Brendon Arnold is Sierra Sun’s male Athlete of the Year from North Tahoe High School
North Tahoe senior Brendon Arnold could intimidate an opponent with his sheer size alone.
Combine his 6-foot-3-inch, 225-pound frame with surprisingly agile footwork, a strong and accurate arm, touch around a basketball hoop, and the ability to crush a speeding baseball, and he was an imposing force on any surface of play.
and#8220;Brendon is truly athletic in the sense that he can do anything associated with athletics,and#8221; said North Tahoe basketball coach Dan Rosenfield. and#8220;He can run, he can jump, his hand-eye coordination is good, he’s strong, he has good muscle explosion and#8212; I don’t know what else there is.and#8221;
For all the athletic qualities he brought to his three sports, Arnold has been selected as the Sierra Sun’s male Athlete of the Year from North Tahoe High School.
and#8220;He’s just an all-around good athlete,and#8221; confirmed longtime North Tahoe football coach Scott Everist. and#8220;He could have really played any position for us. We just had him at quarterback because he was one of our better athletes. But really, he could have played anywhere. Tight end was probably his best position.and#8221;
This past fall, Arnold anchored the Lakers as the team’s starting quarterback on offense and linebacker on defense, which earned him Northern 2A All-League honorable mention recognition at QB. After playing a key role as a fullback his junior year, the big right-hander was an ever-present threat as a signal-caller, with his ability to launch the ball deep or use his legs to run rumble down field and knock bodies around.
and#8220;He’s a really strong kid and athletic, and he has a nice, strong arm,and#8221; Everist said. and#8220;He was able to throw the ball pretty well. He’s a pitcher in baseball, so that’s probably why he had a more accurate arm than anyone else we had.and#8221;
But Arnold may have had a bigger impact on the defensive side of the ball, the coach said.
and#8220;That’s where his toughness really showed. When he committed, he was all over the field for us,and#8221; Everist said. and#8220;He’s very intense and is a good competitor.and#8221;
In the winter, Arnold joined the Lakers’ basketball team with the season in progress and immediately made a difference. The senior post player used his bulk and his physical mentality to box out for rebounds while also showing a deft shooting touch around the bucket.
and#8220;I really enjoyed having Brendon,and#8221; said Rosenfield, a first-year coach who needed all the help he could get on a team that was admittedly short on overall basketball experience. and#8220;He was very enthusiastic, he was a team player, he worked at both ends of the floor, and like everyone else on that team, he was a lot of fun to be around. I’m thrilled that he’s had the success that he’s had.and#8221;
Arnold led the Lakers offensively with a 12.5 points-per-game average. He scored a team-high 150 points despite playing in only 12 of the 24 games. And as Rosenfield pointed out, he never backed down to a taller opponent in the post.
and#8220;He was really willing to go in and bang against bigger kids. There were times when he was the biggest, strongest kid on the floor, and there were times he was up against kids who were a very tough matchup. And he would not get discouraged; he would mix it up on the boards, and he didn’t stop working. He just did not give up.
and#8220;It didn’t matter if things were going the way we hoped or not. He just continued to plug away,and#8221; Rosenfield said.
Arnold’s best season may have come in the spring, however, as the Lakers’ pitcher, catcher and cleanup hitter played a major role in North Tahoe’s most successful campaign in years. The North Tahoe squad swept a home playoff series from rival Incline before eventually losing to two-time defending state champ Yerington in the regional tournament. They posted a final record of 19-9 overall.
and#8220;I’m extremely happy with the progress we made,and#8221; said first-year North Tahoe head coach Matt Drury. and#8220;We set out to create a culture where we expect to win, and I think we did that.and#8221;
Arnold was a big reason for the Lakers’ success. He and junior teammate Colin Spencer served as a lethal one-two punch on the mound, with Arnold, who was the No. 2 starter, catching Spencer when he pitched and vice versa.
As the Lakers’ cleanup man, Arnold led the team with a .545 batting average (30 hits in 55 at-bats), as well as a team-high 27 RBIs, eight doubles, a home run, a .606 on-base percentage, an .818 slugging percentage and 11 stolen bases. From the mound, he recorded 60 strikeouts in 37.1 innings and finished with a 3-2 record.
Arnold was voted by coaches to the Mount Rose League All-Conference first team, and will likely be honored with an All-State selection when those awards are determined.
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