Finalists, several of them repeating from last year, have been announced for the annual Inland Northwest Youth Awards Luncheon.
The event will be Feb. 16 at 11:30 a.m. in the Spokane Convention Center Ballroom. Half of this year’s 10 Junior Female Athlete of the Year field return from a year ago, as do three of five female team finalists and two female coaches.
Master of ceremonies Ed Sharman and newcomer Sam Adams will oversee the production, chaired by Randy Ryan and hosted by the Spokane Regional Sports Commission and voting body of the more than 50 members of Inland Northwest Sportswriters and Broadcasters.
Numerous area businesses help defray cost of the lunch for the more than 1,000 area high school students expected to be in attendance.
SWABS special awards and Spokane Hoopfest Sportsmanship and Rockwood High School Sports Medicine Student of the Year will also be presented.
Tickets are available by contacting Barb Anzivino, 893-5447 or firstname.lastname@example.org; or www.spokanesports.org.
Male Athlete of the Year
Kenji Bierig, Lewis and Clark – Senior distance runner saved his best for last, avenging earlier losses to upset the field and win the State 4A cross country championship.
Chad Chalich, Coeur d’Alene – Quarterback of 5A state champions set single-season school records in total offense (3,385 yards), passing (2,844), completions (209) and touchdown passes (32).
Ben Johnston, North Central – Senior distance running standout captured the 1,600- and 3,200-meter runs at the State 3A track championships last spring.
Will Lohman, Chewelah – Thrower won the State 1A shot put and discus championships. His 61 feet, 5 inches shot put during the year was best of all classifications.
Jake Mason, University – Senior won his second straight 160-pound State 4A wrestling championship, one of two Titans titlists who helped them win the team title.
Ryan Nicholas, Gonzaga Prep – Relentless basketball post was named first-team All-State and Greater Spokane League MVP as leading scorer at nearly 23 points per game.
Shawn Reid, Post Falls – Trojans state basketball champion star was named Idaho Gatorade 5A player of the year, averaging 16 points, 11 rebounds and 3 assists per game.
Jordan Rogers, Mead – Sophomore wrestler won three national junior championships and title at the Youth Olympia Pan American international freestyle tournament.
Bishop Sankey, Gonzaga Prep – Spectacular running back broke 13-year-old Greater Spokane League single-season and career rushing records with 2,369 and 4,355 yards, respectively.
Alex Teade, Colfax – Three-sport star helped Bulldogs to state tournament trophies in basketball, baseball and football, including second-place finishes in the latter two.
Female Athlete of the Year
Richelle Ashburn, Post Falls – Softball pitcher compiled a 16-4 record with 259 strikeouts in 135 innings and a 0.88 ERA for the State 5A champions.
Shelby Cheslek, Pullman – The 6-foot-5 two-sport athlete helped Pullman to its second straight State 2A volleyball title and was member of the Greyhounds’ state basketball placers.
Kinsey Gomez, Coeur d’Alene – Senior distance star won third straight 5A cross country championship. She previously won state track 1,600- and 3,200-meter titles and was USATF Junior Olympics national 3,000-meter champ.
Kayla Johnson, Colfax – Much-honored athlete added her second straight State 2B basketball MVP award for champions and earned points for Bulldogs’ state track trophy winners.
Kjirsten Magnuson, Lake City – Timberwolves swimmer set records in the Idaho State 50- and 100-meter freestyle races, giving her a total of seven career titles.
Baylee Mires, Mead – Junior repeated as State 4A 800 and 1,600 track champion in times of 2:15.46 and 4:53.52, respectively, helping Panthers win the State 4A girls title.
Shaniqua Nilles, West Valley – Junior two-sport standout helped Eagles to a pair of third-place State 2A finishes last year, first in basketball and last fall in volleyball.
Jazmine Redmon, Mead – Greater Spokane League MVP and All-State basketball player guided Panthers to second place in state and was instrumental in team’s State 4A track title.
Carli Rosenthal, Coeur d’Alene – Junior 6-foot-3 standout scored 22 points, pulled down 12 rebounds and had four blocked shots in title game for three-time 5A State champions.
Chessey Thomas, St. George’s – Golfer for Lewis and Clark won her second straight State 4A championship with a two-day total of 238.
Male Team of the Year
Coeur d’Alene football – The Vikings completed an 11-1 season with the State 5A championship, 28-7 over Centennial.
Ferris football – The Saxons won two games in a week, including 24-16 over Skyline, to cap a 14-0 season and win their first State 4A championship.
Mead track and field – The Panthers scored 82.5 points with eight placers, including a pair of individual championships, to capture their second straight State 4A title.
Post Falls basketball – Trojans captured the State 5A championship while compiling a 22-4 record. It was the school’s first boys basketball title in 46 years.
University wrestling – The Titans placed nine wrestlers, two of them champions, to compile 156.5 points and win a State 4A team title by 42 points over Tahoma.
Female Team of the Year
Coeur d’Alene basketball – The Vikings had a 22-4 record while winning their third straight Idaho State 5A championship.
Colfax basketball – The Bulldogs capped a 26-3 season to win a second straight State 2B championship and their seventh state title in nine years.
Colton basketball – The girls lost but once during a 26-game season to capture their second straight State 1B championship.
Mead track and field – The Panthers girls made it a sweep of the 4A team titles at the school, scoring 65 points with four individual winners among eight placers.
Pullman volleyball – The defending champion Greyhounds were overlooked in the polls during the season, but a veteran team didn’t flinch, repeating as 2A champions.
Male Coach of the Year
Shawn Amos – In his 14th season as head football coach at Coeur d’Alene, he reached the pinnacle with a convincing 28-7 victory and State 5A Idaho championship.
Jon Knight – Things have snowballed for North Central cross country coach, with Knight’s Indians last fall winning their fifth straight State 3A title.
Jeff Moffat – Coeur d’Alene wrestling coach built a program into a State 5A championship winner last winter with six placers, three of them finalists.
Don Owen – Coach of perennial Greater Spokane League power University, Owen won a second State 4A wrestling championship, placing nine – eight of them fourth or higher.
Jim Sharkey – In fifth year as Ferris football coach, Sharkey’s perennial playoff participant Saxons were 14-0 en route to their first 4A state championship.
Female Coach of the Year
Corey Baerlocher – Colfax girls basketball coach won his second straight 2B title and sixth dating to 2004. First four were in Class 1A.
Jack Foster – Post Falls softball coach took the 18-9 Trojans to championship of the Idaho Class 4A tournament with wins in their final six games.
Dale Poffenroth – Basketball coach at Coeur d’Alene helmed a third straight Idaho 5A State championship to go with three he won before at Washington 4A Central Valley.
Ashlee Taylor – Freeman basketball coach had second successive top-three Washington State 1A finish, the Scotties winning championship by an average of 23 points per game.
Dave Weitz – Two years as head coach, two State 2A championships for the Pullman volleyball coach. Greyhounds swept four teams during last fall’s repeat.