Nominees announced for athlete of the year
Considering the senior year they had, all five nominees for The Union’s Female Prep Athlete of the Year are worthy of the recognition of being nominated.
But, in the end, there will be just one winner on June 11, when The Union announces both its female and male high school athletes of the year.
This week, we’ll take a look at the five young women who were selected as finalists for the honor. Next week, we’ll unveil the list of young men considered as finalists for the award.
Area fans who would like to share their thoughts on which player deserves the top honor may do so over the next two weeks at http://www.theunion.com – although the actual winners of the awards will be decided upon by Sports Editor Brian Hamilton and Sports Writer Zuri Berry.
And now onto the nominees (in alphabetical order):
Katie Fletcher, senior, Forest Lake Christian basketball – No doubt FLC’s Falcons enjoyed having Fletcher’s sharp shooting, as the 5-foot, 3-inch senior ranked fourth in the state in 3-pointers made this season (85), according to MaxPreps.com.
Fletcher twice sank seven 3-pointers in a single game this season. She first hit seven in a 51-34 win over Golden Sierra on Nov. 30 and then did the same in a 65-44 win over Sacramento Waldorf on Jan. 22.
She also dished off 2.3 assists and had 1.9 steals per game for the Falcons, who finished 18-10 overall and tied for the Central Valley Christian League championship.
Sarah McAtee, senior, Nevada Union volleyball – Her four-year career included four of NU’s record-tying six straight section championships and two trips to the California state championship match.
The leading hitter for the 44-5 Miners, who once again won the Sierra Foothill League and NorCal championship last fall, McAtee was what coach Bob Rogers considered the team’s “all-around” top player.
McAtee, who was also named to the California State Championships Division I All-Tournament team – along with teammate and fellow San Jose State recruit Kylie Miraldi, earned the Sierra Foothill League Most Valuable Player Award.
Jessica Raskin, senior, Forest Lake Christian soccer – A year ago, Raskin stood on the sidelines – with a pair of crutches under her arms due to a severely sprained ankle – at the section finals.
This year, the two-time Central Valley Christian League Most Valuable Player was back in the action, leading the Falcons (13-9-6 overall) to the Division VI section championship and the CVCL crown with a 11-1-3 record.
Raskin, who will play at Biola University next fall, racked up 26 goals on the year to go along with the 15 assists in her senior campaign. She also collected 52 steals on the campaign.
Caroline Reeves, senior, Nevada Union basketball/volleyball – Reeves, another member of NU’s powerhouse volleyball program, moved into the starting setter role after an injury to teammate Jen Sager made the switch necessary.
Reeves proved to be a quick study, earning NU’s co-MVP award with teammate Sarah McAtee.
The senior also starred on the basketball floor for the Miners, leading NU to a 19-9 record, a second-place finish in the SFL and a playoff berth. Reeves averaged 11. 4 points, 7.8 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 3.2 steals and 2.2 blocks per game.
Kelly Shepard, senior, Bear River softball – Anyone watching the Bear River softball squad’s back-to-back runs to section championships, knows the Sacramento State recruit shouldered quite a load as the team’s top pitcher in her senior season.
In the final two days of her high school career, Shepard pitched four games in less than 24 hours – and won two of three against East Union’s Erin Arevalo, one of the top pitching recruits in the nation.
On the season, Shepard compiled a 27-3 record and a 0.61 ERA, along with 204 strikeouts against 18 walks. At the plate, the Pioneer Valley League MVP hit for a .416 average, including three home runs, 27 RBIs and eight doubles.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
After an atrocious showing in week one of The Union’s Beat The Experts football pick ’em contest, the so-called experts shook off a bit of their rust in week two and put forth a much…