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TAC ATHLETE OF THE YEAR BANQUET SALUTES THE BEST

Some familiar names to the Tacoma sports scene walked away with huge honors at the recent Tom Names Salute to Sports banquet, honoring the Tacoma Athletic Commission’s athletes of the year. On Monday, June 18, the LeMay America’s Car Museum was packed to the gills with the finest high school student athletes that Pierce County has to offer. When the night was over, tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships had been awarded to the best of the best.

Lincoln High School’s James Mwaura was named the Scott Names TAC Male Athlete of the Year. Mwaura graduated as the most-decorated cross country and track and field runner in state history. The Gonzaga-bound standout captured the 3A state 1,600 and 3,200 titles the last two seasons, as well as the last two state cross country championships. He earned All-American status in cross country and took home a $10,000 college scholarship from the Names family.

Bonney Lake’s Brooke Nelson was named the “Sis” Names TAC Female Athlete of the Year. Nelson helped the Cougars capture the 3A state softball championship from the pitcher’s mound, and with a bat in her hands. As a matter of fact, her statistics are so remarkable that they almost seem impossible. Nelson finished the season with 62 hits in 82 at-bats for a sizzling .833 batting average. She crushed 21 home runs and had 46 runs batted in. On the pitcher’s mound, she was equally devastating. Nelson struck out 306 batters this season to go along with her 0.79 earned run average. In one game alone, she struck out 24 batters in a row. The University of Washington-bound slugger took home a $10,000 college scholarship from the Names family.

The Clint Names Multi-Sport Excellence Awards went to two local phenoms. Wilson High School’s Kathleen Flanagan took home the $5,000 college scholarship on the female side, while Lakes High School’s Dorien Simon took home $5,000 on the male side. Flanagan was a three-sport letter winner throughout her four-year career at Wilson. This was a first for any Ram athlete. Flanagan excelled in soccer, as well as track and field, but it was wrestling where she made the biggest mark. Flanagan captured the 155-pound state championship this past winter, while finishing the season with a 37-1 record and a 126-17 record for her career. Simon was a standout on the gridiron, the swimming pool and on the track. Simon took home three gold medals this spring in the 100, 200 and 4×100 relay. He also finished with a 4.0 grade point average.

The Stan Naccarato Sports and Civic Betterment Awards went to Kathy Le of Henry Foss High School and Kelsy Bell of Sumner High School. Le and Bell were awarded with $2,000 college scholarships. Le was the ASB president at Foss and a four-year letter winner in softball and bowling, and a three-year letter winner in volleyball. 

Bellarmine’s Josh Hanigan was awarded the Clay Huntington Sports Communications Scholarship of $2,500. Hanigan was the sports editor of the student newspaper and a member of the Lions’ broadcast team. The offensive lineman was also a member of the Tacoma Weekly All-City Team. Hanigan will begin attending Linfield College in the fall to study business and sports management.

The Tom Names Inspirational Awards went to Chad Simonson of Graham-Kapowsin and Dreakeanna Adair of Bonney Lake. The awards came with $5,000 college scholarships. Simonson made his mark on the wrestling mat as the 4A state champion at 145 pounds, and was also known for his volunteer work throughout his community. Adair was the 190-pound state wrestling champion in 2017, as well as a three-time, 3A state champion in the discus, despite finishing out her career with an injured knee that was in constant pain. 

2017-2018 TAC ATHLETES OF THE YEAR

FALL SPORTS

CROSS COUNTRY (BOYS)

James Mwaura – Lincoln

CROSS COUNTRY (GIRLS)

Isabelle Snyder – Eatonville

Amiyah Johnson – Lincoln

FOOTBALL

Madden Tobeck – Cascade Christian

MJ Ale – Fife

Demetrius Crosby – Henry Foss

Robert Mason III – Graham-Kapowsin

SOCCER (GIRLS)

Kaylee Coatney – Bonney Lake

Karle Stueckle – Emerald Ridge

Hallie Johnson – Puyallup

Makenzie Burks – Stadium

SWIMMING (GIRLS)

Madilyn Murphey – School of the Arts

Haley Welch – Fife

VOLLEYBALL

Hannah Pukis – Bellarmine

Kasey Woodruff – Curtis

Zyonna Fellows – Mt. Tahoma

WINTER SPORTS

BASKETBALL (BOYS)

Emmitt Matthews Jr. – Wilson

BASKETBALL (GIRLS)

Juliana Walker – Annie Wright

Shalyse Smith – Bellarmine

Brynna Maxwell – Gig Harbor

BOWLING

Kristina Harris – Rogers

Sierra Berry – Wilson

GYMNASTICS

Kelly Richardson – Emerald Ridge

SWIMMING (BOYS)

Rafael Rodriguez – Sumner

Nicholas Malinowski – Steilacoom

WRESTLING (BOYS)

Brandon Kaylor – Bonney Lake

Chad Simonson – Graham-Kapowsin

JJ Dixon – Lincoln

Alex Cruz – Orting

Nate Moore – White River

WRESTLING (GIRLS)

Alina Collins – Bellarmine

Nicole Clark – Sumner

Lena Flanagan – Wilson

SPRING SPORTS

BASEBALL

Brady McLean – Puyallup

Jake Gehrii – Sumner

FAST PITCH

Brooke Nelson – Bonney Lake

GOLF (BOYS)

Jordan Lee – Bellarmine

GOLF (GIRLS)

Montgomery Ferreira – Bellarmine

SOCCER (BOYS)

Billy Chissoe – Charles Wright

Ethan Carlson – Puyallup

TENNIS (BOYS)

Kane Vu – Bellarmine

TENNIS (GIRLS)

Madisan Egan – Rogers

TRACK AND FIELD (BOYS)

James Mwaura – Lincoln

TRACK AND FIELD (GIRLS)

Dreakeanna Adair – Bonney Lake

Karlee Stueckle – Emerald Ridge

SOLID UPGRADES AT MEADOW PARK GOLF COURSE

Whether you’re a competitive golfer or a novice striving to master essential skills, Meadow Park Golf Course offers facilities to enhance your experience.

The Metro Parks Tacoma course at 7108 Lakewood Dr. W. has upgraded and expanded its driving range with additional heated stalls and light-emitting diode (LED) lights. The course has a new practice bunker and a special indoor-outdoor Golf Learning Center useful in all kinds of weather.

“It’s great to have the option to hit the driving range at night under the lights,” said Jessie K. Baines, one of five members of the Metro Parks Tacoma Board of Commissioners. “I like the fact that we’re saving energy with LEDs. Plus heated practice stalls will be a sure lure for golfers who want to hone their skills in cold weather.”

The new Golf Learning Center is a heated structure with roll-up doors so you can hit balls outside, even in inclement weather. Additions to the driving range have boosted the total number of heated and covered stations to 30.

“With these upgrades we will be able to extend our programs year-round with partners such as The First Tee of South Puget Sound, which introduces kids to golf,” said Erik Haag, Meadow Park’s head golf professional and business operations supervisor. “The whole community will be able to take advantage of the Golf Learning Center and driving range to learn the game, practice and enjoy golf with family and friends.”

These recent Meadow Park improvements were made possible thanks to the support of Metro Parks Tacoma voters who in 2014 approved a $198 million, 20-year bond issue to fund capital developments throughout the park district.

The changes are all part of Meadow Park’s effort to stay at the forefront of golf innovation. Most recently, the course introduced a new, Friday night Golf Glow Party series. The first, on June 8, was a big hit despite rain. While some courses have hosted single “Glow Golf” events, Meadow Park is running a trial to test the idea in Tacoma. Parties are scheduled Fridays through June and continue on July 13 and July 27. Tickets can be ordered online.

Players use glowing golf balls, with LEDs inside. The boundaries of each fairway on Meadow Park’s Williams Nine course are outlined with flickering lights; each hole is marked with a light stick instead of a flag. Players wear glow necklaces, but other than that the course is dark.

TACOMA/PIERCE COUNTY VOLLEYBALL OFFICIALS NEEDED

The Tacoma-Pierce County Volleyball Officials Board is in need of individuals who are interested in officiating middle school, junior high, senior high, college, and recreation department volleyball matches throughout Pierce County. Line judges are also needed for local high school matches. A comprehensive training program scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 21, Sunday, Aug. 26 and Monday, Aug. 27, is offered for all new officials and the opportunities to advance in the organization are extensive.

For students, retirees or former athletes looking to re-connect with a sport, officiating high school and middle school sports is also an excellent way to earn some extra income and provide a great service to the teams. Registration is due no later than Thursday, Aug. 9, so please contact us immediately.

For additional information on becoming a volleyball official, please visit our website attpcvob.com and contact Marc Blau at (253) 677-2872 or mhblau@comcast.net.

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