Andrew’s MVP award tops well-decorated fall for Warriors
With most of its fall athletic squads qualifying for the postseason, the Whittell High School Warriors were noticeably recognized on the Northern 2A All-League teams.
The biggest postseason honor went to senior volleyball player Lauren Andrew, who was chosen as her league’s most valuable player.
The honor was determined by a vote of league coaches.
Andrew, a senior, was an invaluable all-around contributor for the Warriors, dividing her time between setting and filling a role as an outside hitter.
“She’s a great kid to coach,” said Whittell volleyball coach Tony Fathergill of Andrew, whose season ended with a knee injury in the regional semifinals. “She’s a great student athlete who puts a lot of time into working hard and staying focused.”
The Warriors, who advanced to the state championship match for the seventh straight year, had three other players make the first or second teams. Senior Isabel Concha-Foley and sophomore Darby Reeder were selected to the first team, while junior Rachel Laub made the second team.
“Isabel was full-force all of the time. She blasted so many kills for us it was amazing,” Fathergill said. “Darby worked so hard for us and saved so many plays for us through her personal sacrifice. She’s an amazing player to watch.”
Battle Mountain coach Sondra Torgerson was named the league’s coach of the year.
In football, the Warriors were accorded with two first-team selections, and both players were recognized for their offensive and defensive contributions. Coaches selected senior Cody Nelson as a first-team running back and linebacker, and Nick Warner made the first team as an offensive lineman and defensive end.
Whittell coach David Atherton, who has resigned, said that proposing all-league consideration for the Warriors today is far different than it was several years ago.
“I didn’t have much to argue about then, and now when I sit down at that table I’m there arguing for a lot of our players,” Atherton said.
Atherton said that Nelson was in consideration for the league’s defensive player of the year. But Battle Mountain’s Matt Miller was given the honor.
“He was right in there for it,” Atherton said. “Cody has been tearing up this league for four years, and the coaches agreed. At the same time, Matt was a stud defensive end for Battle Mountain.”
Nelson and Warner also learned this week they had received all-state recognition. Warner was tabbed first-team offensive lineman and second team defensive lineman, while Nelson made first-team linebacker and second-team running back.
Seven Warriors were recognized with spots on the second team: senior Phil Gielow, running back and linebacker; sophomore Hunter Morgan, offensive lineman; senior Adam Laub, receiver; Nelson, return specialist; junior Matt Schorr, defensive lineman; sophomore Jake Williams, defensive back; and freshman Austin Buyak, punter.
Atherton credits Nelson, Gielow and Warner for leading the Warriors out of a difficult period for the program and into respectability.
“Those three helped put Whittell back on the map and in a competitive place,” said Atherton of the trio, who led the Warriors into the postseason the past two years.
Three Warriors were given honorable mention: Schorr, offensive lineman; senior Michael Koskin, defensive lineman; and senior Sam Harris, offensive lineman.
Lovelock senior quarterback Dylan Bloyd was chosen as the league’s MVP, while Battle Mountain running back Michael Lake received offensive player of the year.
Battle Mountain coach Tim Knight, who led the Longhorns to an unbeaten league season and into the state championship, was honored as the coach of the year.
A late-season push by the Whittell boys’ soccer team may have helped generate more respect with coaches during the all-league selection meeting.
Whittell juniors Blake Werle and T.J. Kolesnik were chosen to the first team as a defender and utility player, respectively.
“Blake had a great season … good leadership and focus,” said Whittell coach Steve Maltase. “(He) has the potential to be defensive MVP next year if he continues to improve.”
Kolesnik led the Warriors with 20 goals and 15 assists.
“(T.J.) scored goals vs. Douglas and many of the good teams in our league,” Maltase said. “Could be the best player in the league next season.
“I’m excited to have (both) of them back for next year … should be a huge part of our nucleus.”
Both players also received all-state honorable mention.
Warriors’ senior defender Kyler Felton made the second team as a utility player. Three Warriors also received all-league honorable mention: forward Tim Stone, midfielder Trevor Fairbank and goalkeeper Austin Neil.
Sparks’ Abi Quintino was voted league most valuable player, but Incline picked up the other two key awards: Alex Reyes-Manrriquez was selected offensive player of the year and Johnny Luna defensive player of the year.
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