Kentlake High School finalists. Courtesy of Kent School District

Kentlake High School finalists. Courtesy of Kent School District

Vote for the Kent News Athletes of the Year

The online contest runs May 1 to May 8.

Voting for the Kent News Athletes of the Year is now open.

Athletes who have been named Athlete of the Week over the course of the year have been nominated for Athlete of the Year, and we turn to you, the readers, to select the winners for 2024. Below are the 16 athletes who have been nominated.

Click here to vote now.

FEMALE ATHLETES

Ella Wick, Kentlake: Volleyball, Basketball, Tennis

Ella Wick is a senior and has competed this year in volleyball (WCD qualifying team), basketball (team captain for the WCD qualifying team), and tennis (team captain and hopeful WCD qualifier). Ella is a member of Kentlake’s Honor Society, takes an intense course load and is the consummate student athlete that has a 4.0. She will be valedictorian before heading off to the University of Washington to study engineering. Ella is deeply respected by her teammates, coaches, opponents, teachers, the entire Falcon Family, and our community (which she supports by giving up the little free time she has by doing service projects).

Haley Engbo, Kentlake: Soccer, Basketball, Flag Football, Fastpitch

Haley Engbo is a junior and has competed this year in soccer (state qualifying team), basketball (WCD qualifying team), flag football (undefeated league champions) and fastpitch softball (likely WCD qualifying team). In addition, she finds time to scrum it up with her club rugby team. What sets Haley apart of others is her commitment to teammates and coaches. She is the first there, last to leave, and goes above and beyond to do whatever is needed. Haley had an unfortunate injury this spring and was unable to play for a while. Though she was there at practices and games, cheering on her teammates, carrying equipment, shagging balls and bringing constant positivity.

Nashayla Fellows, Kent-Meridian: Volleyball, Basketball, Flag Football, Track

Nashayla Fellows, a senior, has played volleyball for four years — the past two years on varsity. She’s been a stable force on the girls basketball team as a varsity leader for the past three years. With the addition of flag football this winter, Nashayla joined that sport as well and brought her team leadership and power to the gridiron. This spring, Nashayla is in her third year of track. In 2023 she was a state placer in the shot put and discus and she hopes to return to state again this season. Currently, Nashayla holds Top 10 statewide marks in the shot put and discus .

Marlene Veveris, Kent-Meridian: Cheerleading

Marlene Veveris, a senior, is an outstanding leader highlighted as captain of the Royals cheer team for the past two years. Marlene has been a varsity cheerleader for three years for both fall/winter sports seasons and on the competitive team. Marlene was chosen by United Spirit Association as one of 60 national team members who will be teaching clinics and team camps throughout the United States as a staff member and spirit ambassador.

Jayda Sparks, Kentridge: Soccer, Flag Football

Jayda Sparks, a senior, was selected 1st team All-NPSL soccer player. She lead the Kentridge women’s soccer team to state this year. Jayda was also our flag football quarterback. Jayda will be playing soccer at Eastern Washington University next year.

Mila Tsai, Kentridge: Cross Country, Track

Mila Tsai, a senior, qualified to state in cross country and has a good chance to go this spring in track. Mila is currently weighing her offers to run in college next year.

Sarah Wright, Kentwood: Wrestling, Fastpitch

Over the past four years, senior Sarah Wright has been one of the most dominant multi-sport athletes in the history of Kentwood High School. As a top-tier wrestler, she has accomplished an overall record of 113-15. She is a 4-time NPSL league champ, two-time regional champ, two-time Kelso Invite finalist (1-champ), two-time state placer (2023: 3rd, 2024: 2nd). Over the past two years she has lost just six times, five to the would-be state champion. She’s also earned an Academic All-State Honorable Mention for her weight class with a 3.47 GPA. Sarah’s excellence also dominates on the softball field. She was named Gatorade Player of the Year her sophomore year and is the NPSL MVP two years running. She brings great intensity, determination and commitment to perfecting her skills. Sarah will continue competing at the University of Arizona for fastpitch.

JJ Ursino, Kentwood: Volleyball, Flag Football, Fastpitch

J.J. Ursino, a senior, is a hard-working student athlete who strives for both athletic and academic success. J.J. is an outstanding three sport letterman in volleyball, flag football and fastpitch while maintaining an honorable GPA of over 3.600. This year, as volleyball captain, she was named 2nd team all-conference and placed 2nd in team in hitting percentage. She was also named 1st team NPSL her junior year for fastpitch and is currently leading the Conquerors team in stolen bases. With flag football being a new sport, J.J. did not have any experience in it, but for the entire season she played like a veteran. As well as being an exceptional receiver, she was also an aggressive defensive player with a myriad of interceptions. J.J. had amazing talents on the field, but she was always a humble and encouraging teammate.

MALE ATHLETES

Ethan Loughry, Kentlake: Golf, Baseball

This fall, senior Ethan Loughry was the team captain for golf and won the NPSL individual league championship. Ethan is the leader of our golf team as it heads to the WCD tournament and hopefully to state this spring. He is also a captain and a cornerstone of our league champion baseball team that will start WCD play next week. Ethan is an amazing student athlete, outstanding member of our Falcon Family, participates in Kentlake’s Honor Society, takes a demanding course load, and has a 3.957 G.P.A. Ethan will be attending Whitworth University on a golf scholarship.

Makoa Planesi, Kentlake: Cross Country, Wrestling, Judo

Makoa Planesi is a senior and has participated this year in cross country (WCD qualifying program), wrestling (captain for the WCD qualifying team) and judo (team captain and will be going to state). Makoa is extremely coachable and helpful and is a quiet leader that fellow student athletes, coaches and opponents respect, admire and strive to emulate. Makoa’s coaches appreciate that he takes time to help his teammates in and out of competition. He works with them 1 on 1 to become stronger physically and mentally. Additionally, Makoa organizes team activities that provide opportunities for all to be included in the uniquely individualistic team sports he participates in.

Zoe Emery, Kent-Meridian: Football, Basketball, Track

Zoe Emery, a senior, is a well-rounded athlete competing as a varsity member of football, basketball and track this year. Zoe earned 2nd Team All-NPSL honors for offensive and defensive lineman. Currently, Zoe has league qualifying marks in the shot put and discus.

Adonai Garza, Kent-Meridian: Football, Wrestling, Track

Adonai Garza, a sophomore, is a three sport athlete competing in football, wrestling and track. Adonai is a two time state wrestling placer — 2nd in 2023 at 120lbs and 3rd in 2024 at 132 pounds. As a first year pole vaulter, Adonai has a league qualifying height.

Rylan Gullard, Kentridge: Golf, Baseball

Rylan Gullard, a senior, was sellected 1st team All-NPSL outfield in baseball, is currently leading the NPSL in batting average and will be playing in the WCD baseball tournament in two weeks. He will also be playing in the WCD Golf Tournament in three weeks in an effort to qualify for state. Next year, Gullard will be playing baseball at Lindfield University.

Giovanni Moimoi, Kentridge: Football, Basketball

Giovanni Moimoi, a junior, played football and basketball this year for the Chargers. Giovanni excelled at wide receiver and was selected 2nd team All-NPSL basketball player while leading the Chargers in scoring and rebounding.

Antoine Lee, Kentwood: Football

Antoine Lee, a junior, currently holds every major rushing record for Kentwood High School. Kentwood has a rich tradition of amazing tailbacks, and Antoine is chief among them. Antonie is also on the verge of most points scored and total touchdowns in a career. He is a diligent and hard worker, whose successes on the field have surprised no one who has ever seen him apply himself fully. Antoine is lightning in a bottle with a smile that lights up every room. He is an encourager and a force multiplier — encouraging each player to give their best for the brotherhood. We look forward to him having an even bigger impact on our team during his senior season. He currently holds the following records: Rushing attempts in a game (42), rush yards in a game (338 yards), rushing yards in a single season (1,480), longest punt return in a game (99 yards), career rushing yardage (3,722), career rushing touchdowns (31).

Lucas Windham, Kentwood: Swimming

Lucas Windham, a junior, is the first Kentwood swimmer to accomplish the “Iron Man” — qualifing to the West Central District meet in all individual events (100 Butterfly; 200 Individual Medley; 100 Freestyle; 50 Freestyle; 200 Freestyle; 500 Freestyle; 100 Breaststroke; 100 Backstroke) and as a member of all three relay teams (200 Free Relay; 200 Medley Relay; 400 Free Relay) in a single season. Lucas is a three time district and state qualifier and three time 2nd team All-NPSL selection for the 500 Free and 100 Fly. Lucas is a dynamic team leader who brings energy and enthusiasm to the team. He focuses his leadership on team bonding and development, making sure all members at any ability level feel like they are part of an amazing Kentwood experience. In 2023, Lucas was voted Most Inspirational by his teammates and in 2024 he received the Coaches Award.

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Kentridge High School finalists. Courtesy of Kent School District

Kentridge High School finalists. Courtesy of Kent School District

Kentwood High School finalists. Courtesy of Kent School District

Kentwood High School finalists. Courtesy of Kent School District

Kent-Meridian High School finalists. Courtesy of Kent School District

Kent-Meridian High School finalists. Courtesy of Kent School District

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