Wood River High principal Peter Jurovich surveyed the gathering of students and parents Thursday night and said, "Having been to many of our activities this year, for me tonight is like a highlight film with an amazing group of young men and women.
"They've spent the year setting standards we can all aspire to."
Jurovich spoke at the end of the "Best of the Best" Bob Shay Most Inspirational awards banquet in the high school commons area in Hailey.
Top Wood River students in extracurricular activities accepted accolades and plaques before teachers, coaches, family and friends. Athletic/activities director John Rade presided over the two-and-a-half-hour program.
Here are Thursday's awards:
Judged by a vote of coaches as the "Outstanding Senior Athletes," for the 2011-12 school year were Cheyenne Swanson and Austin Hafer.
"Outstanding Seniors of Performing Arts" were Nate Kniffen and Jonnie Pedersen.
This was the 15th year WRHS honored three-activity letter winners who are backbones of extracurricular programs. Presenting the awards was J.C. Nemecek, a three-sport coach in his 99th season of cumulative coaching.
Honorees were Austin Hafer, Chris Carnes, Kaitana Martinez, Lily Richards, Cheyenne Swanson and Ben Williams.
Allan Lee Patterson Memorial Awards were presented to two outstanding seniors. Selected by the coaching staff, Patterson honors were given for the 35th time in memory of Hailey's Allan Patterson, a 1975 Wood River High graduate and alpine skier who died in 1977.
The winners were Greg Lindbloom and Lucy Paisley.
U.S. Marine Corps Distinguished Athlete awards went to Haylee Thompson and Luis Lopez. Receiving U.S. Army Reserve Scholar/Athlete honors were Kaitana Martinez and Quentin Dowdle.
Jade Atkinson earned the Rose Bergin Memorial Award. It was given for the 32nd time to the Wolverine girl who possesses the qualities of Bergin, a 1977 WRHS grad and runner who died of cancer.
Ben Stout received the seventh annual Monte Brothwell Unsung Hero Award honoring the Bellevue runner and 1972 state cross country champ for Wood River who has completed 46-plus marathons.
Given 2011-12 "Wolverine Awards" were Jake Vegwert, Devan Atkinson and Dalyah Reel-Hughes for spirit; Kevin Cooley, James Petzke and Emmalie Dion for leadership; and Erin Murphy, Sloan Storey, Dani McLaughlin and Jennie Williams for tenacity.
Gus Kimball earned the Tim Neville Award named after the dedicated Wood River speech arts teacher who enjoyed great success at winning state championships prior to his retirement.
Bob Shay "Most Inspirational" awards were presented to athletes in each of the school's varsity sports and to participants in activities like drama, cheerleading and band. The awards, once called Rick Hawkes Memorial, were given for the 22nd time in honor of legendary coach Shay.
Shay award recipients were:
- Fall sports—Braxton Parish in football; Lily Richards in volleyball; Corrine Smith and Ben Stout in cross country; Nathan Moses in boys' soccer; and Lucy Paisley in girls' soccer.
- Winter sports—Austin Hafer in boys' basketball; Kaitana Martinez in girls' basketball; and Thomas Heiden in wrestling.
- Spring sports—Ben Stout for a second straight year in boys' track; Cheyenne Swanson for a second consecutive year in girls' track; Karl Wilander and Hannah Baybutt in tennis; Austin Hafer in baseball; Tyler Spence in boys' golf; Jennie Williams for a third consecutive year in girls' golf; and Kori Paradis in softball.
- Other activities—Coleton Bailey in debate and speech; Drake Arial and Katie Walton in drama; Stephen Poklemba and Emmalie Dion in band; Max Mauldin and Lauren Lichtenberg in choir; Emily Parker for a second straight year and Adam Potts in orchestra; and Guadalupe Ruiz in cheerleading.
Shay Cup to Stilling
Presented for the 23rd time was the "Bob Shay Cup" to outstanding Wood River coaches in Shay's name.
This year's winner was football and girls' basketball head coach Kevin Stilling. He was named Great Basin Conference 4th District 4A Coach of the Year in both football and basketball after guiding the Wolverine teams to state tournament berths in each sport.
Past "Bob Shay Cup" winners:
Girls' basketball coach Mendy Benson; tennis coach Vicki Johnston; cheerleading and track coach Jeannie Bradshaw; cross country and track coach James Foster; football coaches John Blackman and Mike Glenn; baseball coach Lars Hovey; softball coach Chris Cey; softball coach Dale Martin (twice); tennis coach Nancy Williams; cross country coach Joel Zellers; boys' soccer coach Brian Daluiso (twice); and band and choir teacher Bart Bailey;
Speech arts coach Tim Neville (three times); volleyball coach Dave Neumann; wrestling coach Tom Goicoechea; boys' basketball coach Norm Cook; girls' basketball/track coach J.C. Nemecek; girls' soccer coach Tizz Strachan; cross country/track coach Bill Martell; and boys' soccer coach Erik Larson.
Offering tributes to three retiring coaches, principal Jurovich thanked outgoing girls' basketball coach Mendy Benson, tennis coach Vicki Johnson and boys' basketball coach Rick Bradshaw for their hard work and commitment to Wolverine athletics.