Local sports community unites to honor prep athletes at Sun Standout Awards

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Wade Vandervort

Coronado High School principal Michael Piccininni and Coronado athletes pose for a photo with Raiders cheerleaders, Golden Knights mascot Chance and John Barr from Findlay Toyota after winning the Coach of the Year award during the Las Vegas Sun Standout Awards at South Point, Wednesday, May 23, 2018.

Thu, May 24, 2018 (2 a.m.)

Professional sports have taken over Las Vegas, but they willingly yielded the spotlight to the area’s best high school athletes, coaches and support staff members on Wednesday night at the South Point showroom.

The Las Vegas Aces, Las Vegas Lights, Las Vegas 51s, Vegas Golden Knights and soon-to-be Las Vegas Raiders were among the sponsors at the third-annual Las Vegas Sun Standout Awards. Raiders coach Jon Gruden started the night with a video introduction, and the Stanley Cup-bound Golden Knights provided a surprise of their own at the end.

Golden Knights Senior Director of Global Partnerships Keith Baulsir presented Sun Standout Award winner Nick Campbell, who returned to his track and basketball teams at Coronado after being shot in the shoulder on Oct. 1, with a customized jersey.

“I’d like to thank everyone out here in Las Vegas because I wouldn’t be here without the support,” Campbell said while accepting the award.

Campbell was the second-to-last honoree on the night, as the presentation of the Hank Greenspun Lifetime Achievement Award closed the evening. Longtime Chaparral football coach Paul Nihipali, who recently retired, accepted the award from Brian Greenspun, the Las Vegas Sun’s CEO, publisher and editor.

“I heard (the saying) somewhere — ‘If you don’t like the kids, get out,’” Nihipali said. “Very simple, and that hit me real hard — obviously it’s not for the money but when you see (a student-athlete) excel.”

Other sponsor presentations included John Anzalone For Congress recognizing the Male and Female Scholar Athletes of the year, James Bridges and Haylee Niemann, respectively, and Findlay Toyota’s John Barr giving out the Citizen of the Year Award to Hannah Barr.

Check out the full list of winners below.

Hank Greenspun Lifetime Achievement Award: Paul Nihipali, Chaparral football coach

Sun Standout Award: Nick Campbell, Coronado track

Female Athlete of the Year: Tatum Spangler, Coronado softball

Male Athlete of the Year: Ty Smith, Virgin Valley wrestling

Rising Star Female: Audrey Boch-Collins, Clark tennis

Rising Star Male: Ma’a Gaoteote, Faith Lutheran football

Female Scholar Athlete of the Year: Haylee Niemann, Arbor View soccer

Male Scholar Athlete of the Year: James Bridges, Clark basketball

Female Team of the Year: Coronado flag football

Male Team of the Year: Bishop Gorman basketball

Moment of the Year: Nick Doland, Chaparral basketball

Citizen of the Year: Hannah Barr, Basic softball

Coach of the Year: Joe Sawaia, Coronado golf

Unsung Hero Award: Chely Arias, Cheyenne athletic trainer

Game of the Year Award: Centennial rallies to beat Liberty in girl’s basketball state championship game

Greenspun Cup: Coronado High

Case Keefer can be reached at 702-948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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