This is the last set of athletes of the week for the winter season. The spring sports lineup of baseball, softball, track, tennis and golf will be heating up in the next few weeks. Please email nominations by Monday morning to firstname.lastname@example.org for performances based on the previous week.
Hunter Young, Capital: The Eagles won their first state championship since 1978 and became only the fourth team in the history of the 5A Southern Idaho Conference to finish unbeaten and win the state title. Young, a senior guard, was unstoppable in Capital’s 63-53 victory over two-time defending state champion Borah in the title game. He scored 28 points, including a 6-for-9 performance from 3-point range, for 28 points, four rebounds, two assists and one steal. Young also contributed a total of 15 points, seven rebounds and six assists in Capital’s first round and semifinal wins.
Leighton Vander Esch, Salmon River: The Savages completed a sweep of the 1A Division II football and basketball state championships for the second year in a row. Vander Esch, a senior forward, led Salmon River in scoring and rebounding each game, including a classification record 37 points in a 63-59 win over The Ambrose School in the state championship game Saturday at the Ford Idaho Center in Nampa. Vander Esch’s 93 points in three tournament games also established a classification record. He is the reigning 1A All-Idaho Player of the Year in football and basketball.