On Wednesday, May 17 the first annual ESPN Radio 1410 Blitzy Awards were held at North Platte High School’s Performing Arts Center. The Blitzy’s were voted on by fans during a two week voting window from May 1 through May 13. Overall 3,164 votes were submitted to decide the winners of the first ever Blitzy Awards. Seven area high schools were represented among the finalists and 13 different sports.
The first Blitzy Award went to Taylar Coleman (North Platte HS, Softball) as the Fall Sports Female Athlete of the Year. Coleman was named Class B all-state and GNAC all-conference this past season while setting numerous NPHS records. Her season numbers of 14 home runs, 54 runs batted in, 211.1 innings pitched, 161 strikeouts and 5 shutouts were all single season records. She also set a Nebraska state record with three home runs in a game against Adams Central.
The Fall Sports Male Athlete of the Year was won by Trevon Weaver (North Platte HS, Football). Weaver was the Bulldogs defensive MVP as voted on by his teammates and was selected as GNAC all-conference, academic all-conference and Class A honorable mention all-state. During his senior season, Weaver set a NPHS school record with 12 sacks and surpassed the career record with 30 career sacks.
The first team award of the night went to the North Platte HS boys golf team as the Boys Team of the Year. The Bulldogs won the A4 district championship to qualify for the state tournament for the second consecutive year. The win was their 9th as a team this season and they will compete in the Class A state golf tournament on May 23 & 24 at Norfolk Country Club.
Haeven Schuster (Sutherland, Basketball) was named the Winter Sports Female Athlete of the Year by the fan votes. Schuster was named Class C2 honorable mention all-state and 1st team All-SPVA conference this past season. Schuster averaged 12.6 points per game, 2.8 rebounds per game, 2.5 steals per game and 2.1 assists per game while finishing second all-time at Sutherland High School for three-point field goals made in a game, season and career.
The Winter Sports Male Athlete of the Year was a tightly contested vote between a pair of state champion wrestlers. The Blitzy Award went to Braiden Ruffin (North Platte HS, wrestling) who finished off his second straight state championship at 170 pounds in Class A to become the first two-time state champion in Bulldog wrestling history. Ruffin finished the season 34-2 with a Bulldog record 30 pins and was named NCPA & NSWCA academic all-state, as well as the NPHS Most HEART Award recipient. In the closest vote of the 2017 Blitzy Awards, Cameron Riggs (St. Pat’s, wrestling) finished runner-up following a 50-0 season that saw Riggs claim his 3rd straight undefeated state championship and first three-time state champion in St. Pat’s history. Riggs set Irish wrestling records with 170 takedowns, 39 pins, 349 points and 50 wins this past season, while also surpassing career records with 366 takedowns and 1,006 points.
The Blitzy for the Girls Team of the Year was won by the North Platte High School softball team. The Lady Bulldogs finished the season 24-11 and made their second straight trip to the Class B state softball tournament, the first consecutive state teams for NPHS since 2004.
The final Blitzy of the night was awarded to the fans vote for the Game of the Year. The NPHS softball team once again came away with the win thanks to their comeback victory over Wayne HS during the state softball tournament. The Lady Bulldogs were trailing 9-7 heading in to the 7th inning when they put together a six-run rally, capped by a three-run home run by Taylar Coleman. The come from behind 13-7 victory secured the second softball state tournament victory since 1999 for North Platte High School.
The Spring Sports finalists were then announced along the voting details for the final two Blitzy Awards. The voting window is open through 11:59 pm on May 23 at northplattepost.com for the Spring Sports Female Athlete of the Year and Spring Sports Male Athlete of the Year. The winners will be announced during “The Blitz” on ESPN Radio 1410 at 12:00 pm on Wednesday, May 24.
Overall, the first annual ESPN Radio 1410 Blitzy Awards were a huge success while getting to celebrate the achievements of so many outstanding student-athletes from across the area. The one-of-a-kind Blitzy trophies were designed by Wyman & Son Welding. Additional sponsors of the 2017 Blitzy Awards included The Man Cave, Natural Nutrition House, Premier Toyota and Farmer’s Insurance Agent Steven Rhoades.
2017 ESPN Radio 1410 Blitzy Awards
Fall Sports Female Athlete of the Year
Tara Callahan, Brady, Volleyball
Taylar Coleman, North Platte HS, Softball
Morgan Lashley, North Platte HS, Golf
Sami Mauch, North Platte HS, Volleyball
Sydney Mullin, Maxwell, Volleyball
Fall Sports Male Athlete of the Year
Easton Clark, Hershey, Football
Dominic Long, Gothenburg, Football
James Schroll, St. Pat’s, Football
Jayden Songster, North Platte HS, Football
Trevon Weaver, North Platte HS, Football
Boys Team of the Year
North Platte HS Golf
St. Pat’s Football
Winter Sports Female Athlete of the Year
Tara Callahan, Brady, Basketball
Syble Heffernan, North Platte HS, Swimming
Kaylynn Kissinger, North Platte HS, Bowling
Kaleigh Kummer, St. Pat’s, Basketball
Haeven Schuster, Sutherland, Basketball
Winter Sports Male Athlete of the Year
Clay Frels, Hershey, Basketball
Dawson Graham, Gothenburg, Basketball
Will Huffman, Maxwell, Basketball
Cameron Riggs, St. Pat’s, Wrestling
Braiden Ruffin, North Platte HS, Wrestling
Girls Team of the Year
North Platte HS Softball
St. Pat’s Basketball
Game of the Year
Brady vs South Loup, Girls Basketball
Centura at Hershey, Football
North Platte HS vs Wayne, Softball
St. Pat’s at Hershey, Football
Spring Sports Female Athlete of the Year (Finalists)
Bailee Fear, Sutherland, Track
Michaela Jurjens, Brady, Track
Kaleigh Kummer, St. Pat’s, Track
Emery Swan, Brady, Track
Kasey Wellman, Gothenburg, Track
Spring Sports Male Athlete of the Year (Finalists)
Jake Jones, St. Pat’s, Golf
Ryan Letourneau, North Platte HS, Soccer
James Schroll, St. Pat’s, Track
Kort Steele, North Platte HS, Golf
Trevon Weaver, North Platte HS, Track