The week belonged to the 2012 top athletes and officials honored during the NMASA Annual Sports Banquet last Wednesday at the Kanoa Resort.
Honored for their accomplishments last year were athletes Mikayla Lopez, Clay McCullough-Stearns, Todd Montgomery, and Lia Rangamar and officials Jeff Race and Laurie Peterka.
Lopez was named 2012 NMASA/TSL Foundation Female Student Athlete of the Year for dominating local tennis competitions and winning in the 2012 North Pacific Qualifying Tournament in Guam and in the 2012 Pacific Oceania Junior Championships in Fiji. Clay McCullough-Stearns took the 2012 NMASA/TSL Foundation Male Student Athlete of the Year award after leading his team to championships and winning MVP plums in both the COPSSA and MISO volleyball leagues and also ruling beach volleyball events.
Montgomery claimed the NMASA Male Athlete of the Year award for winning two championships in the PIC tournament, while Rangamar earned the NMASA Female Athlete of the Year citation for her record performance in the Oceania Regional Championships in Australia.
Jeff Race got his fourth Coach of the Year award, notching the 2012 plum for leading the CNMI's successful campaigns in the NPQ and POJC. Peterka was named Sports Administrator of the Year for her works with Northern Mariana Islands Volleyball Association, which organizes tournaments for local athletes, especially for the youth, and provides assistance to interscholastic leagues.
Sharing the center stage with the 2012 top athletes and officials last week was baseball and softball great Reno Celis, who was inducted to the 2013 class of the CNMI Hall of Fame.
Meanwhile, three competitions opened last week.
Week 1 of the 2013 White Coconut Tennis Classic kicked off at the American Memorial Park, while the U15 and U18 divisions of the 2013 NMIFA Youth Spring League started both at the Hopwood Junior High School Field and Oleai Sports Complex Field. The 2013 season of the Saipan Little League Baseball also opened last week at the Francisco “Tan Ko” Palacios Ballfield.
Ongoing competitions on Saipan also continued last week.
In the NMIVA Sunset Co-ed Beach Volleyball Tournament, Dig This, Beaches and Vacos downed separate foes at the sand courts of Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan to advance to the finals.
Over at the Gualo Rai Basketball Court, the Sexy Boys and Adobo kept their undefeated record in Division B of the DLX/Anchor Strong caging, while action in Division A resumed.
Still in basketball, Marianas High School swept Kagman High School in the MISO caging, winning the varsity and junior varsity games at the MHS Gymnasium.
At the Garapan Basketball Court, Insider and Yuman Construction defeated separate foes in the Blue Haus caging.