Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Spokane Youth Sports Awards honors exceptional athletes across metro, region

The Spokane Youth Sports Awards, held annually at the Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox, is the culmination of the high school sports season. It’s an opportunity to celebrate some of the most accomplished student-athletes in the city and region – from schools big and small.

For the past decade, the awards ceremony has been a beacon of recognition for the remarkable dedication and unwavering determination of our local standout athletes and coaches.

The awards were preceded by a red carpet entrance, earning the ceremony the nickname of the “Spokane ESPYs,” after the annual award show on the cable network.

The awards were broken into two categories: “Region” awards were presented to schools from Class 1A, 2B and 1B; “Metro” awards went to Class 4A, 3A and 2A, encompassing the Greater Spokane League. The “Against All Odds” award was renamed in honor of Dan Fitzgerald, the former Gonzaga basketball coach who helped put the Zags on the national map.

Rogers football, which qualified for state for the first time as a 2A school, swept the Metro boys awards, with the team, coach Ryan Cole and Aaron Kinsey all bringing home hardware. Kinsey, who excelled in football, basketball and track and field, won Metro boys athlete of the year. His mother accepted his award as Kinsey was at football practice at the University of Idaho and unable to attend.

“A lot of firsts for Rogers this year,” Cole said. “It’s a special event. We’re honored to be here. We were honored that we got the call – our boys had never been in limos before like this and getting all dressed up and doing a red carpet event. So it was really special.”

Mead girls basketball and two-time GSL MVP Teryn Gardner won categories after finishing second at state.

“It’s just cool to be nominated,” Gardner said. “Every nomination is an opportunity and a blessing because it really just shows that the work I’m doing is paying off. … It’s a fun event, especially to do with a team. It’s televised, you get to get all fancy for it and it’s just one last goodbye, with the team especially, and so it’s a lot of fun for us to be able to do it together.”

Springdale senior twins Tomeko and Tamia Cates were nominated for Region boys and girls athlete of the year, with Tomeko taking the prize. Both are multiple-time state champions in track and field.

“It’s honestly very cool,” Tamia said. “We’ve been together, you know, all our lives obviously and we’re going to college not too far away from each other so the journey continues and this is just another step in it.”

Lakeside football won Region boys team of the year for reaching the state title game for the first time in program history. Coach Devin Bauer was a finalist and Sadahiro Patterson, who starred on the Eagles football, basketball and baseball teams, was a finalist for Region boys athlete. Lakeside girls cross country won Region girls team, and senior Ayanna Tobeck was a finalist for Region girls athlete.

“This senior class has really been a special one,” Patterson said. “We’ve all known each other since sixth grade and middle school. We knew if we put in that work we could all do something special here, boys and girls, and I think we were able to show that.”

Mt. Spokane’s Bode Gardner, who was GSL all-purpose MVP in football, all-league in basketball and a state record holder in track and field, was a finalist for Metro boys athlete. He’ll play football at Eastern Washington in the fall.

“It’s such an honor,” he said. “We came to this event last year as a team for basketball and when I got here, I was like, ‘Hey, I want to do this next year as an individual,’ and I set that goal for myself. To actually make it, it’s been a blessing.”

A replay of the broadcast will be available on Saturday and Sunday on SWX.


Winner in bold.

Region coach of the year: KC Ahrens, Deer Park girls basketball; Devin Bauer, Lakeside football; Billy Flett Sr., Wellpinit boys basketball.

Metro coach of the year: Ryan Cole, Rogers football; David McKenna, Gonzaga Prep football; Shawn Wilson, Mead volleyball.

Region girls team of the year: Deer Park basketball; Lakeside cross country; Oakesdale volleyball.

Region boys team of the year: Deer Park baseball; Lakeside football; Wellpinit basketball.

Metro girls team of the year: Gonzaga Prep basketball; Mead basketball; Mead volleyball.

Metro boys team of the year: Gonzaga Prep football; Rogers football; Mead wrestling.

Region girls athlete of the year: Tamia Cates (volleyball, basketball, track and field), Mary Walker; Payton Davis (volleyball, basketball), Oakesdale; Ayanna Tobeck (soccer, basketball, softball), Lakeside.

Region boys athlete of the year: Tomeko Cates (football, basketball, track and field), Mary Walker; Grant Denison III (football, basketball, baseball), Wellpinit; Sadahiro Patterson (football, basketball, baseball), Lakeside.

Metro girls athlete of the year: Teryn Gardner (soccer, basketball, track and field), Mead; Logan Hofstee (cross country, track and field), East Valley; Libby Roberts (wrestling), University.

Metro boys athlete of the year: Bode Gardner (football, basketball, track and field), Mt. Spokane; Aaron Kinsey (football, basketball, track and field), Rogers; Shane Skidmore (football, basketball, tennis), University.

Specialized athlete of the year: Dominick Corley (track and field), Spokane Speed Academy; Lauren Fields (wheelchair racing, basketball), Parasport Spokane; Libby Roberts (wrestling), Prometheus Wrestling Club.

Against All Odds: Ruby Floch (wheelchair racing, basketball, fencing), Parasport Spokane; Benjamin Belino (wheelchair racing, basketball), Parasport Spokane.