Tri-Cities coach name MCC Coach of the Year. Kennewick dominates all-conference team

Kennewick earned its share of major awards when the Mid-Columbia Conference all-conference football team was released last week.

The team was voted on by all MCC head coaches.

They selected three Players of the Year: Richland’s Josh Woodard was named for offense; Chiawana’s Cooper MacPherson was named for defense; and Kennewick’s David Wacenske was selected for all-purpose.

Two Kennewick linemen were selected as Linemen of the Year: Nathan Knapik for offense, and Dylin McIntyre for defense.

Finally, Kennewick’s Randy Affholter was named MCC Coach of the Year.

The Lions, who play Eastside Catholic on Saturday in Seattle in the Class 3A Washington state quarterfinals, have seven first-team selections.

They’re led by Wacenske, a senior who was named first team as a wide receiver and as a linebacker.

Also named first team was Knapik — a senior who has signed with the University of Idaho — on the offensive line; senior offensive lineman Isaak Gay; and junior running back Alex Roberts.

Joining the senior McIntyre on the defensive side is Wacenske and senior Dane McClure as a defensive back.

McIntyre has also committed to Idaho.

Kamiakin also had seven selections on the first unit: junior Camden Schmidt was named a first-team running back, and he was joined by two offensive linemen in junior Landon Biglin and senior Gavin McCallum.

Three Braves juniors made the defensive side of the ball in David Kuku at defensive back, Christian Mejia at defensive lineman, and Dom Powell at linebacker.

Junior Robert Julima was named the top kick returner. He had two kickoff returns for touchdowns this season, as well as one punt return for a score.

Richland had six first-team selections, with the majority of them on the offensive side.

Woodard, a senior, was the top quarterback this season.

Two of his wide receivers — junior Colson Mackey and sophomore Brody Bocek — were first-teamers, while senior Nate McClelland was on the offensive line.

Two other Bombers — senior defensive back Rayce Reeves and junior lineman Kooper Schmitt — were named to the first-team defensive unit.

Chiawana earned two defensive selections: the junior MacPherson at linebacker; and senior Justin Webber at defensive back.

Riverhawks senior Aaron Lowry was named first team as the kicker and punter.

Three other MCC schools each had one player selected to the first team: Hanford junior Preston Bryant at wide receiver; senior Carson Condie as a defensive lineman; and Hermiston senior Neal Stasik at linebacker.

Frontier Conference

Sunnyside grad Ashlee Maldonado was named Frontier Conference women’s basketball player of the week on Oct. 30 when she helped lead the University of Providence past Indiana Wesleyan (ranked No. 4 in the NAIA poll) 69-62.

She scored 21 points, had 8 assists, 7 rebounds and 4 steals in the contest.

Maldonado is a grad student at Providence, located in Great Falls, Mont. She transferred there after playing the past three seasons at Santa Clara University.

She is one of a few Mid-Columbian athletes who are playing this season for the Argos.

Also on the roster are sophomore Camryn Cartwright (Chiawana), sophomore Katelyn Heidemann (Hermiston), and graduate student Alicia Oatis (Kennewick).

Maldonado is the second area athlete named a Frontier Conference athlete of the week.

On Sept. 25, Chiawana grad Ryan Lowry was named a football special teams player of the week.

Lowry, a kicker for Montana Tech, connected on field goals of 23, 28 and 36 yards in a win over College of Idaho. Lowry also converted all five point-after-touchdown kicks.

Girls soccer

Chiawana and Richland dominated the regular season of the Mid-Columbia Conference girls soccer campaign this fall.

The Riverhawks and Bombers shared the MCC regular-season title, both with 15-1 records.

Richland made it into the state 4A playoffs, but lost 3-2 to Puyallup in the first round. Chiawana lost to Richland 1-0 (4-3 in penalty kicks) in a District 8 tournament, winner-to-state, loser-out game on Nov. 4.

Everything between the two teams has been tight all fall.

So it should come as no surprise that the two squads dominated the first team of the MCC all-star squad, as voted on by conference coaches.

Senior forward Isabella Hoag was named MCC Player of the Year, while Richland’s Justin Almquist was named MCC Coach of the Year.

Hoag was a first-team all-conference forward.

Joining her on that all-star were teammates Kalina Barbosa, a sophomore defender; junior forward Alexa Campos; senior midfielder Myah Giles; junior defender Taylor Mills; and sophomore midfielder Lindsay Sanchez.

Richland added three first-team selections to go with Almquist.

Senior Bella Bunnage was a selection at forward, as were junior midfielder Niyah Gallegos and senior goalkeeper Alyssa Marsh.

Kamiakin filled out the remaining four spots on the first team: junior forward Brooke Christian, senior defenders Adelyn Mitchell and Nicole Wertenberger, and senior midfielder Gracie Rainsberry.

College soccer

For the third straight season, Oregon State University junior McKenna Martinez has made a Pac-12 Conference women’s soccer all-star team.

Martinez, who graduated from Tri-Cities Prep and played soccer for Richland High, was named a third-team all-star at forward. It was the second consecutive season she was named to the third team.

This season, Martinez scored 6 goals and had 3 assists for the Beavers (1-6-4 Pac-12, 4-8-7 overall) while starting all 19 matches.

For her three seasons now, Martinez has scored 28 career goals (ranking her fourth all-time for Oregon State). She’s also ranked seventh in career points.

Jeff Morrow is former sports editor for the Tri-City Herald.