Part of the tradition of the Youth Sports Awards Luncheon is recognizing people who have contributed to area athletics for at least a quarter century.
Four individuals were honored with 25-year awards Wednesday at the Spokane Ag Trade Center; Clayton Dunn, Dwight Merkel and Ruth and Lawson Van Kuren.
Dunn, a Pullman native, taught and coached in Nachse and Colfax and was a basketball official before moving into administration. He served at Mead and Medical Lake before finishing at Pullman. He helped organize the Frontier League and served 13 years on the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association. He is the supervisor of the State B basketball tournaments.
Merkel spent more than 30 years with Spokane Youth Sports Association. Starting as a coach, he eventually became executive director of SYSA and helped with the development of the north and south complexes and indoor soccer center.
The Van Kurens have been actively involved in the local track season, especially in their hometown of Cheney. They started the Cheney Track Club and have run many track meets. Lawson taught and coached at Cheney Junior High for 30 years and was athletic director for the last 19. He is being inducted into the Washington Association of School Athletic Directors Hall of Fame this year.
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