Athletes, Coaches To Be Honored
The past year was a big one for Cleveland High School athletics, and the Storm’s successes are reflected in the Albuquerque/New Mexico Sports Hall of Fame’s annual awards.
Three Cleveland athletes — football quarterback Cole Gautsche, distance runner Luis Martinez and baseball catcher Blake Swihart — share the Hall of Fame’s High School Male Athlete of the Year award. Sarah Hattis, who starred in basketball and volleyball for the Storm, shares High School Female Athlete of the Year honors with Volcano Vista softball and basketball star Ashley Williams.
Kirk Potter, who coached Cleveland’s football team to an unbeaten season and a Class 5A state title, shares High School Coach of the Year honors with Kenny Henry, the Storm’s cross-country coach.
The Cleveland football team was named High School Team of the Year.
Other annual award-winners are:
♦ University of New Mexico football linebacker Carmen Messina, Collegiate Male Athlete.
♦ Lobos soccer players Kelli Cornell and Jennifer Williams, Collegiate Female Athletes.
♦ Former La Cueva and UNM baseball star Jordan Pacheco, Professional Athlete. Pacheco played with distinction last summer for the Colorado Springs Sky Sox and made his Major League debut with the Colorado Rockies.
♦ Jeremy Fishbein, Lobos men’s soccer coach, Collegiate Coach.
♦ Fishbein’s UNM men’s soccer team, Collegiate Team.
♦ The USA Track & Field Indoor Championships, Promotion of the Year.
♦ Former Academy swimmer Kendra Stern and Gene Pino, former APS coach and administrator, the Hall of Fame’s Award of Distinction. Stern won the NCAA’s Top VIII Award for her accomplishments in and out of the pool at Amherst College. Pino is honored for his 35 years of service to New Mexico’s high school athletes.
♦ Del Norte cross-country runners Jenna Thurman and Jackson Thomas and La Cueva boys basketball coach Frank Castillo, Special Recognition. Castillo won his 600th game last March; the two Knights runners swept Class 4A city, district and state titles.
The Hall of Fame also is recognizing 10 prep athletes — five boys, five girls, for their accomplishments as multi-sport athletes. They are:
Quintin Rizek, St. Pius, football and baseball; Reece White, Cleveland, football and track; Paul Seaton, Hope Christian, football and basketball; Noah Brown, Valencia, football and basketball; Quavshaun Branch, Manzano, football and basketball;
Sarah Weber, St. Pius, volleyball and track; Jocelyn Gamboa, Rio Grande, basketball and softball; Emma Fenske, Volcano Vista, soccer and basketball; Nicole Jenrette, Los Lunas, volleyball, basketball and track; Gina Okoye, Eldorado, soccer and basketball.
— This article appeared on page B6 of the Albuquerque Journal