad signed to play collegiate basketball, including two headed to NCAA Division I programs. The team also excelled in the class room and finished with a GPA just .01 short of a state academic championship.
Also named as finalists for the award were the Grangeville football team, Lewiston girls basketball team, Kamiah boys track team, and the Potlatch baseball team, all of which won state titles.
The Coach of the Year honors went to Pat Teichmer, girls basketball coach at Lewiston. Teichmer led the Bengals to their second consecutive 5A state championship and a 22-4 overall record. For the second year in a row, he steered the team through adversity on its way to the title, changing things around offensively to compensate for an injured player. Under Teichmer’s guidance, Lewiston is 65-10 in the past three seasons.
Also nominated were Jeff Lindsley, football coach at Grangeville; Lori Mader, girls basketball coach at Prairie; Tera Stoner, volleyball coach at Troy; and Scott Thompson, girls basketball coach at Clarkston. 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 volunteerism 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 Kim and Keith Jacobs of Kamiah. Over the years, the Jacobs’ have donated sizeable sums of money and hundreds of hours of their time to the betterment of the athletic programs at Clearwater Valley and Kamiah. The couple started the first USA wrestling team at Clearwater Valley High School in 1997, raising $10,000 for the club in hopes of buying a new mat for the high school. Since then, they have provided equipment and monetary aid for any wrester in need. They have organized and volunteered at many tournaments over the years and Keith has coached many of these athletes for 15 years as a volunteer. The Jacobs’ have also donated baseball equipment to both high schools and football equipment and goal posts to Kamiah and Kooskia schools and Clearwater Valley’s football tower was also a generous gift from Kim and Keith.
The other finalists were Senica Cannon of Troy, Jim Suhr of Grangeville, Greg Wherry of Prairie, and Leroy and Beth Zenner of Genesee.