The Chronicle's 2023-24 Athletes of the Year


As has become a tradition, The Chronicle joined with dozens of local high school athletes to celebrate their accomplishments at the The Chronicle Athletes of the Year awards ceremony on Wednesday, May 29. 

The event was held at the Jester Auto Museum and Events Center in Chehalis. 

Awards were presented in boys and girls categories for every local sport, in addition to awards for coach of the year and overall Boys Athlete of the Year and Girls Athlete of the Year. 

Here are the honorees and finalists.

See you next season! 

Boys Athlete of the Year Winner: Ashton Demarest, Napavine

Perhaps one of the best two-sport athletes for the Tigers this season, Demarest had his fingerprints all over their run to the Class 2B state title game in football and the journey to the state quarterfinals in baseball.

The senior was named the all-area MVP after quarterbacking Napavine to an 11-2 record last fall and a runner-up finish to Okanogan. He accounted for 47 total touchdowns and over 3,000 total yards as a dual-threat.

Demarest had several games with over 400 total yards and multiple touchdowns. In his career as the Tigers’ starter, he compiled a 36-3 record. He garnered the honor of being the C2BL North Division offensive MVP.

On the diamond, the right-hander took the ball as Napavine’s ace pitcher and lived up to the billing. The right-hander ended the year with a 1.42 earned run average and a team-high 89 strikeouts.

Demarest went 10-3 in his final season, fueling the Tigers to a 21-5 record and a victory in the opening round of the state tournament. He also hit .418 at the plate with 27 RBIs and 39 runs scored, with the final stat that led the group.

Girls Athlete of the Year Winner: Karsyn Freeman, Adna

After a stellar sophomore season at Raymond/South Bend that featured a discus state championship, Freeman transferred to Adna and has pieced together a season to remember. The three-sport athlete is the 2023-24 Girls Athlete of the Year, the second straight Pirate girl to be given the top honor.

Freeman’s introduction to Adna came on the volleyball court where she finished 329 kills, 189 digs and 73 aces to help its program reach the Class 2B state tournament. Her stats garnered her first-team all-C2BL honors and a spot on the all-area team.

In basketball, the guard snared the C2BL MVP award after lighting up the scoreboard to the tune of 24 points per night. Freeman registered over three rebounds, steals and assists per game. She was named to the all-area team in helping the Pirates place fifth at the state tournament in Spokane.

Track has featured Freeman having one of the best times in the 100 hurdles and throws in the discus. She is also a member of the 400 relay that has a top-three time in 2B.

Freeman claimed the league and district title in the 100 hurdles, a discus district title and was the runner-up in the shot put.

At state, Freeman repeated as the state champion in the discus with a lifetime-best throw of 142 feet, five inches.

Teams of the Year

Napavine Girls Basketball

The Tigers finished their season with a 25-3 record, including a District 4 Championship and four wins at the state tournament in Spokane, including a 41-40 win over Okanogan to win their first state championship in school history.

Adna Fastpitch

The Pirates rolled all season long, going 21-4 and winning a league, district, and state championship, their second straight and third in the last four state tournaments.

Coaches of the Year

Shane Schutz, Napavine girls basketball

Schutz led the Tigers to 25 wins, a district championship, and their first state championship in school history. Under his leadership, Napavine became the first state champion from the west side of the state in 17 years.

Bruce Pocklington, Adna fastpitch

Pocklington won his third state title this season, leading a group filled with veterans and young players back to the state championship game.

Football Player of the Year

Winner: Ashton Demarest, Napavine

The C2BL North MVP was nearly unstoppable, as he totalled more than 3,200 yards and 47 touchdowns to lead the Tigers to the state title game for the third year in a row.

Kayden Mozingo, Onalaska

Mozingo led the area in rushing as the quarterback of Onalaska’s attack, rushing for nearly 2,300 yards and 32 touchdowns, including a program record 447 yards in the Loggers’ postseason win over Kalama.

Easton Kolb, Mossyrock

Kolb led the Vikings to the 1B state semifinals, throwing for nearly 1,300 yards and 17 touchdowns while also rushing for 829 yards and a third of Mossyrock’s rushing touchdowns.

Boys Soccer Player of the Year

Winner:  Dylan Stevens, Tumwater

Stevens led the Thunderbirds to the state tournament and was named 2A EvCo Most Valuable Player.

Adrian Jaimes, W.F. West

Jaimes helped lead W.F. West to a league title and the state tournament, and he was named the 2A EvCo Offensive Player of the Year.

Alejandro Arevalo, Centralia

Arevalo played a big role in Centralia’s second-half surge, as he won 2A EvCo Goalkeeper of the Year honors and helped lead the Tigers to their first district tournament since 2019.

Girls Soccer Player of the Year

Winner: Kayla Pope, Tumwater

Pope was all over the field for the Thunderbirds this past fall. The EvCo MVP was a key piece in a Tumwater back line that helped record 15 shutouts, and she also scored 15 goals and logged six assists offensively.

Staysha Fluetsch, W.F. West

Fluetsch was named the 2A EvCo Goalkeeper of the Year after posting 72 saves and nine shutouts, six of which came in 1-0 victories.

Emalyn Shaffer, Tumwater

Shaffer led the area in scoring by a wide margin, scoring 27 goals in 17 games to earn 2A EvCo Offensive Player of the Year.

Boys Basketball Player of the Year

Winner: James Grose, Napavine

Grose capped a stellar high school career with an incredible season, one where he averaged 26.9 points per game and nearly shot 50-40-90 from the field. He also earned C2BL MVP honors and led the Tigers to a C2BL league title, a District 4 Championship, and a top-5 finish at state.

Braeden Salme, Adna

Salme returned from a foot injury to average 21.5 points, 6.2 assists, and 4.0 rebounds per game, leading the Pirates to the district title game and a fourth-place finish in Spokane.

Noah Schow, Tenino

Schow averaged 24.9 points and 8.0 rebounds per game en route to winning 1A Evergreen League MVP, and he helped lead the Beavers to their first league title since 2013 and their first state tournament since 2007.

Girls Basketball Player of the Year

Winner: Julia Dalan, W.F. West

Dalan set new W.F. West records by averaging 24 points and 15 rebounds per game, and the junior also tallied five blocks per game en route to earning 2A EvCo MVP. With Dalan at the helm, the Bearcats won their second consecutive league title and their first District 4 Championship since 2018.

Hayden Kaut, Napavine

Kaut averaged 16.5 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 3.0 steals per game to generate league MVP buzz and earn a spot on the All-C2BL first-team. She also hit the game-winning three in the state championship game, lifting the Tigers to their first state title in program history.

Karsyn Freeman, Adna

Freeman made an immediate impact in her first season at Adna, averaging 24 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.5 steals, and 3.5 assists per game to win C2BL MVP, and she helped lead the Pirates to a fifth-place finish in the 2B State Tournament.

Boys Wrestler of the Year

Winner: Antonio Campos, Centralia

The Centralia senior ended his high-school career on a high note, winning a 2A state championship at Mat Classic XXXV.

The state title caps a stellar senior campaign, one where he went 43-2 and also won league, sub-regional, and regional championships.

Zander Peck, Rainier

Peck won 44 matches this past winter, making it all the way to the state championship match in the 1B/2B 157-pound bracket.

Andrew Penland, W.F. West

Penland won a sub-regional and regional championship on his way to the state tournament, and he finished as the 2A state runner-up in the 215-pound state tournament bracket.

Girls Wrestler of the Year

Winner: Sloane Kruger, Black Hills

Kruger won 38 matches this past season, including a regional championship and a pair of wins at Mat Classic XXXV, where she finished as the 105-pound state runner-up.

Ramona Reinitz, Centralia

Reinitz also won a regional title, and she won 35 matches en route to earning state runner-up honors in the 110-pound class in Tacoma.

Maya Kunkel, Napavine

The Napavine Tiger had more than her fair share of success against 2A wrestlers, earning a regional championship before beating a pair of 2A wrestlers at state before finishing as the 155-pound state runner-up.

Volleyball Player of the Year

Winner: Keira O’Neill, Napavine

O’Neill was dominant for the Tigers all season long, leading the area in kills (487) and blocks (88) while also tallying 100 digs and 54 aces to lead Napavine to its second-straight state tournament appearance.

Kendall Humphrey, Adna

Humphrey earned C2BL MVP honors with 348 kills, 181 digs, 75 aces, and 21 blocks, leading the Pirates to an undefeated regular season, their first District 4 Championship since 2011, and a second-straight top-5 finish at state.

Ashley Harris, Black Hills

Harris followed up a breakout junior campaign with a spectacular senior season, one where she tallied 463 kills, 199 digs, 53 aces, and 41 blocks to earn 2A EvCo MVP honors and lead the Wolves to their first state placement since 2011.

Bowler of the Year

Winner: Savanna Hoyt-Siler, W.F. West

Hoyt-Siler helped the Bearcats earn a District 4 title by winning the individual district title, and she also led W.F. West to a third-place finish by finishing third at the 1A/2A state meet in Tukwila.

Bailee Spriggs, Centralia

Spriggs placed at both the district and state meet, finishing fourth in districts before placing eighth at state.

Hailey Hopkins, Tumwater

Hopkins helped the Thunderbirds take second in league and sixth in districts, and she went on to place ninth at the state meet.

Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year

Winner: Treyton Marty, Toledo

Marty was a constant at the front of the pack in nearly every meet last fall. His only non top-five finish was his lifetime best performance of 16 minutes, 23 seconds flat. The Riverhawks junior triumphed in the C2BL Championships and was the runner-up at districts. At the state meet, he garnered a third-place performance to snare a spot on the podium. Marty also won three of his first four meets of the season.

Jordan Stout, Adna

Stout capped his stellar career for the Pirates with his best finish at the Class 2B/1B state meet ever. He ran the 5,000-meter course at Sun Willows Golf Course in 16:37.30 to place fifth. He was the District 4 champion and C2BL runner-up. His best performance time wise was 10th at the Lewis & Clark Invite, running 15:55.20.

Chase Trodahl, Winlock

Trodahl was a steady force for the Cardinals and a consistent top-three performer in the area. His lone win was the season-opening meet, the Ocosta Invitational, in September. The senior placed third in four of his final five races, including the C2BL Championships and the District 4 meet. Trodahl capped his career with a 14th place finish at state.

Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year

Winner: Madison Ingram, Rainier

A transfer from Northwest Christian in Lacey, Ingram made an instant impact for the Mountaineers on the cross country course. She set a 5,000-meter new personal record at the Willapa Harbor-Riverwoods meet of 19 minutes, 41.1 seconds. That pushed her to triumph at the C2BL championships and the Class 2B/1B District 4 meet. Ingram earned a medal at the state meet, placing eighth in the field.

Angelica Askey, Rainier

Askey turned it on when it mattered most for the Mountaineers, placing as the C2BL and district
runner-up. After a seventh place performance at the Rainier Invitational, her final four races were under 23 minutes. That featured a PR of 21:43.8 at the Willapa Harbor-Richwoods meet. The junior placed 34th at the state meet.

Annabelle Clapp, Tumwater

The senior picked up three wins in her first four meets of the season that propelled her to a state meet berth. Clapp snared one of the final state qualifying spots at the Class 2A/1A District 4 championships that came after a fourth-place finish at the Evergreen Conference league meet. Clapp recorded a 43rd place finish at state.

Boys Tennis Player of the Year

Justin Chung, W.F. West

Chung won the league title and won three matches at the district tournament, which he took second at, to qualify for the state tournament.

Javyn Han, W.F. West

Han also qualified for the state tournament, finishing in the top four at both the league and district tournaments.

Jacoby Corwin, Centralia

Corwin finished as the 2A Evergreen runner-up, and he grabbed a singles alternate spot at the district tournament.

Girls Tennis Player of the Year

Winner: Lilly Hueffed & Katelyn Wood, W.F. West

Wood and Hueffed followed up a second-place finish at the sub-district tournament by finishing fourth at the district tournament, earning a state tournament berth in Seattle. They capped their season with an eighth-place finish as the state tournament in Seattle.

Chloe Henderson, Tumwater

Henderson won the singles title in the EvCo Tournament, and she made it within one game of the state tournament.

Ellie Mittge & Ema Weerasinghe, W.F. West

Mittge and Weerasinghe won the sub-district title, and after losing in the first-round of the district tournament, they won out to claim an alternate spot at state.

Boys Golfer of the Year

Winner: Von Wasson, Centralia

Wasson earned a second-straight state tournament berth by taking fifth in the 2A District 4 Tournament, and he also earned 2A EvCo MVP honors and won the EvCo league tournament. He capped his career with a fifth-place finish at the state tournament.

David Dallaire, Tenino

Dallaire finished second in the 1A District 4 Tournament to become the first Tenino golfer in school history to qualify for the state tournament, where he earned a top-20 finish.

Joshua Peralta, Rainier

The Rainier freshman won the 2B District 4 Championship, and he became the first Rainier golfer in school history to reach the state tournament.

Girls Golfer of the Year

Winner: Natalie Eklund, W.F. West

Eklund led the Bearcats to an EvCo championship, and she also won an individual league title and her second-straight district title. She won the district meet by a whopping 20 strokes, then finished tied for fourth at the state tournament.

Grace Oien, W.F. West

Oien finished second at the EvCo League meet, and she finished 11th at the district meet to qualify for the state meet, where she finished tied for 17th.

Ellie Johnson, Black Hills

Johnson finished in the top-6 at the EvCo League meet, and she finished 10th at the district meet to earn a spot at state, where she finished in the top 20.

Baseball Player of the Year

Winner: Danner Hoinowski, Adna

Hoinowski was a key piece both at the plate and on the mound, as he hit .432 and drove in 27 runs while recording an ERA of just 0.84 to help lead the Pirates back to the 2B Final Four.

Kellan Knox, Tenino

Knox hit .319, drove in 18 runs, and stole 17 bases while striking out 59 and posting an ERA of 2.47 in 45.1 innings to earn 1A Evergreen Co-MVP honors and lead the Beavers to the 1A Final Four for the first time since 2013.

Ashton Demarest, Napavine

Demarest capped his Napavine career with a stellar two-way season, as he hit .418, drove in 27 runs, and stole nine bases while posting an ERA of 1.42, striking out 89 batters, and winning 10 games on the mound.

Fastpitch Player of the Year

Winner: Ava Simms, Adna

Simms led the Pirates to back-to-back state titles, as she hit .514 with eight home runs and 46 runs batted in and also struck out 202 batters in 117.1 innings in the circle.

Staysha Fluetsch, W.F. West

Fluetsch was one of the best hitters in the EvCo all season long, hitting .522 with a pair of home runs and 37 RBIs to help lead the Bearcats to a District 4 Championship.

Ella Ferguson, Tumwater

Ferguson led the Thunderbirds to the 2A title game, posting an ERA of just 1.89 in the circle while also finishing second on the team in batting average and on-base percentage.

Boys Track & Field Athlete of the Year

Winner: Carter Phelps, Pe Ell

Phelps led the way in hurdles all season long, setting the best 1B time in the state in both the 110- and 300-meter hurdles, and he won a league, district, and state title in both events.

Tyler Price, Adna

Price won a league and district championship in the 100 and 200, and at state, he finished third and sixth respectively.

Clark Henderson, MWP

Henderson finished on top of the 110- and 300-hurdles at league and district, and he earned a top-three finish in the 100 at state.

Girls Track & Field Athlete of the Year

Winner: Ava Jones, Tumwater

Jones has been one of the catalysts in the Thunderbirds quest for a Class 2A three-peat. The junior has won her last five 100-meter dashes, including a lifetime best of 12.16 seconds at the loaded GearUP Eason Invite. She was the EvCo and District 4 champ in the 100, league winner in the 200 and is a part of the league and district 800 and 1,600-meter relay winners. Jones has the third-best time in all of 2A in the 100.

Acacia Murphy, Rainier

Murphy has pieced together a banner season as the defending Class 2B high jump champion. She has the best clearance in 2B at 5 feet, 5 inches and also is tied for the fourth best in the state regardless of classification. The junior won the C2BL Championships and was runner-up at districts. She also ran on the district winning 1,600 relay.

Karsyn Freeman, Adna

Freeman has taken the Pirates program by storm after transferring in from Raymond/South Bend. The junior’s best event has been the 100 hurdles, winning the C2BL Championships and the District 4 meet. She also has been a staple in the throws, setting a new PR of 126-02 to triumph in the discus at districts. Freeman ran a leg on the league and district winning 400 relay.

Girls Swimmer of the Year

Winner: Chihiro Bringman, Centralia

Bringman capped her Tiger career by finishing fifth at the state meet in both the 200- and 500-yard freestyle, and she also won the district title in both events.

Mily Johnston, Tumwater

Johnston qualified for the state meet in four events, finishing in the top 15 in the 500-freestyle and 100-backstroke and in the top 12 on the 200-medley and 400-freestyle relay teams.

Makayla Sarsfield, Tumwater

Sarsfield swam on Tumwater’s 200-medley, 200-freestyle, and 400-freestyle state relay teams, and she also qualified for the 100-yard breaststroke.