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And the winners are … Athletes, coaches, teams honored at North Idaho Sports Banquet

| April 7, 2024 1:25 AM

COEUR d’ALENE — Players and coaches from Coeur d’Alene, Sandpoint, Bonners Ferry, Lakeland, the University of Idaho and North Idaho College were among the big winners at the 62nd North Idaho Sports Banquet on Saturday night at The Coeur d’Alene Resort.

More than 900 people attended the banquet, which honors student-athletes, coaches and teams from North Idaho high schools and colleges. They were honored for the time period that included the 2023 spring and fall sports seasons, and the 2023-24 winter sports season.

Coeur d’Alene’s Cathy Compton was named 5A-4A boys sports coach of the year, after leading the Vikings to the state cross country title. Coeur d’Alene’s Nicole Symons (girls basketball) and Sandpoint’s Conor Baranski (girls soccer) shared 5A-4A girls sports coach of the year honors after leading their teams to state titles.

Coeur d’Alene football and basketball standout Kai Wheeler shared high school male athlete of the year in 5A-4A with Jesse Turner, a baseball and football standout at Sandpoint.

Volleyball and basketball standout Landree Simon of Lakeland was named 5A-4A female athlete of the year.

Trey Bateman of Bonners Ferry, who shined in baseball, basketball and football, shared 3A-1A male athlete of the year honors.

Idaho football coach Jason Eck was named college male sports coach of the year, and star receiver Hayden Hatten was named college male athlete of the year.

North Idaho College volleyball coach Brittany Tilleman was named college female sports coach of the year.

The finalists and winners were honored at the banquet, along with this year's four inductees into the Hall of Fame — Randy Mueller, who has worked for seven professional football teams, Olympian Jackie Ross-Mattox, who still holds UI track records; former Deary High athlete, football coach and school administrator Darrah Eggers, and retired high school and college basketball official Bill Bopp are the honorees this year.

Along with athletic performance honors, the fourth annual Duane Hagadone High Character Award winners were announced at the banquet. This award goes to a nominated female and male athlete from each school. It is named after Duane Hagadone, who founded the North Idaho Hall of Fame 62 years ago. In defining the award, it recognizes a student-athlete who excels in the classroom and as a teammate, has outstanding work ethic and integrity, displays sportsmanship and true character in all walks of life, and is just an all-around good individual. Civic and community involvement is a bonus.

Following the awards ceremony there were drawings for eight $500 scholarships for the high school student-athletes. In order to win one of the drawings, a student-athlete had to be nominated for an award and be present at the banquet.

The nominations, finalists and winners are selected by the North Idaho Hall of Fame committee, composed of members from various communities in North Idaho.


DUANE HAGADONE HIGH CHARACTER AWARD

BONNERS FERRY: Chandler Swanson, Lindsey Onstott

COEUR d’ALENE CHARTER: Owen Sharp, Natal Davis

COEUR d’ALENE: Nolan Christ, Olivia Naccarato

CLARK FORK: Arrow Christofferson; Aurora Lane

DEARY: Laithan Proctor; Araya Wood

GENESEE: Kole Scharnhorst, Mia Scharnhorst

GENESIS PREP: CJ Elliott, Katie Yount

HIGHLAND: Noah Watson, Kindle Thomason

KAMIAH: Porter Whipple, Reesa Loewen

KELLOGG: Blake Coburn, Macy Jerome

KENDRICK: Dallas Morgan, Taylor Boyer

LAKELAND: Carson Leonard, Landree Simon

LAKESIDE: Brutis SiJohn, Martina Rivera

LAKE CITY: Macie Lilyquist, Benjamin Linford

LEWISTON: Drew Hottinger, Allison Olson

MOSCOW: Mick Perryman, Geneva McClory

NEZPERCE: Nic Kirkland, Erica Zenner

OROFINO: Dashel Barlow, Hanna Johnson

POST FALLS: Logan Clark, Kinlee McLean

POTLATCH: Giovanni Aquaro, Kaycee Clark

SANDPOINT: Jett Longanecker, Devin McDaniel

ST. MARIES: Brock Anderson, Kammi Rimel

TIMBERLAKE: Jacob Yetter

TIMBERLINE: Rylan West

TROY: Eli Stoner, Alaura Hawley

WALLACE: Julian Davis, Britany Phillips


SPRING SPORTS

BOYS GOLF

3A-1A

Stephen Paul, Kellogg: Playing at Sage Lakes in Idaho Falls, Paul shot a two-day total of 8-under-par 132 to win the 2A individual title by 10 strokes and help the Wildcats to a third-place finish at state. He also won the district title with a 65. 

Other finalists: Seth Swallows, St. Maries; Beau Jones, Lakeside; Luke Butler, Priest River; CJ Elliott, Genesis Prep.

GIRLS GOLF

3A-1A

Braylyn Bayer, Bonners Ferry: Bayer who also won this award last year, won the state 3A tournament by six shots with a 75-78—153 and helped the Badgers claim the state crown. She also won the district title by five shots.

Other finalists: Avery Bayer, Bonners Ferry; Malia Miller, Timberlake; Kendra Korasick, Kellogg; Julia Grimaldo, Orofino.

BOYS TENNIS

Dylan Gomez, Lewiston: Gomez, a repeat winner, won his third straight district title and for the second straight year placed second at the 5A state tournament. In district play, he went undefeated and didn’t lose more than three games in any match.

Other finalists: Tate Burkholder, Coeur d’Alene Charter; Owen Sharp, Coeur d’Alene Charter; Cole Andres, Lakeland; Brady Hanna, Lakeland.

GIRLS TENNIS

Caitlin Combes, Coeur d’Alene Charter: Combes, a repeat winner, placed second in the state 3A tournament and helped the Panthers to a fifth-place finish at state. As a sophomore, Caitlin was the top seed and rolled to straight set wins in her first two matches at state before eventually falling in title match.

Other finalists: Alexandria Montgomery, Coeur d’Alene Charter; Neva Reseka, Sandpoint; Maddy Nesbit, Lake City.

BOYS BASEBALL

5A-4A

Joe DuCoeur, Lake City: DuCoeur helped Lake City get back to the state 5A tournament for the first time in seven years. The catcher hit .403 with two home runs and 22 RBI and 24 runs scored on the season. He was named MVP award in the 5A Inland Empire League and is now playing at Chaminade University in Honolulu.

Other finalists: Bryce Stockton, Coeur d’Alene; Chris Ricard, Lewiston; Cooper Smith, Lake City; Eric Bumbaugh, Lake City; Levi Anderson, Moscow.

3A-1A

Dominic Holden, Troy: The Trojans left-hander posted a 0.14 earned run average, which was the lowest in the state among all classifications. He went 6-2 during his sophomore year.

Other finalists: Trey Bateman, Bonners Ferry; Bodey Howell, Orofino; Sam Lindsley, Grangeville; Jaxon Vowels, Potlatch.

GIRLS SOFTBALL

5A-4A

Kristine Schmidt, Coeur d’Alene: Schmidt was the MVP of the 5A Inland Empire League and helped the Vikings to the district title. She pitched all but seven innings for the Vikings during the season and posted a 19-5 record with a 1.50 earned run average and 212 strikeouts.

Other finalists: Jenna Barney, Lewiston; KaeLee Kolden, Lake City; Megan Highfill, Moscow.

3A-1A

Kendra Meyer, Genesee: Meyer, a pitcher, was a first-team all-state selection. As a sophomore, Kendra won four games at the state tournament to help the Bulldogs, who were seeded sixth in the eight-team field, capture the title.

Other finalists: Logan Walsh, Timberlake; Allilah Dykes, Timberlake; Taci Watkins, St. Maries; Jessica Ketola, Clearwater Valley; Brinley Lowe, Genesee.

GIRLS TRACK

5A-4A

Annastasia Peters, Post Falls; and Zoie Kessinger, Lewiston: Peters won the state 5A 3,200 meters in 10 minutes, 42.92 seconds. She also placed sixth in the 1,600 meters and 13th in the 800 meters. Kessinger won the state 5A discus title with a throw of 136 feet, nearly 17 feet longer than her nearest competitor. She also was fifth in the shot put.

Other finalists: Capri Sims, Post Falls; Ivy Smith, Sandpoint; Devin McDaniel, Sandpoint.

3A-1A

Asha Abubakari, Bonners Ferry; and McKenna Kozeluh, Coeur d’Alene Charter: Abubakari claimed the 3A shot put title with a throw of 42 feet, 1.5 inches, which was the second-best throw among all classifications. She also won the discus at 132 feet, 2 inches. She was second in the long jump and 12th in the triple jump. Kozeluh won the state 3A 1,600 meters in 5:11:93, and the 3,200 in 10:56:73.

Other finalists: Kadence Beck, Highland; Annabelle Carr, Coeur d’Alene Charter; Lindi Kissinger, Orofino; Sage Elvin, Prairie.

BOYS TRACK

5A-4A

Trevor Miller, Post Falls; James White, Lewiston; and Trevor Cogley, Lake City: Miller won the state 5A shot put with a throw of 57-3.25, and was third in the discus. White won the discus with a throw of 170-8 and was fourth in the shot put. Cogley won the 400 in 48.36 seconds and was third in the 200 meters. 

Other finalists: Rusty Lee, Sandpoint; Dylan Rehder, Moscow.

3A-1A

Brady Cox, Kamiah: Cox won the 110 hurdles in the 1A classification in 15.77 seconds, and then won the high jump at 6-2. He also was third in the 300 hurdles.  

Other finalists: Caius Tebbe, Timberlake; Saimone Tuikolovatu, Timberline; Matyus McLain, Priest River; Wyatt MacArthur, Timberlake; Joel Sneddon, Orofino.


FALL SPORTS

GIRLS GOLF

5A-4A

Mollie Seibly, Lewiston: Seibly finished second at the 5A state tournament with a 77-75—152, just one shot behind the winner. Seibly shot 72 at districts, and was also medalist in every regular-season dual meet Lewiston participated in. 

Other finalists: Taylor Mire, Sandpoint; Stella Deitz, Coeur d’Alene; Sophia Vignale, Coeur d’Alene; Mady Riley, Coeur d’Alene.

BOYS GOLF

5A-4A

Trey Lambert, Lake City; and Chase Lovell, Moscow: Lambert finished third in the state 5A tournament in Lewiston with rounds of 2-under-par 70 and 1-under 71. He also had a 1-under 71 to win medalist honors at the district tournament on the same course. Lovell attends Potlatch High, but the Loggers don’t have a golf team so he plays for Moscow. He finished second at the state 4A tournament, played at the University of Idaho course, and also won the district title on the same course.

Other finalists: Grant Potter, Coeur d’Alene; Max Hosfeld, Lake City; Trey Nipp, Coeur d’Alene.

GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY

Olivia May, Coeur d’Alene: May posted the fastest time at state among all North Idaho female runners. She took 11th in the 5A state meet, finishing in just under 19 minutes. She also ran the fastest district time of the local runners.  

Other finalists: Kaylynn Misner, Post Falls; Talia Bonville, Post Falls; Hazel Kunkel, Lake City; Vanessa McLachlan, Timberlake.

BOYS CROSS COUNTRY

Max Cervi-Skinner, Coeur d’Alene: Cervi-Skinner finished sixth in the state 5A meet at 15 minutes, 35.21 seconds and helped the Vikings have five runners between sixth and 16th to claim the state title.

Other finalists: Jacob King, Coeur d’Alene; Mitchell Rietze, Coeur d’Alene; Lachlan May, Coeur d’Alene; Zackery Cervi-Skinner, Coeur d’Alene; Jacob Barnhart, Timberlake.

GIRLS SOCCER

Aliya Strock, Sandpoint: Strock was the Most Valuable Player of the 4A Inland Empire League and helped Sandpoint to the state title. She also earned first-team all-state honors.

Other finalists: Avery Lathen, Lewiston; Macie Lilyquist, Lake City; Taylor Miller, Lake City; Cecilia Dignan, Sandpoint; Alexa Sheppard, Coeur d’Alene Charter.

BOYS SOCCER

Jacob Molina, Lake City: Molina was the MVP of the 5A Inland Empire League as a junior, and was first-team all-state. 

Other finalists: Connor Jump, Lake City; Jett Longanecker, Sandpoint; Gavin Schoener, Lake City; Kai Longanecker, Sandpoint; Eli Newell, Bonners Ferry.

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

5A-4A

Kylie Munday, Post Falls: Munday, a repeat winner, was selected the MVP of the 5A Inland Empire League for the second straight season. She was named the 5A Player of the Year on the all-Idaho team, and made the 5A first team for the third straight year. 

Other finalists: Gracie Legg, Coeur d’Alene; Addy McKarcher, Lewiston; Ziya Munyer, Lakeland; Addy Jo Hocking, Lakeland.

3A-1A

Jolee Ecklund, Troy: Ecklund was co-MVP of the Whitepine League and was a first-team all-state selection. 

Other finalists: Helene Rae, Bonners Ferry; Maddie Cheney, Kellogg; Britany Phillips, Wallace; Tia Hendrick, Wallace; Eloise Shelton, Clark Fork; Autumn Charvez, Mullan; Dericka Morgan, Troy; Kenadie Kirk, Deary; Hailey Taylor, Kendrick.

GIRLS SWIMMING

Makena Mamola, Lakeland: Mamola was a double winner at the state 4A meet. She won the 200 freestyle in a classification record of 1:56.17 seconds. She also won the 500 freestyle in 5:07.60 , also was a 4A record. She also helped the 200 free and 400 free relay teams to fourth-place finishes at state. 

Other finalists: Malynn Sobek, Lake City; Riley Taylor, Lake City; Quinn Taylor, Lake City.

BOYS SWIMMING

Michael Mamola, Lakeland: Mamola brother of Makena, won the 200 freestyle in 1:47.02, and also the 500 free in 4:37.5. Michael also swam the anchor legs on the third-place medley relay team and the fourth-place 400 freestyle team. 

Other finalists: Elija Brown, Lake City; Eli Shaw, Lake City; Isaac Thorpe, Coeur d’Alene.

FOOTBALL

5A-4A

Shea Robertson, Coeur d’Alene: Robertson was the MVP of the 5A Inland Empire League. The senior linebacker made 173 tackles, most in the state, including 26 tackles for losses. He was a first-team all-state selection and has signed with Eastern Washington University.

Other finalists: Asher Bowie, Post Falls; Max Frank, Sandpoint; Kody Brewster, Sandpoint; Bryson Muckenthaler, Coeur d’Alene; Camden DeGraw, Coeur d’Alene; Tevin Burns, Post Falls; Owen Forsman, Lakeland.

3A-1A

Trey Gibson, St. Maries; and Ty Koepp, Kendrick: Trey Gibson was the Central Idaho League’s Player of the Year and a first-team all-state selection. The senior running back rushed for 1,676 yards and 17 touchdowns despite missing three games.Koepp, a senior quarterback, completed 66 percent of his passes for 2,440 yards and 40 touchdowns. He also rushed for 11 touchdowns as Kendrick rolled to an undefeated season and its third straight state title. He was named state 1A Player of the Year, and was the Whitepine League MVP.

Other finalists: Cooper Lenz, Timberlake; Jack Driskill, Logos; Gage Crow, Lewis County; John Pruitt, Mullan/St. Regis; Porter Whipple, Kamiah.


WINTER SPORTS

GIRLS BASKETBALL

5A-4A

Teagan Colvin, Coeur d’Alene: Colvin was a first-team all-league performer and also was selected as a first-team all-state player for the second straight season. The UNLV-bound point guard averaged 17.8 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game, and helped the Vikings to their second straight state championship. 

Other finalists: Avery Waddington, Lake City; Sophia Zufelt, Lake City; Landree Simon, Lakeland; Karlie Banks, Sandpoint.

3A-1A

Madalyn Green, Grangeville: Green, a 6-2 junior center, was a second-team all-state selection in 2A. She averaged 17.1 points, 8.7 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game as the Bulldogs finished fourth at state.

Other finalists: Taren Bateman, Bonners Ferry; Britany Phillips, Wallace; Lilly Reuter, Clark Fork; Samara Powaukee, Lapwai; Kenadie Kirk, Deary; Haily Taylor, Kendrick.

BOYS BASKETBALL

5A-4A

Logan Orchard, Coeur d’Alene: Orchard, an Eastern Oregon University signee, led the Vikings to state for the first time since 2012. He led all of 5A in assists at 5.8 per game. He also averaged 11.6 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.0 blocks per game.

Other finalists: Reese Strawn, Lake City; Jordan Bramlet, Lewiston; Kai Wheeler, Coeur d’Alene; Parker Childs, Sandpoint; Ian Hillman, Moscow.

3A-1A

Asher Williams, Bonners Ferry; and Kase Wynott, Lapwai: Both were state Players of the Year for their respective classifications for the second straight year, and both also led their teams to state titles. Williams, a 6-foot-5 junior guard, averaged 28.4 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game, and was the 3A Intermountain League’s Most Valuable Player. Wynott was the 1A Whitepine League’s Player of the year. The 6-foot-6 senior is the all-time leading scorer in Idaho high school history with 2,962 points. He averaged 36 points per game, which was fifth in the nation, and shot 66 percent from the field. He also averaged 13.9 rebounds, 9.1 assists, 2.9 steals and 3.0 blocks per game. Wynott reopened his recruitment after Utah State’s coach took another job. 

Other finalists: Thomas Bateman, Bonners Ferry; Wyatt Holmes, St. Maries; Tyson Charley, Lakeside; Chase Sanroman, Clark Fork; David Kludt, Kamia; Jaxon Vowels, Potlatch; Nathan Tweit, Kendrick.

BOYS WRESTLING

5A-4A

Rider Seguine, Post Falls; and Hoyt Hvass, Lewiston: Seguine was injured for part of the year but still posted a 28-4 record. The junior won the 120-pound 5A weight class at state. Hvass, who has signed with North Idaho College, was 56-4 and won the 132-pound weight class in 5A.

Other finalists: Tyson Barnhart, Post Falls; Seth Martin, Post Falls; Carson Leonard, Lakeland.

3A-2A

Bass Myers, Clearwater Valley: Myers posted a 35-2 record at 195 pounds and and won a state 1A title.

Other finalists: Kaden Schaff, Nezperce; Colm McLaimtaig, Priest River

GIRLS WRESTLING

Joely Slyter, Lewiston: Slyter, a junior, posted a 45-2 record and finished second in the state at 114 pounds. 

Other finalists: Cara Brown, Coeur d’Alene; Hayley McNeal, Potlatch; Aubrey Wells, Bonners Ferry; Eva Wilis, Bonners Ferry.


BOYS TEAM OF THE YEAR

5A-4A

Coeur d’Alene cross country: Coeur d’Alene cross country. The Vikings were ranked 10th nationally. Coeur d’Alene had five runners place in the top 16 at state, including four among the top 11. The Vikings won the title by 15 points. Coeur d’Alene had the five best times at state among all North Idaho runners, and at the district meet, it had the top seven times among all District 1-2 harriers. It was the school’s first state title in boys cross country since 2011.

Other finalists: Coeur d’Alene football; Sandpoint soccer; Lake City swimming; Lakeland swimming.

3A-1A

Kendrick football; and Bonners Ferry basketball: Kendrick won its third straight 1A Division II eight-man title. The team went 10-0 and won its three games in the state playoffs by scores of 90-0, 88-20 and then 68-0 in the championship game. The Tigers beat three of the four state semifinalists in the next division up 1A Division 1, including champion Butte County 50-28, runner-up Oakley 44-22, and semifinalist Grace 52-6. Overall, Kendrick averaged 70 points a game and posted four shutouts. Bonners Ferry won its first state boys basketball title in school history. At state, the Badgers were seeded second and beat No. 7 seed Kimberly by 11 points and No. 6 Marsh Valley by 15. In the title game against top-seed Teton, Bonners Ferry led by 1 entering the final quarter and pulled away for a 7-point win. The team went 23-3 and undefeated against 3A schools. 

Other finalists: Troy baseball; Lapwai basketball.

GIRLS TEAM OF THE YEAR

5A-4A

Coeur d’Alene basketball; and Sandpoint soccer: Coeur d’Alene overcame injuries to win its second straight state basketball title and 11th overall. After being the No. 2 seed in the district tournament, the Vikings captured the district title and then state title, both times beating rival Lake City. Coeur d’Alene, which lost to Lake City twice during the regular season, finished the season 20-5. Sandpoint was the No. 4 seed at the state 4A soccer tournament but won its ninth state girls soccer title, finishing 11-5-3.

Other finalists: Lake City swimming, Sandpoint swimming.

3A-1A

Troy volleyball: Troy won the 1A title for the fifth time in six years, including three in a row. The Trojans finished the season 24-1. Troy’s only loss was when it finished second to Coeur d’Alene in a tournament in Lewiston. 

Other finalists: Genesee softball, Bonners Ferry golf, Kendrick basketball.

BOYS COACH OF THE YEAR

5A-4A

Cathy Compton, Coeur d’Alene cross country: Compton led the Vikings to their first state title since 2011.

Other finalists: Shawn Amos, Coeur d’Alene football; Michelle Sobek, Lake City swimming; Rob Urbaniak, Lakeland swimming; Tanner French, Sandpoint soccer.

3A-1A

Zach Eastman, Lapwai basketball; and Zane Hobart, Kendrick football: Eastman led Lapwai to a 25-2 record and avenged last season’s state championship loss to Lakeside with a 67-54 win. It was Lapwai’s 13th state title in basketball, which ties Borah for the most at any classification. Hobart guided Kendrick to its third straight 1A Division II eight-man title.

Other finalists: Tyler Strunk, Troy baseball; Nathan Williams, Bonners Ferry basketball.

GIRLS COACH OF THE YEAR

5A-4A

Nicole Symons, Coeur d’Alene basketball; and Conor Baranski, Sandpoint soccer: Baranski led the Bulldogs to the state 4A title. Symons led the Vikings to their second straight state 5A title and 11th overall. 

Other finalists: Shelly Sobek, Lake City swimming; Greg Jackson, Sandpoint swimming.

3A-1A

Ron Ireland, Kendrick basketball: Ireland, in his final season at the helm, led the Tigers (23-3) to its fourth state title, but its first in 22 years. It also was the first for Ireland, who announced his retirement after 11 seasons. 

Other finalists: Brian Malcom, Genesee softball; Deborah Blazzard, Troy volleyball; Ralph Lotspeich, Bonners Ferry golf.

MALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

5A-4A

Kai Wheeler, Coeur d’Alene; and Jesse Turner, Sandpoint: Wheeler earned all-league honors in football and basketball. In football, the 6-foot-6 tight end/wide receiver caught 37 passes for 479 yards and five touchdowns. He also played some at defensive back for the Vikings. In basketball, he was a first-team all-league selection, and averaged nearly nine rebounds a game. Turner, also a junior, played infield and pitched for the Bulldogs. He went 4-2 as a pitcher and struck out 20 batters in 26 innings. In football, he was a first-team all-league selection at tight end. In 10 games, he caught 25 passes for 257 yards and two touchdowns and also completed one pass for 36 yards.

Other finalists: Lachan May, Coeur d’Alene; Luke Leavitt, Sandpoint; Tyson Izzo, Moscow; Alex Shields, Post Falls; Drew Lehman, Sandpoint; Connor Isakson, Moscow.

3A-1A

Ty Koepp, Kendrick; and Trey Bateman, Bonners Ferry: Koepp earned all-league honors in baseball, football and basketball, including the MVP award in football. In baseball, he hit .473 for the Tigers with 26 runs scored, seven doubles, four triples and 13 stolen bases. On the mound he was 3-0 with a 2.30 ERA. He struck out 66 batters in 45.2 innings and earned second-team allstate honors. In football he completed 66 percent of his passes for 2,440 yards and 40 touchdowns, while rushing for 11 more. That earned him the Idaho Statesman’s 1A Player of the Year honors for the second straight year. In basketball, he averaged 10.4 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.6 steals per game. Bateman hit .350 for the Badger baseball team last spring and led the team with 23 RBI. On the mound he was 6-1 with a 3.34 ERA and struck out 30 batters in 35 innings. That earned him MVP honors of the Intermountain League. In football, he played running back, tight end and nose guard. He led the team with 22 receptions for 310 yards and four touchdowns and also rushed for 150 yards and two scores. Defensively, he made 40 tackles, including five for losses. He also had an interception, two blocked field goals and one blocked punt during the season. In basketball, Trey was a first-team all-league and second-team all-state selection. The senior forward averaged 9.5 points, 7.0 rebounds and 4.1 assists for the state champion Badgers.

Other finalists: Cooper Lenz, Timberlake; Nathan Tweit, Kendrick; Jaxon Vowels, Potlatch; Bass Myers, Clearwater Valley; David Kludt, Kamiah; Jack Driskill, Logos; Jacob Yetter, Timberlake; Gavin Christopherson, Timberline.

FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

5A-4A

Landree Simon, Lakeland: Simon, a 6-foot junior, was the MVP of the 4A Inland Empire League in basketball and a first-team all-league selection in volleyball. A guard for the Hawks’ basketball team, she averaged 18.8 points, 5.7 rebounds and 3.4 steals and was recently named second-team all-state. She helped Lakeland to state for the first time since 2019. As an outside hitter, she helped the Hawks finish fourth at state in volleyball. 

Other finalists: Allison Olson, Lewiston; Punk Knott, Moscow; Lila Kiefer, Lakeland; Maddie Mitchell, Coeur d’Alene.

3A-1A

Hailey Taylor, Kendrick; and Mattie Thacker, Grangeville: Taylor was first-team all-league in three sports and first-team all-state in softball and basketball, as well as a second-team all-state selection in volleyball. In softball, she helped Kendrick place second at state as an infielder, and then was co-MVP of the Whitepine League in volleyball where Kendrick tied for fifth at state. In basketball, she was the league MVP as well as the 1A state Player of the Year. The 5-foot-6-inch senior averaged 11.5 points, 4 assists, 3 steals and 1.5 rebounds per game. Thacker was a first-team all-Central Idaho League selection in softball, and basketball. She earned 2nd team all-state honors in softball, where she was a pitcher, catcher and third baseman. In basketball she was a first-team all-league selection and helped the Bulldogs to the state tournament where they placed fourth. 

Other finalists: Asha Abubakari, Bonners Ferry; Britany Phillips, Wallace; Kenadie Kirk, Deary; Annabelle Carr, Coeur d’Alene Charter; Araya Wood, Deary.


COLLEGE

MALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

Hayden Hatten, UI football: Hatten caught 94 passes for 1,231 yards and nine touchdowns, was a unanimous first-team all-Big Sky selection and a second-team AP All-American. 

Other finalists: Josh McCartain, NIC golf; Francisco Bascon, UI tennis; Carter Gordon, LCSC indoor track

FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE YEAR

Mia Sylvester, UI track; and Callie Stevens, LCSC basketball: Sylvester won two Big Sky Conference track titles. Last spring, she won the shot put title at the conference’s outdoor meet and then this winter she won the weight throw with a school-record toss. Stevens was the MVP of the Cascade Collegiate Conference to become the first player ever to win the award three consecutive years. She also was a second-team NAIA All-American. She averaged 17.3 points per game and had 102 assists and 55 steals in leading the Warriors to the NAIA national tournament. 

Other finalists: Kaycee Chavez, NIC soccer; Abby Brooks, NIC softball; Jennah Carpenter, LCSC track.

MALE TEAM OF THE YEAR

Idaho football: The Vandals went 6-2 in the Big Sky and 9-4 overall, and advanced to the quarterfinals of the FCS playoffs. The Vandals finished tied for second in the Big Sky and beat second-ranked Montana State and fourth-ranked Sacramento State. Idaho also beat FBS Nevada in the regular season. Idaho was the fourth seed in FCS playoffs.

Other finalists: North Idaho wrestling, North Idaho golf, Idaho tennis, LCSC baseball, LCSC basketball.

FEMALE TEAM OF THE YEAR

Idaho soccer: The Vandals, who won for the second straight year, captured the Big Sky title for the first time in school history. The team  lost to Gonzaga 1-0 in the opening round of the NCAA tournament and finished 12-5-2.

Other finalists: North Idaho soccer, North Idaho volleyball, North Idaho softball, LCSC basketball.

MALE COACH OF THE YEAR

Jason Eck, UI football: Eck, a repeat winner, led the Vandals into the FCS playoffs for the second straight year. 

Other finalists: Derrick Booth, NIC wrestling; Russell Grove, NIC golf; Daniel Hangstefer, UI tennis; Jake Taylor, LCSC baseball; Austin Johnson, LCSC basketball.

FEMALE COACH OF THE YEAR

Brittany Tilleman, NIC volleyball: The first-year coach led the Cardinals to a 32-2 overall record and a perfect 16-0 in conference play. NIC made it to the conference championship where it lost to Linn-Benton. Its only two losses were to undefeated Linn-Benton. The Cardinals won 26 matches in a row at one point and won 19 matches in 3-0 sweeps.

Other finalists: Shay (Fuson) Chapman, NIC softball; Kellsi Parson, NIC soccer; Jeremy Clevenger, Idaho soccer; Caelyn Orlandi, LCSC basketball

COLLEGE RECOGNITION

North Idaho high school student away at college

Ridge Lovett, Nebraska wrestling: Lovett, a junior from Post Falls High, recently placed sixth in the NCAA Championships at 149 pounds. He won the Big Ten Championship and placed first in two other tournaments during the season. He went 27-4 during the season and earned All-American honors.

    Jason Eck
 
 
    Landree Simon
 
 
    Kai Wheeler
 
    Jesse Turner
 
 
    Trey Bateman
 
 
    Hayden Hatten
 
 
    Cathy Compton
 
 
    Nicole Symons
 
 


 






    Conor Baranski
    MARK NELKE/Press Nearly 1,000 people attended the North Idaho Sports Banquet on Saturday night at The Coeur d'Alene Resort.
    MARK NELKE/Press Former Idaho and NFL offensive lineman Mark Schlereth, left, featured speaker at Saturday night's North Idaho Sports Banquet at The Coeur d'Alene Resort, draws laughs from other at the head table. From left: Emcee Dennis Patchin and newly inducted North Idaho Athletic Hall of Famers Randy Mueller, Bill Bopp, Jackie Ross-Mattox and Darrah Eggers.