Douglas athletes sweep Sierra Nevada Media Group awards
Editor’s note: Profiles of the Tribune’s athlete of the year selections for Whittell and South Tahoe high schools will be published next week.
For the first-time in the five-year history of the Sierra Nevada Media Group Athlete of the Year awards, the two winners hail from the same school.
Douglas High seniors Tim Rudnick and Jessica Waggoner were named the male and female athletes of the year, respectively, after stellar 2009 campaigns.
The athletes were chosen from a pool of nominees selected by the sports reporters at the Sierra Nevada Media Group publications. Sierra Nevada Media Group consists of seven newspapers and associated Web sites, including the Tahoe Daily Tribune, Nevada Appeal, Northern Nevada Business Weekly, North Lake Tahoe Bonanza, Lahontan Valley News, Sierra Sun and The Record-Courier. The group also owns and operates tahoe.com and reno.com, as well as specialty publications and commercial print divisions. Swift Communications is the parent company of Sierra Nevada Media Group, based in Carson City.
Rudnick came in ahead of Fallon’s Trent de Braga and Sierra Lutheran’s Wade Meddles in order, while Waggoner finished ahead of Carson’s Brandi Vega and Incline’s Katelyn Wright.
Other nominees included Chris Klug (South Tahoe), Matt Rutledge (Carson), James Laughlin (North Tahoe), Jordan Cronin (Incline), Isabel Concha-Foley (Whittell), Brittany Barcelos (South Tahoe), Kate Pinder (Fallon), Kelsey Smith (South Tahoe), Derek Holmgren (South Tahoe), Roberto Concha-Foley (Whittell) and Justin Vosburgh (Truckee).
Rudnick was a first-team All-Northern 4A selection at quarterback during football season. He broke school single-season records for completions (157), passing yardage (2,550) and passing touchdowns (23). His 2,550 yards ranked fourth in the NIAA state record book. He also ran for 81 yards and four touchdowns. For his career he ranks second in the school record book for passing yards (3,237), second in completions (199) and second in passing touchdowns (31), even though he only started at the varsity level for a season and a half.
In basketball he was a second-team All-Sierra League honoree. He was second on the team in scoring behind James McLaughlin with 177 points (6.5 ppg) and second in 3-pointers with 12.
He was also a two-time first-team All-Sierra League shortstop and three-year starter in baseball. Rudnick was second on the team in RBI this year with 35 in helping lead Douglas to its first regional title in 20 years and served as the team’s primary closer and long-relief pitcher, recording a 3-0 record on the mound with one save and 33 strikeouts in just nine appearances, all in relief.
Rudnick plans to enroll at the University of Nevada in the fall and hopes to pursue civil engineering. A college athletic career isn’t in his plans.
“I’m sure there will be some intramurals with my cousins and stuff like that,” Rudnick said. “But I think it is just time for school. I kind of want to see how it is to just go to school.”
Waggoner was a four-year varsity letter winner in basketball. The 6-foot-1 center was named first-team all-league for the third straight season this past season as she helped Douglas post a 17-13 record. Her 1,524 career points are believed to be the most by any female player in Douglas history and rank No. 5 all-time among girls in Nevada, according to the NIAA state record book. She averaged 17 points and was the Tigers’ MVP this season and
was the Sierra League’s co-Player of the Year in 2007-08.
She was a three-year varsity player in volleyball and received first-team all-league honors as a sophomore and senior. The senior middle blocker contributed a team-high 297 blocks to help the Tigers to a 34-2 overall record and perfect 14-0 Sierra League record last fall.
It marked the second consecutive league title and eighth in nine years for Douglas.
In only her second track and field season, she rewrote school records in the shot put and discus and capped it all off with a gold medal in the discus at the state meet in Las Vegas. Her longest throw in the discus of 153 feet, 9 inches puts her among the top 15 female high school throwers in the U.S. for 2009 and ranks among the best ever in Nevada. Waggoner and Minneah Holdridge went 1-2 in the discus at the Northern 4A meet, an 18-point swing that put Douglas in control en route to its first regional girls’ team title (and the school’s first postseason track and field title since winning the boys’ 2A state meet in 1974).
Three sports is a long year for any high school athlete. It was all just routine, if you ask Waggoner.
“I can never go more than three weeks without doing a sport,” she said about handling a three-sport load. “I never got tired or burned out. I always find something to do.
“I played so many sports when I was little. I tried to do every sport … I swam, I was a soccer goalie, I played softball. I wish I could have played football, but my parents said it was too risky.”
Waggoner is bound for West Point Prep (Fort Monmouth, N.J.), where she will spend one year before moving on to the United States Military Academy. There’s no let-up in her ambitions because she plans to pursue both basketball and throwing at Army.
Voting totals (first-place votes in parentheses)
Tim Rudnick, Douglas (3) 14
Trent de Braga, Fallon (2) 8
Wade Meddles, Sierra Lutheran (1) 5
Chris Klug, South Tahoe 3
Matt Rutledge, Carson 2
James Laughlin, North Tahoe 2
Jordan Cronin, Incline 2
Jessica Waggoner, Douglas (5) 17
Brandi Vega, Carson (1) 7
Katelyn Wright, Incline 4
Isabel Concha-Foley, Whittell 3
Brittany Barcellos, South Tahoe 2
Kate Pinder, Fallon 1
Kelsey Smith, South Tahoe 4
Sierra Nevada Media Group Athletes of the Year
2009: Tim Rudnick, Douglas; Jessica Waggoner, Douglas
2008: Trent de Braga, Fallon; Bridget Maestretti, Douglas
2007: Travis Wood, Dayton; Jessica Woods, Whittell
2006: Cole Dowty, Galena; Katrina Kacirek, Whittell
2005: Josh Mauga, Fallon; Erin Brinkmeyer, Douglas
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