WALLA WALLA — The The 37th annual Blue Mountain Sports Awards will be handed out on Wednesday during the Blue Mountain Youth Recognition Evening at Baker Boyer Bank’s main branch in downtown Walla Walla.
The event is slated for 7 p.m. and is free to the public.
The sports awards recognize the top male and female athletes from around the Walla Walla Valley, as well as best teams, coaches and scholar-athletes.
Athletes, coaches and teams are considered for their achievements during spring sports of the 2011-12 school year, and fall and winter sports of the 2012-13 year. Nominees in Male, Female, Team and Coach of the Year are compiled by Union-Bulletin staff, with each school nominating Scholar-Athlete candidates.
This year, there are four finalists for Male Athlete of the Year and Female of the Year, and five finalists for Scholar-Athlete, Coach and Team of the Year.
Male Athlete of the Year
DeSales senior golfer Ryan Baumgart earned all-Southeast 2B football honors as a receiver, and shot a 151 at the Class B golf championships to win the state title by 10 strokes.
Whitman junior Ben Eisenhardt was named Northwest Conference men’s basketball Player of the Year, to the D3Hoops.com All-West Region first team, NABC All-America third team, and NABC All-West District first team.
Wa-Hi senior Jonah Hoe’s stellar football season was followed by being named Class 4A All-state first team running back, Mid-Columia Conference Offensive Player of the Year, MCC first-team running back. Hoe led the MCC in rushing yards (1,828) and rushing touchdowns (17), and tied for most points scored by an individual and finished second in all-purpose yards with 2,126.
He also placed ninth at the Class 4A state track and field meet in the long jump with a jump of 20 feet, 10.25 inches and ran on the 4x400 relay team at state.
Pomeroy senior Austin Reisdorph won the Class B state wrestling title at 220 pounds.
He also placed 11th at the Class 1B state track meet in the 200-meters, 11th in the 400, and ran on the state championship 4x100 and 4x400 relays.
Female Athlete of the Year
Wa-Hi graduate and softball standout Alyson Ambler earned all-Columbia Basin Big Nine pitcher and CBBN Most Valuable Player in softball. She is playing at Connecticut.
DeSales freshman Emily Baumgart shot a 171 to take second at the 2012 Class B golf championship.
Walla Walla Community College sophomore Michelle Seitz was named all-NWAACC East Region Most Valuable Player after the basketball season, and was on the East Region All-Defensive Team.
And Weston-McEwen senior Molly vonBorstel was named to the All-State volleyball team.
Scholar-Athlete of the Year
Ashley Cornia has a 4.0 GPA at Wa-Hi. She was an all-Big Nine Conference track honoree and state qualifier, a cross country all-Big Nine honoree, and Class 4A Academic State Champion girls cross country team member.
Lucas Fazzari has a 3.97 GPA at DeSales. He was an all-SE2B League football honoree and an alternate all-state pick. He’s served as ASB treasurer, was on the Knowledge Bowl state team, participated in services projects and took advanced courses.
McLoughlin High’s Cheyenne Kessler has a 3.98 GPA. She was named softball Class 4A all-state first-team catcher, all-Greater Oregon League first-team catcher, and won the team Big Bat Award and Golden Glove Awards. She was a volleyball all-GOL honorable mention, and scholar-athlete in softball and volleyball. Kessler is also National Honor Society president and senior class treasurer, a Varsity Club member, was the November Charter Student of the Month, a Champion FFA Showman at the Walla Walla Fair, Umatilla County Scholar-Athlete of the Year, and finalist for Umatilla County Female Athlete of the Year.
VonBorstel returns as finalist for Scholar-Athlete with a 4.11 GPA. She was a volleyball varsity letter winner, team captain, unanimous state tournament first-team selection, co-Player of the Year in the Blue Mountain Conference, and the team’s Most Valuable Player. She was also a basketball letter winner, team captain, and all-BMC first-team honoree. She was a softball letter-winner and all-BMC first team, and an East Oregonian all-sport team selection, East Oregonian Outstanding Student, ASB reporter and junior class vice-president.
Ali Zander has a 4.06 GPA at DeSales. She played softball, soccer and was team captain on the Irish state Class 2B fifth-place basketball team. She was ASB secretary and a member of the Knowledge Bowl, Math Team and an Exchange Club Student of the Month. She was alos involved in service projcts and earned the AAUW Award in mathematics.
Coach of the Year
Kim Cox led the DeSales baseball team to the SE2B district title before claiming the Irish’s 17th state championship with a 9-2 victory over league rival Asotin.
Katharine Curles coach both the Wa-Hi boys and girls swim teams, earning Mid-Columbia Conference Coach of the Year honors.
Michelle Ferenz led the Whitman College women’s basketball team to the NCAA Division III Elite Eight after earning Northwest Conference Coach of the Year and finishing with a 22-6 record.
TJ Haguewood’s Weston-McEwen baseball team had an 18-4 regular-season record and won the district title en route to playing in the state championship game, where the TigerScots fell to Kennedy.
Jerry Humphreys’ Wa-Hi softball team won the Big Nine with a 19-1 regular-season record, won the district title and then advanced through state before losing to Woodinville in the state championship game to finish 26-2 on the season.
Team of the Year
DeSales’ baseball team was SE 2B District champion with 11-1 record, and an 18-2 regular-season record. The Irish defeated Asotin 18-4 for the district championship, defeated Lake Roosevelt 11-2 and Lind-Ritzville 11-1 for the regional championship, defeated Mossyrock 13-7 in Class 2B state semfinals, and then defeated Asotin 9-2 in the championship game for the school’s 17th state title and first since 2008, finished 24-2 overall.
DeSales’ boys golf team swung its way to the Washington Class 2B state championship.
Wa-Hi’s softball team was Big Nine Conference regular-season champion with a 19-1 regular-season record, defeated Wenatchee 9-0 and Richland 9-2 to win the district championship, defeated Richland 9-2 and Mead 4-0 for the regional championship and a Class 4A state berth. There, the Blue Devils defeated Central Kitsap 17-0, Bothell 13-0 and Jefferson 8-6 at state before losing to Woodinville 6-0 in the state championship game finished with 26-2 record.
Weston-McEwen’s baseball team posted an 18-4 regular-season record and defeated Stanfield 6-2 for the TigerScots’ first district championship in 15 years. They defeated Bonanza 7-1 in the first round of the Oregon Class 2A state playoffs, defeated Lost River 12-3 in the quarterfinals, defeated Regis 10-7 in the semifinals and lost to Kennedy 10-4 in the state championship game to finish second in state with a 22-5 overall record.
Whitman College women’s basketball team finished second in the final Northwest Conference standings and earned the first home playoff game in program history. The Missionaries lost to Whitworth 55-54 in the semifinals, but received a NCAA Division III national tournament invitation — another program first — and defeated Cal Lutheran 61-37 in the first round, defeated Lewis & Clark 66-57 in Sweet Sixteen and lost to Williams College 63-53 in the Elite Eight to finish with a 22-6 overall record.