BEAVERTON — Back and forth they went at the 65th Oregon Sports Awards.
Athletes and coaches from the University of Oregon and Oregon State University — along with a long list of high school stars — dominated the winners’ circle Sunday night in the Tiger Woods Center at Nike World Headquarters.
Neil Everett of ESPN SportsCenter was back for a fifth consecutive year as host.
“I’m a fifth-year senior,” he joked.
Everett and various local sports celebrities presented 43 awards during the two-hour stage show.
Twenty-five awards went to prep athletes — who included the top players in the 2016-17 school year, male and female, from all 12 Oregon School Activities Association-sanctioned sports, plus lacrosse.
The oldest awards went to the Bill Hayward Amateur Athletes of the Year: Oregon distance runner Edward Cheserek for the men and Oregon State women’s basketball star Sydney Wiese.
Cheserek won over fellow finalists Nick Madrigal of OSU baseball and Dillon Brooks of UO basketball.
Wiese’s co-finalists were Oregon track star Raevyn Rogers and Oregon State gymnast Kaytianna McMillan.
Last year, Wiese’s former OSU teammate, Jamie Weisner, won the Hayward.
The Slats Gill Sportsperson of the Year Award went to OSU baseball coach Pat Casey. The other finalists were UO men’s basketball coach Dana Altman and OSU women’s basketball coach Scott Rueck.
Casey now is a four-time winner of the Slats Gill Award. Only Ad Rutschman has won it more often; the former Linfield College coach/athletic director and prep coach was honored five times from 1978-91.
Coming off an Olympic year, the Harry Glickman Pro Athlete of the Year Award for men had co-winners — 2016 Rio de Janeiro gold medalists Ryan Crouser (shot put) and Ashton Eaton (decathlon). Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard was the runner-up.
Eaton also won the Glickman in 2012 and the Hayward in 2010.
Tobin Heath of the Portland Thorns claimed the Glickman Female Pro Athlete of the Year honor over two finalists — fencer Mariel Zagunis and heptathlete Brianne Theisen-Eaton.
The George Pasero Teams of the Year Award, which goes to the top teams either winning a national championship or achieving national recognition, had six recipients from the 2016-17 school year — four from the University of Oregon.
The Ducks’ national champion women’s indoor and outdoor track and field teams and NCAA champion women’s cross-country team were winners.
“We had a blessed year,” UO coach Robert Johnson said.
Oregon’s Final Four men’s basketball squad and NCAA runner-up men’s golf team also picked up Pasero awards.
The other Pasero trophy went to Corban University softball, which made it to the NAIA finals.
And, another Pasero Award is pending for the Oregon State baseball team, which is playing in the College World Series.
Linfield College quarterback Sam Riddle and Oregon Tech infielder Tara Moates won the Ad Rutschman Small College Athlete of the Year awards.
For preps, the top winners took home Johnny Carpenter Prep Athletes of the Year awards.
For Class 6A and 5A, the winners were Tim Tawa of West Linn football and baseball and Olivia Brooks of Summit track and field and cross country.
For Class 4A/3A/2A/1A, the winners were Harrisburg’s Hunter Knox (football, basketball, track and field) and North Valley’s Baylee Touey (soccer, basketball, track and field).
Tawa, who quarterbacked West Linn to the 6A title and helped the Lions place second in baseball, also was named Prep Football and Prep Baseball Player of the Year.
Repeat winners in the prep sports categories: Tawa (football), Centennial’s Jamie Stone (girls swimming), South Salem’s Ellie Slama (girls golf), Marist’s Lauren Burke (softball), West Salem’s Ahmed Muhumed (boys cross country), South Salem’s Evina Westbrook (girls basketball) and Lake Oswego’s Lauren Gilbert (girls lacrosse).
The Oregon Sports Awards has added other awards over the years that salute those who succeed in other ways or give to the state over a long period of time.
The Lou Burge Special Olympics Athlete of the Year Award is one of those more recent categories, and for 2016-17 it went to Elgin native Mandi Durfee, a 34-year-old Special Olympics Oregon athlete selected in part for also being an inspiration to other athletes, volunteers and the community.
Durfee, the 16th Burge Award winner in OSA history, competed in skiing for Team USA in the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria. She overcame a knee injury and won two medals (silver in giant slalom, bronze in slalom) — and got to meet Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The Game Changer Award, given for dedication to prep sports, went to Bob Akers, who has spent 40 years in the Centennial School District as a teacher and/or coach.
The DNA Award, for dedication to Oregon sports, went to Terry Newsom and Scott Carnahan.
Newsom and his company, Pacific Office Automation, have been leaders in supporting a variety of athletic teams and events, at the youth, high school, college and professional levels. Newsom also has coached Sunset youth football for 33 years.
“Being around young people is really inspiring for me,” Newsom said.
Carnahan was a highly successful baseball coach for 26 seasons at Linfield and is retiring this year after 21 years as athletic director.
In recent years, the Oregon Sports Awards have added the Play It Forward Award. It honors athletes who give to the sports community by helping to get other youth active. Candidates are identified throughout the year, with one overall winner announced at the show.
This year, the Play It Forward Award went to Lake Oswego High junior golfer Tya Seth, who has been heavily involved in the First Tee of Greater Portland.
Those presenting awards on Sunday included University of Portland men’s basketball coach Terry Porter, Pilots men’s soccer coach Nick Carlin-Voigt, Nike executive Tinker Hatfield, former Portland Timbers captain Jack Jewsbury, coach Mark Parsons of the Portland Thorns, Trail Blazers broadcaster emeritus Bill Schonely, Olympic gold medalist Mac Wilkins (1968, discus), Linfield’s Carnahan, pro basketball player Joslyn Tinkle, runners Woody Kincaid and Samantha Silva of the Bowerman Track Club, current Blazers broadcasters Jordan Kent, Lamar Hurd and Brooke Olzendam, Dusty Harrah and Alex Crawford of KFXX (1080 AM), and Jamie Hudson of Comcast SportsNet Northwest.
The Oregon Sports Awards began in 1948 as the Bill Hayward Banquet of Champions. The now-defunct Oregon Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association started it and ran it for many years. It eventually was discontinued, but after five years the event was reborn in 2001 with a new name — the Oregon Sports Awards. Numerous awards were added, and the event turned into an ESPYs-style stage show rather than a banquet with a keynote speaker.
A statewide panel of sports media, athletic directors and other experts selects the nominees and winners.