Normally this time of year, athletes and coaches from across Eastern Washington gather at the Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox for the Spokane Youth Sports Awards, a red carpet evening celebrating the best of the best from around the region.
Unfortunately, the pandemic will rob these tremendous student-athletes of what is the culminating event of the high school sports season. But that shouldn’t stop us from celebrating them.
The Spokane Youth Sports Awards show will be televised on SWX on Friday at 7 p.m. Here are the nominees for each category in alphabetical order.
1B/2B/1A Coach of the Year
Chris Colvin guided No. 1-ranked Liberty girls basketball (23-1, 12-0) to State 2B title. Liberty had gone nearly three decades without a title in any sport. Only loss was a one-point decision to Idaho 3A champ Timberlake on Dec. 26.
Ken Mulvania coached Deer Park girls cross country to first girls team state title in school history. Placed five in the top 50 of state, and its 98 points edged Northeast A rival Lakeside (107). Runner-up for team academic award.
McKinzie Turner guided Oakesdale volleyball (17-3, 11-1) to a second place at the State 1B tourney, despite starting roster with one senior, two sophomores, two ninth-graders and an eighth-grader. Makes three-hour round trip from Lewiston every day during volleyball season.
2A/3A/4A Coach of the Year
Travis Hughes completed 20th year as head coach at Mt. Spokane wrestling (9-0) with third consecutive State 3A team title. Has coached 60 state placers, nine state champs and has finished in the top eight at state the last eight years. He has coached 13 individual academic state champions.
Felice Orrell guided Central Valley girls basketball (23-3, 12-2) to GSL and District 8 titles before beating No. 1-ranked Woodinville in 4A state title game, CV’s second title in three years. Was voted GSL girls basketball coach of the year after being named head coach less than a week before first day of practice.
Dave Whitehead led Mt. Spokane volleyball to second consecutive State 3A title, beating Capital in a dramatic five-set match. A 2019 inductee into Washington State Volleyball Coaches Association Hall of Fame, announced retirement from coaching after season following 37-year career. Last year was Whitehead’s fifth state placing and he was voted state coach of the year the past two seasons.
1B/2B/1A Top Female High School Sports Team
Deer Park girls cross country won State 1A team title beating league-rival Lakeside by 18 points. Placed five runners placed in the top 50.
Liberty girls basketball (23-1, 12-0), ranked No. 1 in state the entire season, won State 2B title defeating No. 2 La Conner, school’s first state title in any sport in more than 30 years. Lancers’ only loss was to Idaho 3A state champion Timberlake on Dec. 26.
Oakesdale girls teams won State 1B track and field title in 2019 (by 37 points), finished second in state in volleyball and placed second in basketball. Volleyball went 17-3 and basketball finished 19-8, falling to No. 3 Inchelium in title game.
2A/3A/4A Top Female High School Sports Team
Central Valley girls basketball (23-3, 12-2), ranked No. 3 in the state, edged No. 1 Woodinville in State 4A title game, CV’s second title in three years and ninth trip to finals. GSL has placed girls team in State 4A title game in 17 of the past 20 years with 13 champions.
Mt. Spokane volleyball (29-2-1, 9-0) won second straight GSL title, fourth consecutive district title and second straight State 3A title, beating one-loss Capital in the championship, rallying from down 5-1 in the fifth set. Wildcats lost just eight sets all season with 14 sweeps and sent five to the all-state team.
North Central girls cross country broke own record for lowest score at State 3A meet with 20 points – tying lowest score in state – en route to second consecutive title, with five runners in the top 10. Placed sixth in country at the Nike Cross Nationals in December. Four seniors have GSL record of 38-2 over four years.
1B/2B/1A Top Male High School Sports Team
Almira/Coulee-Hartline baseball (23-1, 13-0) beat Odessa 10-0 in 2019 State 1B title game. Dalton Kentner struck out 11 in a two-hitter and went 2 for 4 with four RBIs. Warriors outscored opponents 16-1 in state tourney and recorded 10 shutouts in season.
Odessa basketball (27-0, 14-0) rode Ryan Moffet’s 28 points to 62-36 victory over No. 2 seed Yakama Tribal in title game of the State 1B boys basketball tournament. Odessa is first school to have football and boys basketball both go undefeated in same season since the WIAA created 1B and 2B classifications in 2007.
Odessa football (13-0) won second consecutive state title and fourth overall, an 80-26 victory over No. 2 Naselle. Tigers outscored opponents 1,001-112. Two-time State 1B player of the year Marcus King rushed for State 1B championship-record 380 yards and six touchdowns.
2A/3A/4A Top Male High School Sports Team
Central Valley boys basketball (24-3, 13-1) reached State 4A title game, losing to Mt. Si 58-47. The Bears won the GSL and District 8 championships, beat No. 5 Federal Way and No. 11 Skyview then knocked off undefeated No. 1 Union to earn spot in final. Mike Laws was voted GSL coach of the year.
Clarkston boys basketball (20-6, 11-1) finished second at state as No. 7 seed after beating Nos. 2, 9 and 4 to reach title game. Justin Jones was voted GNL coach of the year, and league MVP Tru Allen was voted State 2A player of the year.
Gonzaga Prep boys golf fell three shots from defending State 4A title in the 2019 season. Dominated past three seasons, winning three GSL titles and finished second at state as freshmen, first as sophomores, and second last year as juniors. Six seniors won every invitational they have participated in except one in high school careers.
Mt. Spokane wrestling (9-0) won State 3A team championship for third straight season and edged Mead 33-26 for the GSL title, fourth straight year GSL title has come down to regular-season finale between the two. Wildcats placed six on GSL first team and three more on second team.
Non-High School Sports Top Female Athlete
Taylor Christian, a Spokane Valley Tech STEM Academy senior, is one of most decorated junior shooters in Pacific Northwest. Was overall state champion at 2020 Washington State Air Rifle Championships, state champion team member in Junior Olympic Three-Position Smallbore Rifle Championships and state silver medal team member in Junior Olympic Three-Position Air Rifle Championships.
Cheyenne King, a Mt. Spokane junior, placed third at Northwest Pacific Regional Figure Skating Championships to earn spot at Pacific Coast Sectionals. Participated in 2020 U.S. Figure Skating National Qualifying Series and ranked 30th in the nation. Skates and coaches at Lilac City Figure Skating Club.
Sophie Munter, a Ferris junior, was named to 2020 U.S. Paralympics Track and Field National Team roster. Of 54 athletes on U.S. squad, only Munter and one other are under the age of 18. Currently in top 10 in the world overall in the 200, 400 and 800 and No. 1 in U.S. in each of those three and the 100.
Non-High School Sports Top Male Athlete
Philip Croft, a Valley Christian School senior, one of world’s top wheelchair track athletes, ranks No. 1 in the world in his five events in the under-20 division (100m, 400m, 800m, 1,500m, and 5,000m) and in top 30 in the world overall in the 100, 400 and 800. Competed at 2019 Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru; won silver in men’s 400 and 800.
Mason Rose, a Lewis and Clark senior, was invited to play for the Butte Cobras this fall, one of 36 teams in North American 3 Hockey League, one of three Tier III junior leagues in U.S. Rose hopes to parlay season into opportunity to play college or Tier II North American Hockey League. Was slated to play catcher for LC’s baseball and Legion ball over the summer.
Jake Simpson, a Gonzaga Prep senior, turned professional in esports and is quickly making name for himself in pursuit of a pro NBA2K career. Has nearly 10,000 followers on Twitter, more than 13,000 on YouTube and 28,400 on Twitch. Considering several options for future, including pro leagues, content creating, Twitch broadcasting or sponsorships. Was varsity baseball player and bowler for G-Prep.
High School Sports Top Female Athlete
Tia Allen led Mt. Spokane to the GSL, District 8 and State 3A volleyball championships. The 5-foot-11 junior outside hitter was voted GSL player of the year and State 3A player of the year. Was a key backup for Wildcats’ State 3A fourth-place girls basketball.
Maisie Burnham, a Liberty senior, was selected State 2B player of the year, second consecutive all-state first-team honor and named State 2B tournament MVP. Two-time Northeast 2B player of the year and four-time all-league with 2,276 career points. Was league MVP and all-state in volleyball past two seasons.
Allie Janke, a North Central junior, won second consecutive State 3A individual cross country title despite not running competitively until District 8 meet – which she won. Ran a personal best to finish fourth at Nike Cross Regional Northwest Region race in November. Won State 3A title in the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs in 2019, breaking state meet record for both. Was named state Gatorade female track & field athlete of year for 2019 and 2020.
Alaina Stone-Boggs, a Colville senior, won 1A cross country meet at 17:39.60, second-best time in State 1A history since switching to 5,000-meter race in 1997. Won all nine races at 5,000 meters this season. Finished third at 2019 State 1A meet in 1,600, fourth in 3,200 and anchored the 4x400 relay team to third.
High School Sports Top Male Athlete
Tru Allen, a Clarskton senior, earned Great Northern League player of the year and was voted State 2A player of the year. Allen eclipsed 1,500-point mark, becoming Clarkston all-time leading scorer. Earned first-team all-GNL honors in football at receiver.
Kannon Katzer, a Mt. Spokane senior, rushed for 2,543 yards and 34 TDs on 247 carries, helping Cats reach state quarterfinals. Was named GSL 3A player of the year and was all-state 3A first-team pick. Finished season with 3,171 all-purpose yards and 39 TDs.
Marcus King was three-sport star for Odessa in football, basketball and baseball. Finished with 1,928 rushing yards and 34 TDs on just 100 carries, earning second straight State 1B player of the year. Rushed for State 1B title game record 380 yards and six TDs in state title win. Was named first-team all-league baseball and basketball.
Ryan Moffett, an Odessa senior, became state’s all-time, all-classification scoring leader, finishing career with 3,216 pointss. Was named State 1B player of the year for second consecutive season.
Against All Odds
Jose Alvarez-Renteria, a Mt. Spokane senior, spent time in the foster care system with his brothers and sisters before moving to Spokane from Pasco during the fall of 2018 to live with his aunt and uncle. He was behind in credits but recovered to graduate from Mt. Spokane on time. Alvarez-Renteria started most of the year at safety and also played wide receiver and was slated to be a key contributor on the Wildcats’ baseball team this spring.
Jonathan “JonJon” Kinley, a Colfax sophomore, was recognized 2020 recipient of the WIAA Jace Malek True Spirit Award. Kinley was born in Guatemala with spina bifida and lived in an orphanage until age 8, when Todd and Jamie Kinley adopted him. After several surgeries and grueling recovery, Kinley was a state champion in the 2019 State 2B ambulatory 200-meter dash and the discus, and placed second in the 100, and plays on the Colfax JV and C squad basketball teams.
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