Tahoe Tribune starting new student athlete of the month feature | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Tahoe Tribune starting new student athlete of the month feature

The Tahoe Daily Tribune is starting a new student athlete of the month feature that will showcase a male and female athlete from one of South Shore's local high schools.

And unlike similar features, readers will be able to weigh-in on their choice for the student athletes each month via online voting.

Starting this month and continuing each month through the academic year, the Tribune will select one male and female student athlete from South Tahoe and George Whittell high schools. Sports Editor Bill Rozak will work with athletic directors from each school to inform his selection of candidates.

Rozak, an experienced journalist who joined the Tribune in August, said he has a strong working relationship with both local athletic directors. Their input, he added, will be crucial in deciding the candidates each month.

"We're all in our first year of doing these jobs, me here at the Tribune and Phillip Bryant at Whittell and Pat Harnett at South Tahoe are first time ADs and I think we've helped out each other," said Rozak.

"Nobody can have a better opinion except maybe the coaches of their respective sports. But the athletic directors get to hear everything about each team from the coaches, so they'll be well informed."

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January will bring an augmented schedule for the voting process. In the following months, voting for the student athlete of the month will take place online during the first week of the month. Prior to the start of voting, the Tribune will publish information on the two male and two female candidates, as well as a link for online voting.

The top vote getter for each gender will then be featured later in the month in the Tribune.

However, voting this month will start Saturday, Jan. 6. Voting will remain open for a week, and the profiles on the winning athletes will be in the Jan. 24 edition of the Tribune.

"I think it's important to recognize student athletes that put in the hard work that comes with success," Tribune Publisher Rob Galloway said. "It's a life lesson and reinforcing that while they're still young and impressionable, I believe, sends a good message."

As Rozak noted, the decision for selecting the student athletes of the month will based on more than athletic performance.

"Integrity, character, grades and effort will all factor into the decisions," he said. "The athletes of the month might not be the top scorers, but they will all likely play key roles on their respective teams."