NAMPA — The floor of the Ford Idaho Center was filled with the Treasure Valley’s most promising young athletes on Wednesday night for the fifth annual Sports Stars awards banquet, hosted by the Idaho Press. Thirty nine awards went to teams, players and coaches for their accomplishments and dedication they bring to their sport in and out of season.
Athletes walked the red carpet and enjoyed dinner surrounded by the biggest group of teams and athletes the event has seen yet.
The big winners of the night were Lexy Halladay and Nathan Green, who were selected as Overall Athletes of the Year. Halladay, a Mountain View High School cross country runner, also won Girls Cross Country Athlete of the Year and Girls Track and Field Athlete of the Year. Green, a Borah High School cross country runner, was awarded Boys Cross Country Athlete of the Year.
Both earned a $1,000 scholarship for their accomplishments.
The Eagle girls basketball team took home the Girls Overall Team of the Year and the Rocky Mountain football team was honored with Boys Overall Team of the Year.
Inspirational Player of the Year went to Jack Parker, who experienced a massive stroke early in life that left him without use of the left side of his body. He still fulfilled his dream of playing golf for Timberline High School.
Dave Parker, Jack’s father, said his son is a “determined athlete” and golf is his passion.
“But Jack had never been part of a team and to be part of a team this spring was really important to Jack,” Dave said. “He wore those Timberline colors proudly.”
Keynote speaker Bryan Harsin, Boise State University head football coach, encouraged the student athletes to think about their journey.
“This journey that you’re on, the journey that you’re beginning and the journey into your life,” Harsin said, “it’s all about this vision that you have for yourself.”
The Boise native has a 52-15 record at BSU since taking the job in 2014.
“If you want to get somewhere special, you have to do special things,” he said. “And that’s not easy.”
Harsin encouraged dedication and motivation, whether it’s playing a sport or getting to class on time.
“Once you’re off the hard wood, the court, the sand pit the football, field,” Harsin said, “the one thing you’re going to continue to be is a competitor … Represent who you want to be, not just on the court, but in life.”