The 2022 spring season awards lists are out for both Liberty Bell High School and the Central Washington 2B League. The Mountain Lions have at least three athletes earning All-League honors in each sport, boys’ track and field leading the way with eight such placements.
The baseball team had six athletes named to the All-League roster. Girls’ tennis, boys’ tennis, softball and boys’ soccer had three apiece, and the girls’ track team had two athletes tabbed with honors.
In track and field, Leki Albright and Will Halpin garnered First Team honors in two events, both in the 1,600-meters and 3,200M runs. Also earning First Team honors were Kyler Mitchell in the 300M hurdles and Fischer Edwards throwing the javelin. Second Team awards went to Aksel Thomson in the 3,200M run, Sandra Hernandez in the 400M run, and Isaiah Stoothoff for the high jump. Honorable Mention awards went to Stoothoff in the 800M run, Dexter Delaney in the 1,600M and 3,200M runs, Morgan Spellman in the javelin, and the boys’ 4x400M relay team of Mitchell, Spellman, and the Chavez-Hernandez brothers, George and John.
Senior catcher Noah Holston led the way for the Mountain Lion baseball team on the First Team All-League roster. Freshmen Damon Alumbaugh and Lucien Paz joined junior Sawyer Crandall on the Second Team with senior David Kominak and eighth-grader Remy Paz earning Honorable Mention.
Holston was recognized largely for his play behind the plate defensively but was also dependable at the plate all season. It was the third All-League First Team honor for the Mountain Lion senior this year to go along with his achievements in football and wrestling. He is also the only Liberty Bell athlete to make an appearance in at least the regional tournament of all three WIAA sports seasons this year as a member of the 2021 state tournament football Lions, winning the state title in 2B wrestling at 195 pounds, and playing baseball in the 2022 regional tournament.
Softball All-League achievers were a reflection of just how young this group of athletes were in 2022. While no Mountain Lions were named to the First Team, freshman catcher Cassidy Jones-Mowen and sophomore pitcher Maddie Mihalic showed up on the Second Team, and freshman outfielder Violet Chrastina came up as Honorable Mention. The Mountain Lions were named Co-Sportsmanship Award winners with the Tonasket Tigers.
Mountain Lion Haizea Alvarez-Murua headed up a list of six Mountain Lion tennis players earning All-League honors. Alvarez-Murua, who qualified for, and played three matches at the WIAA State 2B championships made the Second Team on the strength of her late season surge into the league and district tournaments. Mountain Lions earning Honorable Mention were boys’ singles player EZ Kirk, the boys’ doubles team of Connor Herlihy and Gannet Fisher, and girls’ doubles players Sophia Newton and Amelie Stracker.
Boys’ soccer awards released from the NCW2B League included three Mountain Lions. Freshman forward Finn Simmons was named to the Second Team while senior midfielder and team captain Kieran Quigley, and freshman defender and forward Bradyn Schmekel, both made the Honorable Mention list.
Adding to the league’s post-season awards for Mountain Lion athletes, the team coaching staffs and members also select team specific honors. Team awards vary from program to program, some having the more traditional Most Improved, Inspirational, Most Valuable, and Coaches Awards. Others, like soccer’s Moment of Brilliance and Selective Hearing Awards, are little more creative.
Tennis coaches Dave Schulz and Keri Miles announced 2022 awards for the following athletes: Amelia Evans and Nathan Buck were named Most Improved, Sophia Newton and Connor Herlihy earned Most Inspirational, Haizea Alvarez-Murua and Angel Arellano were the MVPs, and Alvarez-Murua awarded captain for the girls while Arellano and EZ Kirk were the boys’ co-captains.
For track and field, Most Improved went to Sandra Hernandez and Fischer Edwards, Most Inspirational awards went to Omar Ortega and Kady Hammer. Morgan Spellman and Zoe Kaltenbach were identified as the teammates with the Most Potential, Holden Riggs and Dexter Delaney each received Coaches Awards. Leki Albright and Kyler Mitchell were awarded captain’s pins.
The softball award winners were: Maddie Mihalic MVP, Rio Lott Most Improved, Cassidy Jones-Mowen Most Inspirational, Violet Chrastina won the Golden Glove Award and Abby Wengerd was the recipient of the Coaches Award.
From Mountain Lion baseball, Coach David Aspholm reports that Noah Holston was chosen as the MVP, Nick White as the Most Improved and Damon Alumbaugh was named Most Inspirational on this year’s squad.
From boys’ soccer, always a rather eccentric program in collective personality, we hear from Coach David Marz a unique listing of awards for which some meanings are self-explanatory. Others, not so much. So, we’ll hit the “…of the Year” awards. The Eighth Grade award goes to Ben Kaufman and Bodie Thomson, and Freshman of the Year is Bradyn Schmekel. Thirteen Moment of Brilliance Awards were handed out, and the Mad Ball Skills awards went to Aidan Sands and Baker Smith. We’re going to guess the Blue Collar Worker Award translates loosely to MVP status, the winner being senior Kieran Quigley. The Most Likely To Be An Inspirational Speaker award went to Tristan Schmekel.
Summer training programs begin in earnest this week at Liberty Bell High School, featuring time in the weight training center upstairs above the gym. Training is open to Liberty Bell students only. Jeremy Wickens and Liam Daily will serve as coaches throughout the summer. Program days are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 7-9 a.m.
According to Activities Director Michael Wilbur, the program is geared toward student athletes who seek to “improve their speed, power, agility, reactions, conditioning and strength (SPARCS).” In a letter to students introducing the program, Wilbur wrote, “If you are committed to achieving success in your sport/s of choice, or simply interested in learning how to more effectively train while increasing your athleticism, this program is for you.”
In addition to the weight training program, Coach Erik Brooks will be conducting a summer running program through July, open to students interested in learning the art of distance running. While membership in the cross country and track and field programs may not be requisite, one could expect to hear all about those two opportunities. Contact Brooks through Liberty Bell High School at (509) 996-2215.