PREP SPORTS: Nevada Union’s Greta Kramer, Bear River’s Luke Baggett named The Union’s 2017-18 Prep Athletes of the Year | TheUnion.com

PREP SPORTS: Nevada Union’s Greta Kramer, Bear River’s Luke Baggett named The Union’s 2017-18 Prep Athletes of the Year

A tireless work ethic, an unquenchable drive to win, the ability to lead and an abundance of physical talent and skill — these are all defining characters of elite athletes.

The Union's 2017-18 Prep Athletes of the Year displayed those qualities and more as they left their mark on the local prep scene this past school year.

Nevada Union's Greta Kramer is The Union's Female Athlete of the Year, and Bear River's Luke Baggett is The Union's Male Athlete of the Year.

GRETA KRAMER (volleyball, basketball, track and field)

Nevada Union senior and three-sport standout Greta Kramer is exactly what a coach would hope for in a player. She is gifted physically, dedicated to improving her craft and someone teammates can look to as an example.

"Greta is an unbelievable kid both on and off the court," said Jenn Krill, who has coached Kramer for the past three years on NU's girls varsity basketball team. "She's a hard worker, an amazing teammate, she always has a good attitude, pushes herself, pushes her teammates, she wants to compete and she wants to win. As a coach, There's nothing else I could ask for from a player than what she gives and you see that in the success she finds in everything she does."

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Kramer was a three-year varsity player on the basketball team, where she earned All-Sierra Foothill League First Team honors as a junior and senior. She was a team captain her senior year and averaged 11.3 points per game to go with 7.5 rebounds.

On the volleyball team, Kramer was a team captain and earned All-SFL First Team honors as a middle block. She was also instrumental in the Lady Miners reaching the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II title game.

On the track, Kramer impressed in relays and hurdles. She placed fourth in the girls 100-hurdles at the SFL Championships and qualified for the Divisional meet. She was unable to compete at the Divisional meet though as it conflicted with an AP test. Kramer boasts a 3.97 GPA in addition to her many athletic exploits.

"It was definitely one of the most important things," Kramer said of the role sports played in her high school experience. "It took up most of my time and I had to give up hanging with friends sometimes to go to a tournament or a game or something, but I don't regret playing any of them because sports definitely helped me grow as a person and I don't think I would be the same as I am if I didn't play sports."

As for the moments that stand out to Kramer, she said, "Playing varsity basketball as a sophomore and getting to play with Meadow Aragon all three years. And, also making it to sections for volleyball. Even though we didn't win it was still a great season to end volleyball on."

Kramer was named Nevada Union's female recipient of the Albert Ali Award and will be attending Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in the fall where she plans to study nutrition.

She expressed gratitude for the many people that helped her along her high school sports journey, citing specifically her parents David and Jane Kramer, as well as Krill and Julie Walton.

Female Athlete of the Year Honorable Mention: Kayla Toft (Bear River), Mallory Rath (Bear River), Meadow Aragon (Nevada Union), Johnna Dreschler (Forest Lake Christian), Amber Jackson (Forest Lake Christian).

LUKE BAGGETT (football, golf)

He was at the center of one of the greatest seasons in Bear River football history. Not only was Luke Baggett a gritty quarterback on offense, but he was also a hard-hitting, tone setter from his safety position on defense. More importantly, he was the team's leader and a major reason the Bruins went from 3-7 in 2016, to Sac-Joaquin Section Division V Champions in 2017.

Baggett, who hadn't played much quarterback before his senior season, threw for 1,391 yards and 11 touchdowns last season. On defense, he tallied 66 tackles and six interceptions.

Baggett was especially strong in the section title game against rival Colfax, passing for 119 yards and a touchdown, rushing for another touchdown and also throwing a block on a reverse play that sprung his teammate for a long touchdown run.

"His leadership was paramount," said Bear River co-head coach Scott Savoie. "Without that we would have been in trouble. "He did an unbelievable job for us. A fun kid to coach, great intensity, plays hard, and he's a student of the game…He's what you look for in an athlete and what you look for in a leader."

The two-way star athlete didn't go unnoticed when it came time to dole out accolades as he was named to the All-Pioneer Valley League First Team, All-Sac-Joaquin Section Team as a utility player, All-Metro Team, Cal-Hi All-State Small Schools Team and he was also an Optimist All-Star.

The accolades are appreciated by Baggett, but what he will remember the most is his teammates.

"What sticks out is the friendships and bonds I made with my teammates," Baggett said. "Just the fact that we left our mark on the school as the team that went the furthest in school history and winning a section is always a big deal especially coming off a 3-7 season the year before."

Baggett was also a standout on the golf course, earning All-PVL honors on the links in his senior season. Baggett was one of two Bruin golfers to earn all-league honors and advance to the Divisional Tournament.

Baggett was named the Bear River Co-Male Athlete of the Year along with football teammate Austin Baze.

Baggett will be taking his football talents to Sierra College where he will study business and play safety for the Wolverines.

He expressed gratitude to his parents, brother, grandparents and coaches for helping him achieve all that he did at the high school level.

Male Athlete of the Year Honorable Mention: Justin Houlihan (Nevada Union), Dawson Fay (Nevada Union), Hayden Fay (Nevada Union), Garrett Gough (Nevada Union), Austin Baze (Bear River), Clay Corippo (Bear River).

To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email wford@theunion.com.

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