Standout student-athletes awarded scholarships honoring Justin Gardner |

Standout student-athletes awarded scholarships honoring Justin Gardner

Dylan McGilvary and Vanessa Enriquez, a pair of 2019 Nevada Union graduates, were recently awarded scholarships developed to honor Justin Gardner.

Gardner, a talented student-athlete at Nevada Union, died as a result of an automobile collision caused by a drunk driver in March of 2018. He was 16.

McGilvary, who will be attending College of the Redwoods in the fall, was awarded the Justin Gardner Student Athlete Leadership Scholarship for showing high character on and off the field. McGilvary was teammates with Gardner on the football team in 2018.

“Dylan is a great young man, and I expect really great things from him,” said Nevada Union football head coach Brad Sparks. “The future is very bright for him.”

Enriquez was awarded the Justin Gardner Humanities Scholarship. While at Nevada Union, Enriquez was a standout in the classroom and on softball field. She is set to attend the University of California, Santa Barbara in the fall.

“Vanessa is a great kid and a very deserving candidate,” said outgoing NU athletic director Jeff Dellis.

The scholarships were presented by Bill Gardner, Justin Gardner’s grandfather, at a small ceremony held at Nevada Union’s Hooper Stadium Wednesday.

Tyler Nielson, Gardner’s friend and teammate on the football team, also died as a result of the automobile collision. The Tyler Nielson Foundation was started shortly after and annually awards scholarships in Nielson’s name. This year’s recipients were Dawson Fay and John Low.

To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email

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