WAA honors high school athletes at banquet
Orofino High School’s Ellen Rouse, Kamiah High’s Clayton Foster, the Genesee High boys’ basketball team and Asotin High football coach Sal Lopez all came away with top honors during Wednesday night’s Warrior Athletic Association’s High School Awards Dinner at the Lewis-Clark State College Activity Center.
Rouse was named the Female Athlete of the Year for her endeavors during the 2006-07 academic school year. A junior at the OHS last year, Rouse won four titles at the Idaho State Class 2A Track meet, winning the unusual combination of the 100 and 200 meters, along with the shot put and discus titles. She also played on the volleyball team.
Morgon VanderEsch of Grangeville, Katie Hinrichs of Pullman and Nicole Nida of Prairie also were finalists for the award.
Foster won both state and national titles in wrestling to claim the Male Athlete of the Year title. He also was a force on the football field for the Kubs and was named co-Defensive MVP of the Central Idaho League last year. The other three finalists were J.T. Levenseller of Pullman, Jeffrey Roy of Genesee, and Shane Moser of Lewiston
The Genesee boys’ basketball team won the Whitepine League and District II titles on its way to the Idaho State 1A championship. The team suffered only one loss and posted a 25-1 record to win Team of the Year honors. The other finalists were Asotin football, Clarkston boys’ tennis, and Prairie girls’ track.
Lopez helped Asotin turn around an 0-3 start into the Washington Class 2B state championship with 10 straight wins. It was the first football title at the school and the first time a team had won the 2B championship with three losses. The three other coaching finalists were Kevin Driskill of Kendrick, Jeff Boyd of Genesee, and Jen Greeny of Pullman.
The four winners, along with winners at participating schools, were honored Wednesday night. The banquet was established to honor accomplishments of area high school teams, athletes, and coaches during the academic year.
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.
A selection committee not associated with the high schools or the WAA was then assembled to choose the finalists and the overall winner. 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 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.