“Students first and athletes second.” That’s how Principal Jonathan Reynolds described the awards night participants last Wednesday night in the high school auditorium. The NIAA will soon send certificates of academic achievement to several student-athletes. Reynolds also recognized those who achieved a high GPA based on their grade level. The rest of the night focused on sports.
take the lead
Coach Mike Brooks called the wrestling team to the high school auditorium stage. He introduced Devin Moura, Wyatt Hughes, Justin Carruth and Lucian Gonzalez. Brooks spoke about each wrestler’s accomplishments. For example, Hughes is a regional champion. Moura is a three-time runner-up at State and about to graduate with honors.
Spirit Squad lights up the night
Next, Cece Thornhill and Jackie Chandler brought up the Spirit Squad. The audience of parents and family members clapped for Lupita Lopez (capt.), Jillian Bridges (co-capt.), Grace Kalsem, Jazmin Bristow, Mikayla Leavitt, Miya Gallagher and Brooklyn Mitchell. Lopez will be captain next year as a senior.
Of the seven girls, four had never cheered before. However, they grew throughout the season, consistently bringing Lovelock to its feet.
JV girl’s basketball scores successful
Coach Damien McKinney called for the JV girls. He said they played full court defense even when they had only five players. However, he was even more impressed by their cohesion and unity.
The girl’s JV team included Katie Moore (manager), Anna Happy, Eudosia Mendoza, Aryn Sam, Yasmine McKinney, Mady Grenz, Kaylah Hanley, Kyria Angel and Marina Corcuera. Coach McKinney stressed each girl’s unique contributions to the team. For example, in several games Sam had three or four consecutive baskets.
Varsity girl’s basketball takes the stage
Next Lee Houston introduced the only girl’s basketball team in the 2A to play all 14 games – the girl’s varsity squad. They said goodbye to four seniors – Presley Burrows, Bela Rosas, Kylee Fuller and Aledda Sam. Raegan Burrows, Taylor Garland, Aaliyah Allen, Anna Happy, Yasmine McKinney, Kairi Watson and Kaydance Happy joined them onstage. Brayden Wagner and Sidonie Casseret managed the team.
“Nobody in the building will ever forget that night,” Houston said, alluding to Sam’s showstopping cameo appearance in the senior night game against North Tahoe. She was recovering from a volleyball injury, but her doctor said she could open the competition. After months on the sidelines, Sam hit two 3-pointers in rapid succession and brought the house down.
“She’s all heart and what being a Mustang is all about,” said Houston
Taylor Garland and Raegan Burrows earned Honorable Mentions from the 2A league coaches. Bela Rosa made the 2nd Team All Conference. Kaydance Happy and Presley Burrows landed on the 1st Team. The 2A coaches also voted Burrows the Defensive Player of the Year.
“Presley dislocated her kneecap in volleyball and worked her way back on the basketball court with her teammates,” said Houston. “We moved Presley to the post position and she handled it with no problem. Then came senior night. Presley hurt her knee again and was unable to finish the season. Like Aledda, she handled it with grace. We found out how much respect she got around the league. You wouldn’t believe how many people reached out to see if she was okay.”
JV boy’s basketball celebrates
JJ Meyers brought the JV boys onstage. The team included Landon Fitzpatrick, Tyler Miller, Travis Donaldson, Conner Fecht, Tommy Meyers, Efrain Aceves, Tyrn Sam, Lewis Sanchez, Denzel Zaldivar, Eddie Herrera, Money Mike Reitz and Izayuh Mcglothin.
By team vote, the JV boys named Sam the Most Improved. They chose Reitz as the Offensive Player of the Year. Zaldivar is the Defensive Player of the Year. McGlothin is the Team MVP.
Varsity boy’s basketball closes the night
Finally, Jesse Canchola and Rich Campbell brought the varsity boys front and center. They included Kaden Chambers, Tommy Meyers, Travis Donaldson, Marshall Happy, Diego Gonzalez, Esteban Vidrio, Aaron Kienbaum, Noel Zaldivar, Blake Burrows, Ashton Nolf and Luis Sanchez. Federico Spinola managed the team. He, Gonzalez, Nolf and Vidrio graduate within weeks.
The 2A North coaches named Donaldson to the All-League 2nd team. Nolf received an Honorable Mention. So did Kienbaum, a sophomore.
Now the student athletes turn their attention to baseball, softball and track. Spring has sprung.