Local stars among finalists for Oregon Sports Awards
La Salle Prep's Aleah Goodman and Clackamas High School's Elijah Gonzales and Samuel Pyon are among the prep sports finalists for individual honors at the 65th Oregon Sports Awards presented by Nike.
Winners will be announced on June 18 during ceremonies hosted by ESPN's Neil Everett at the Stanford Theater in the Tiger Woods Center on the Nike World Headquarters campus in Beaverton.
Milwaukie High School's Riley Howard also is among the finalist for the Play It Forward Award, recognizing high school and college athletes for their dedication to athletics and giving back to the community.
Goodman, the Oregon State-bound guard, is one of three finalist for Female Prep Basketball Player of the Year after leading the Falcons to their second OSAA Class 5A state championship in three season.
St. Mary's Academy's Bendu Yeaney and South Salem's Evina Westbrook are the other two finalists.
A three-time Class 5A Player of the Year, the 5-foot-9 Goodman started all 28 games for the 26-2 Falcons as a senior, averaging 13.1 points, 6.9 rebounds, 7.6 assists and 4.5 steals a game.
Gonzales, who led Clackamas to a second consecutive undefeated Mt. Hood Conference season and an appearance in the Class 6A state finals, is up for Male Prep Basketball Player of the Year along with Wilsonville's Zach Reichle and Jefferson's Geno West.
The 5-foot-9 Gonzales averaged 25.3 points, 6.1 assists, 4.5 rebounds and 3.9 steals as the Cavaliers went 24-5 and reached the championship final for the second time in school history.
Gonzales backed out of an earlier commitment to play next season for Portland State University after the Vikings announced a coaching change, and instead plans to play NCAA Division I basketball at Saint Peter's University in Jersey City, New Jersey.
Pyon is a finalist for Male Prep Golfer of the Year after claiming medalist honors at last month's OSAA Class 6A boys' golf state championship tournament at Quail Valley Golf Course in Banks.
Class 5A champion Isaac Buerger of Ridgeview in Redmond and Class 4A champion Craig Ronne of Klamath Union are the other two finalists.
Pyon, a sophomore, closed with a round of 2-under-par 70 and finished with a two-day total of even-par 144, rallying from three shots off the pace to become the first Clackamas golfer to win an individual state title since Jack Schneider tied for top honors in 1975.
Howard, Milwaukie's senior pitcher/first baseman, was recognized during the fall for his involvement with the Milwaukie Junior Baseball Association and the work he did teaching younger student-athletes about baseball fundamentals.
The Oregon Sports Awards began in 1948 and was originally known as the Hayward Banquet of Champions, paying tribute the state's outstanding professional and amateur athletes, teams, coaches and administrators from all levels of athletics.
Other awards will include the Bill Hayward Award, presented annually to the state's amateur athlete of the year, as well as the Slats Gill Award (sportsperson of the year), the George Pasero Award (team of the year), and the Ad Rutschman Award (small-college athlete of the year).