Sports Awards 2023 Nominees Announced, Registration Open for November 9 Celebration

Winners to be announced at awards banquet on November 9


Submitted by Experience Olympia & Beyond

The Olympia & Beyond Sports Commission, a division of Experience Olympia & Beyond, will host the sixth annual Thurston County Sports Awards on Thursday, November 9 starting at 5:00 p.m. at South Puget Sound Community College. The event, presented by Olympia Orthopaedic Associates, will honor 37 local athletes, coaches, sports influencers and enthusiasts in the community with seven awards. Tickets can be purchased in advance online.

“A healthy sports community starts with leaders who inspire others to focus on mental and physical wellness through sports activity. Sports Awards is a celebration of those accomplishments – from those who organize sports events to the athletes who participate in them,” Jeff Bowe,Vice President of Sales and Development for the Olympia & Beyond Sports Commission said.

All nominations were submitted by local peers and were voted on by an advisory committee made up of community stakeholders.

This year’s keynote presenter is Mitch Lewis. A seasoned corporate executive turned passionate farmer, Mitch is one of less than five people in the world to have climbed the highest mountains on the seven continents, including Mt. Everest, and to have run marathons on the same seven continents. Mitch holds BSM and MBA degrees from Pepperdine University, Executive Education certificates from Harvard and Stanford Universities, and a Cultivating Success certificate from Washington State University. He and his wife, Michelle, are co-owners of Summit Farms, a turn-of-the-century, 28-acre environmentally protected commercial farm in Olympia. 

For more information on the 2023 Sports Awards, please visit the Experience Olympia & Beyond website.

Below is a complete list of the 2023 nominees: 

High School Sports Star of the Year
Nominees must be a female or male athlete enrolled full-time in a Thurston County high school program. Nominees must have participated for a minimum of one season in at least one high school sport, exemplify strong leadership, dedication and sportsmanship with good school behavior.

Sports Star of the Year – Girl’s Sports

  • Rylee Hall, Capital High School (Soccer)
  • Ashley Harris, Black Hills High School (Volleyball, Track & Field)
  • Lucy Heminway, Capital High School (Football, Track & Field)
  • Yvy La, Olympia High School (Swimming)
  • Alexis Meyer, Capital High School (Track & Field)
  • Amanda & Hana Moll, Capital High School (Track & Field)
  • Emma Rose, Capital High School (Soccer)

Sports Star of the Year – Boy’s Sports

  • Gabe Downing, Olympia High School (Football)
  • Parker Gerrits, Olympia High School (Basketball)
  • Max Johnson, Black Hills High School (Football, Basketball, Baseball)
  • Mason Juergens, Olympia High School (Football)
  • Kaleb McNeely, Timberline High School (Football, Baseball)
  • Brayden Platt, Yelm High School (Football, Track & Field)
  • Trevontay Smith, Yelm High School (Football, Basketball, Track & Field)

Collegiate Sports Star of the Year

Nominees must be a female or male athlete enrolled full-time in a Thurston County college or be a native to Thurston County. Nominees must also have participated for a minimum of one year in at least one collegiate sport, and exemplify strong leadership, dedication and sportsmanship with good school behavior.

Sports Star of the Year – Women’s Sports

  • Haley Agena, Saint Martin’s University (Softball)
  • Corona Parker, The Evergreen State College (Track & Field)
  • Sharay Trotter, South Puget Sound Community College (Basketball)

Sports Star of the Year – Men’s Sports

  • Jason Montes, South Puget Sound Community College (Basketball)
  • Chris Morell, South Puget Sound Community College (Soccer)
  • Yuta Shimazu, South Puget Sound Community College (Soccer)

Sports Contributor of the Year

Nominees must be passionate about the growth and success of sports in Thurston County. Nominees could be coaches, persons affiliated with nonprofit organizations, individuals or major monetary donors to sports initiatives that increase or improve sports access in Thurston County. Nominees must have demonstrated a commitment to sports development.

  • Zeb Hoffman, The Evergreen State College, Director of Athletics
  • Thomas Hoghaug, Yelm High School
  • James LaRue, Pacific Recreational Baseball League Founder
  • Dwight Midles, Saint Martin’s University Track & Field Coach
  • Mike Reid, North Thurston High School Basketball Coach
  • Ian Roberson, Washington Student Cycling League Founder
  • Yvonne Yourkoski, Soccer Coach

Sports Moment of the Year

Nominees can be a team or individual that has achieved national or local recognition for a sports moment. Nominations should highlight an inspiring story, outstanding sportsmanship during a single event (match, game or championship) by a team or individual.

  • Mitch Hibdon, Weightlifting, Special Olympics
  • Pope John Paul II High School Cross Country Team
  • Kyler Ronquillo, Yelm High School Football
  • Saint Martin’s University Cross Country Team
  • Tumwater High School Equestrian Drill Team
  • Yelm High School Football Team

Thurston County Sports Legend

Nominees must be an individual (five years removed from high school) who resided in Thurston County for a minimum of five years and is passionate about the growth and success of sports in Thurston County. The nominee must have maintained and continue to maintain ties to Thurston County through philanthropic events and/or financial donations to support sports in the community. Nominees will have had a significant impact in the Thurston County sports community (prior or current collegiate or professional sports players may be included.)

  • Bob Grisham, Saint Martin’s University Athletic Director (Posthumous)
  • Ryan Perkins, Oly Town Artesians FC, Owner
  • Lui Sitama, Rugby Player/Coach
  • Robert Aubrey, Martial Arts Instructor
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