Three join the exclusive ranks of triple
Sports Awards recipients
An athlete and two coaches joined the ranks of prestigious Triple Crown or Better recipients by receiving honors at the 43rd Wenatchee Valley Medical Center NCW Sports Awards banquet at the Wenatchee Convention Center on June 25th. Wenatchee’s Hannah Kiser, a cross-country and track athlete for the University of Idaho, was honored with a third consecutive College Female Athlete of the Year award after all-American and all-Western Athletic Conference seasons. Among coaches, Cashmere’s Jeff Carlson received his third Male Team Coach award for guiding the Bulldogs to the state 1A baseball title. WVC’s Shelly Pflugrath also became a three-time recipient as Female Team Coach of the Year managing the Knights to the NWAACC fastpitch softball championship.
While both the Cashmere baseball and WVC fastpitch contingents received Male and Female Team of the Year awards, respectively, the Brewster girls state 1A championship basketball squad tied with WVC and received the Female Team of the Year honor as well.
High School Male and Female of the Year awards went to Wenatchee’s Isaiah Brandt-Sims, who also received the award in a tie with Dylan Green two years ago, and Brewster’s Chandler Smith. Brandt-Sims was an all-state 4A football running back as well as the state 4A track champion in both the 100 and 200 meter sprints. Smith led Brewster to the state 1A basketball title, was named to the all-state team for all classifications, was the Washington 1A girl basketball Player of the Year along with being an all-state 1A selection and was also named to the all-Caribou League second team in soccer. Both were juniors and will be vying for honors next year.
Joe Harris, a former Chelan athlete, received a second consecutive College Male Athlete of the Year award after an all-Region, all-Atlantic Coast Conference basketball season for the University of Virginia.
Longtime Quincy coach and athletic director Bill ‘Alex’ Alexander was the recipient of the Don Elliston President’s Award. This award is presented annually to an individual for outstanding contributions to North Central Washington athletics.
Scholar Athletes of the Year $1,500 scholarship awards were presented to Liberty Bell’s Jacqueline O’Keefe, who will be attending Colorado College, and to Cascade’s Neal Champagne, bound for Harvard.
A $1,000 Sports Awards Outlying Grant went to the Malaga-Colockum Community Council to help pay for an irrigation system in the park they are developing in Malaga. This grant goes annually to a deserving school or community youth athletic program outside of Wenatchee-East Wenatchee for worthwhile projects such as field or facility improvements, financial aid, or essential equipment that otherwise wouldn’t be provide
The featured speaker was Marco Azurdia, executive director of the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges, who spoke about the special bonds created through participation in athletics and the will to overcome hurdles to achieve success. He contended that by removing words from vocabularies such as "but," "try," "can't," "should," and "if" the chances for being successful in athletics and life will be greatly enhanced.
Proceeds from the event are used to fund college scholarships, athletic grants and other charitable donations administered by Wenatchee North Rotary. Prior to this year, the NCW Sports Awards had generated approximately $296,000, after expenses.
2013 Sports Awards recipients
HIGH SCHOOL MALE ATHLETE-OF-THE-YEAR
Isaiah Brandt-Sims, Wenatchee - his 2nd Sports Award (tied with Dylan Green in 2011)
HIGH SCHOOL FEMALE ATHLETE-OF-THE-YEAR
Chandler Smith, Brewster
COLLEGE MALE ATHLETE-OF-THE-YEAR
Joe Harris (Chelan) Virginia basketball - his 2nd Sports Award (repeated as College Male Athlete recipient)
COLLEGE FEMALE ATHLETE-OF-THE-YEAR
Hannah Kiser (Wenatchee) Idaho cross-country & track - her 3rd Sports Award (she has received three consecutive Sports Awards in this category)
MALE TEAM COACH-OF-THE-YEAR
Jeff Carlson, Cashmere baseball - his 3rd Sports Award (repeated as Male Team Coach recipient, also received the award in 2010)
FEMALE TEAM COACH-OF-THE-YEAR
Shelly Pflugrath, WVC fastpitch - her 3rd Sports Award (she also received the award in 2007 and 2009)
Cashmere baseball - Cashmere baseball’s 3rd Sports Award (repeated as Male Team recipient, also received the award in 2010)
(tie) Brewster basketball and WVC fastpitch - Brewster girls baskeball’s 3rd Sports Award (also received the award in 2001 and 2003); WVC fastpitch’s 2nd Sports Award (also received the award in 2009)
DON ELLISTON PRESIDENT’S AWARD
Bill ‘Alex’ Alexander - Quincy High School a.d. and former longtime football and track coach as well as a coach in Bridgeport who founded the Wenatchee All-State B-8 Classic football game that was later moved to Yakima where he combined it with B, 1A and 2A classifications and founded the Earl Barden East-West All-Star Game that was played June 22nd for the 19th time.
SCHOLAR ATHLETES OF THE YEAR
Neal Champagne, Cascade - he will use the $1,500 scholarship to attend Harvard.
Jacqueline O’Keefe, Liberty Bell - she will use the $1,500 scholarship to attend Colorado College.
SPORTS AWARDS OUTLYING GRANT
Malaga-Colockum Community Council Malaga Community Park - the $1,000 grant will be used to help pay for the irrigation system in Phase 1 of the park.
Marco Azurdia, Executive Director of the NWAACC
- By virtue of receiving Sports Awards this year, Hannah Kiser, Shelly Pflugrath and Jeff Carlson became the 18th, 19th and 20th individuals to be recipients of three or more Sports Awards. Megan Franza, a basketball star at Washington and former Cascade athlete, has been honored with the most Sports Awards with five from 1995-2001. Four-time recipients include Cathy Kuntz (Wenatchee/Portland St. volleyball & basketball), Dave Johnson (Ephrata baseball coach), David Pendergraft (Brewster/Gonzaga basketball) and Cassie Merkley (Cascade/Idaho St. track)
- At 43 years, the NCW Sports Awards is the third oldest regional athletic recognition event in the state. Only Seattle’s “Sports Stars of the Year” (established in 1936) and Spokane’s “Inland Northwest Sports Awards” (1948) have more longevity.
- Currently, there are a total of eight regional athletic awards events in operation including Seattle’s “Sports Stars of the Year,” Spokane’s “Inland Northwest Sports Awards,” Wenatchee’s “NCW Sports Awards,” Walla Walla’s “Blue Mountain Sports Awards,” Aberdeen’s “Daily World Sports Awards,” Bremerton’s “Kitsap Sports Awards Banquet,” Yakima’s “Yakima Valley Sports Awards,” and Tacoma’s “Banquet of Champions.”
- This year 543 prep boys and 403 girls were considered to be superior athletes and received preliminary nominations as potential finalists. In collegiate categories, 68 males and 59 females earned nominations as potential finalists.
- Since the Sports Awards’ inception in 1971, college athlete finalists have attended 95 schools located in 30 states.
List of finalists
High School Male Athlete
Isaiah Brandt-Sims, Wenatchee; Carter Bushman, Quincy; Dustin Driver, Wenatchee; Jacob Laird, Ephrata; Macen McLean, Mansfield; Alex Myrick, Royal; Cody O’Connell, Wenatchee; Trenton Osborn, Eastmont; Asa Schwartz, Chelan; Dillon Sugg, Wenatchee; and Austin Watson, Liberty Bell.
High School Female Athlete
Christie Adams, Wenatchee; Hannah Bruggman, Wenatchee; Courtney Dietrich, Chelan; Nikki Gilbert, Eastmont; Angela Knishka, Cashmere; Megan Parks, Okanogan; Chandler Smith, Brewster; Sierra Speiker, Oroville; Kara Staggs, Okanogan; and Rebecca Tarbert, Eastmont.
College Male Athlete
Wade Gebbers (Brewster) Whitworth basketball; Joe Harris (Chelan) Virginia basketball; Jacob Horn (Ephrata) St. Cloud St. wrestling; Jeff Jack (Royal) Penn football; Mike Marboe (Wenatchee) Idaho football; Carter Nell (Eastmont) Texas St. track & field; Seth Pierson (Cashmere) Seattle Pacific cross-country & track; Ryan Rosenau (Cascade) Eastern Oregon track & field; Patrick Simon (Ephrata) Seattle Pacific basketball; and Andrew Whalen (Ephrata) Northwestern golf.
College Female Athlete
Laney Brown (Waterville) Eastern Washington volleyball; Jamie Brunner (Chelan) Whitworth fastpitch; Morgan Clem (Eastmont) Washington St. track & field; Becki Duhamel (Wenatchee) Central Washington track & field; Cassi Ellis (Eastmont) Central Washington fastpitch; Jaicee Harris (Chelan) Washington St. volleyball; Hannah Kiser (Wenatchee) Idaho cross-country & track; Rachael Kraske (Omak) George Fox track & field; Brooke Randall (Eastmont) Eastern Oregon basketball & track; and Carmen Robb (Eastmont) UNLV swimming.
Male Team Coach
Wiley Allred, Royal football; Bob Bullis, Wenatchee track & field; Mike Carlquist, Okanogan basketball; Jeff Carlson, Cashmere baseball; Dan Martin, Ephrata track & field; Greg Martinez, Quincy wrestling; Doug McGill, Eastmont football; Paul Schmekel, Liberty Bell wrestling; Jamie Richards, Chelan soccer; Jeff Zehnder, Wenatchee baseball; and Phil Zukowski, Cashmere football.
Female Team Coach
Bryan Boesel, Okanogan basketball; Roger Boesel, Brewster basketball; James Elwyn, Wenatchee swimming; Nicole Evans, ACH fastpitch; LeAnne McGahuey, Wenatchee volleyball; Marni McMahon, Cascade volleyball; Shelly Pflugrath, WVC fastpitch; Frank Phelps, Chelan basketball; Ryan Shorter, Mission Ridge alpine skiing; and Ted Smith, Cashmere tennis.
Cashmere baseball; Chelan soccer; Ephrata track & field; Liberty Bell wrestling; Mission Ridge alpine skiing; Okanogan basketball; Quincy wrestling; Royal football; Wenatchee track & field; and Wenatchee Wild hockey.
ACH fastpitch; Brewster basketball; Cascade volleyball; Cashmere tennis; Chelan basketball; Entiat track & field; Mission Ridge alpine skiing; Wenatchee swimming; Wenatchee volleyball; and WVC fastpitch.