WENATCHEE —Tuesday’s 42nd Annual North Central Washington Sports Awards, held at the Wenatchee Convention Center, confirmed the fact that the Caribou Trail League had a very good 2011-12 school year.
Out of the eight awards that were given out, six went to CTL players, coaches, teams or alumni.
“The CTL can compete with the best of them,” said Omak’s Dylan Green, who won the prep male athlete award for the second consecutive year. “It’s a tough league (in every sport).”
The state champion Okanogan girls basketball team won the female team award, with coach Bryan Boesel earning the female team coach honor for a second time. The state champion Cashmere baseball squad also took two awards, one for male team of the year and one for coach Jeff Carlson, who won the male team coach honor.
Chelan graduate Joe Harris, a basketball player at the University of Virginia, won the college male athlete award.
“We’ve got a lot of talent in this league,” said Carlson, who also won the male team coach award in 2010. “I think it’s been like that for a long time. The small schools represented themselves well.
“It’s special for me (to win these awards) because this is the last time these seniors will be together at an event like this. If we were only going to win one, I’d want it to be the team award; the coach wouldn’t be in this position if it wasn’t for the kids.”
Green, who shared the award with Wenatchee’s Isaiah Brandt-Sims last year, ran for over 2,000 yards for the Pioneers football team and was named the CTL’s offensive player of the year; won the 1A state wrestling title in the 195-pound weight class; and took first place at the state high school powerlifting championships in the 220-pound class.
“It feels good (to win) because I love to represent my family, community and school,” he said. “I liked (keynote speaker) Mac Bledsoe’s speech because I do the same thing he does — I write down goals for myself. I call them affirmations. They’re in my school binder, in the wrestling room, in the weightlifting room and at home. I believe that if you see it in your head, you can do it.”
Wenatchee graduate Hannah Kiser, a runner for the University of Idaho, won the college female athlete award. Kiser competed in the NCAA cross country championships and was named as a second-team all-American in indoor track and field.
Wenatchee’s Audrey Ketcham repeated as the top prep female athlete. Ketcham was a standout volleyball player for the Panthers before suffering a season-ending injury, then won her third consecutive state 4A high jump title in the spring.
“(Winning) means a lot to me because there was a lot of good nominees,” she said. “It’s a nice surprise. I feel good (about the way my year went). The volleyball injury was a disappointment, but I was happy to win the high jump state title.”
Before the awards were announced, Bledsoe, a former University of Washington football player, longtime coach and father of ex-National Football League quarterback Drew Bledsoe, delivered a powerful address that detailed some of his most poignant life-changing experiences.
“I continue to set goals, and accomplish them,” Bledsoe said. “I’ve liven a purpose-driven life, and that has come out of (my involvement) with athletics.”