Carson Valley highlights of 2016 |

Carson Valley highlights of 2016

Douglas quarterback Hunter Hickey (18) follows Will Williams (1) towards the endzone Thursday at Carson High. Trailing on the play for the Tigers is Daniel Rich (55).
Brad Coman |

Turning back sports pages of 2016, The Record-Courier has selected 10 categories in which stories were significant to Carson Valley readers. The categories were based by sport, team and individual … we hope you enjoy the read:


■ Wyatt Denny: The Carson Valley rodeo bareback rider enjoyed a memorable year on two different levels in 2016. First, he won the bareback riding championship at the National College Finals Rodeo in June. He continued on to qualify for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo held on Dec. 1-10 in Las Vegas, where he finished 10th in the bareback riding world standings with $148,862 in winnings. He was the second-place finisher on each of the last two nights at the Thomas & Mack Center.


■ Shelby Koontz: Northern Nevada’s four-time high school Female Swimmer of the Year ended her career at Douglas with flying colors when she won two gold medals at the NIAA state championships in Las Vegas. The senior, who competes for Indiana University, set a state meet record in the 200-yard individual medley (2:02.57) then came back to successfully defend her title in the 100 butterfly (55.16) at UNLV’s Buchanan Natatorium. Koontz finished with four individual state championships.


■ Douglas High football ended its regular season with a 31-17 win at arch rival Carson. Alex Harker returned an interception 27 yards for a touchdown as the Tigers scored 11 points during a game-turning span of 19 seconds at the end of the third quarter. In the 75th renewal of Nevada’s oldest prep football rivalry, the Tigers captured second-place in the Sierra League and hosted Spanish Springs in the opening-round of the playoffs — a game the Tigers won, 24-6. Douglas ended its season with a 6-5 overall record.


■ Krysta Palmer: The 2010 Douglas High School graduate returned home from the U.S. Olympic Diving Trials in Indianapolis with a fourth-place finish in synchronized diving along with her partner, 13-year-old Tarrin Gilliland of Liberty Hill, Texas. Palmer also took ninth in the women’s individual 10-meter platform event. The two-time Mountain West Conference Diver of the Year ended her career with the Wolf Pack in March with a ninth-place finish on the one-meter board and 10th on the platform at the NCAA Championships in Atlanta.


■ The Douglas High swimming and diving program continued its impressive streak of success with another undefeated spring season. The girls swept through the regular season and extended their streak of consecutive dual meet victories to 78 and went on to capture their fifth straight region meet title. And the boys extended their dual meet win streak to 62 and won their third straight region title.


■ Lesley Tuggle, at age 70, admits she has lost a step. Even so, the Gardnerville athlete showed that she can still handle distance when she literally ran to first-place in her women’s 70-74 age group at the Ironman 70.3 World Championship Triathlon in Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia. Tuggle completed the 70.3-mile endurance event in a time of 7 hours, 24 minutes, 37 seconds during competition that featured competitors from 43 U.S. states and more than 80 countries from around the world.


■ Steven Jacobo: The 25-year-old Gardnerville wheelchair athlete capped off his second season with the U.S. Adaptive Bobsled and Skeleton Association on an exciting note when he emerged as a fifth-place medalist during the inaugural Para-bobsled World Championships in Park City, Utah. Jacobo also captured sixth-place awards earlier in the winter during races in St. Moritz, Switzerland, and Igls, Austria.


■ In October 2002, Kyle Hendricks was playing fall baseball for the Douglas American Legion 14-and-under team. In October 2016, Carson Valley baseball fans were able to watch Hendricks on television starting on the mound for the Chicago Cubs against the Cleveland Indians in the third and seventh games of the World Series. He pitched 4.1 innings of six-hit ball in Game 3, which the Cubs lost 1-0. He started and worked 4.2 innings in Game 7 in a game the Cubs won 8-7 in 10 innings for their first world title since 1908.


■ The Douglas High volleyball team defeated arch rival Carson to end the regular season and went on to reach the Northern 4A Region Tournament championship round before dropping a five-set thriller against Reno. The Tigers rallied from a 2-0 deficit to take the final down to the wire. The next week, Douglas lost in the 4A state tournament semifinals and closed the book on their season with a 25-11 record.


■ Shawn Estes, a 1991 Douglas High School graduate, was one of 10 Northern Nevada products inducted into the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association (NIAA) Hall of Fame. Estes, 43, was honored with a plaque on the Giants Wall of Fame in 2010 and now co-hosts the Giants post game show on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area. Estes was the Nevada State Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year in 1991 after a senior season at Douglas in which he posted an 8-2 record while recording 141 strikeouts and posting a 0.79 ERA over 61-2/3 innings.