The Lakers’ chosen two |

The Lakers’ chosen two

Sierra Sun File PhotoFranklin Orlando hurls a pitch during baseball season.

Each newspaper in the Sierra Nevada Media Group ” the Sierra sun, Tahoe Daily Tribune, Tahoe Bonanza, Lahontan Valley News, Nevada Appeal and Record Courier ” chose male and female Athletes of the Year from their area high schools. A male and female athlete will then be selected from that group and awarded a plaque and a $500 scholarship.

Orlando has been a leader for the athletic program at North Tahoe. He was the starting running back for the football team, a member of the State Champion snowboard team, and the starting pitcher on the baseball team.

As a senior, it was Orlando who kept popping up on key plays and big wins.

While neither the football team nor the baseball team had impressive postseason records or league dominance in his senior season, Orlando did what he could to push both teams as far as they could go.

In the winter, North Tahoe’s snowboard team, still in its early years, took the California State Championship at Mammoth Mountain, and Orlando was a part of that victory as well.

On the football team, Orlando was one of the go-to guys when the Lakers kept the ball on the ground. He carried the ball 136 times for a total of 687 yards.

Orlando was even more noticeable on the baseball field, where he led the team in pretty much every offensive category.

He hit .438 and led the team in runs scored with 17, hits with 22, RBIs with 19, home runs with two and stolen bases with 14. On the defensive side, Orlando pitched for a 6-5 record and tallied an ERA of 3.88.

According to Laker baseball coach Larry Orlando, the three-sport standout will be attending Western Nevada Community College next year and hopes to red shirt, as well as play for the Reno Muck Dogs farm team.

Picking a female athlete of the year for North Tahoe was not an easy task. With a state skiing championship, a three-peat state soccer championship, a fiercely competitive volleyball team, cross country team and female track team, the girls of Dollar Hill simply rock.

Three athletes stood out above the rest. Morrigan Drew, a captain on the three-time state champion soccer team, as well as a skiing dynamo, Drew had what it takes. Kelly LeFevers, perhaps the leader of the volleyball team, which was state runner up last year and fiercely competitive this year, as well as a state finalist in track for her powerful throwing, LeFevers was another name that just kept rising to the top.

However, it was Jessie Poulsen who took the cake this year. Poulsen was a forward on the three-time state champion girls soccer team. Poulsen’s individual athletic achievement came last winter at Mt. Rose ski resort, where the girls skiing team was invited for the first time to compete in the Nevada State Championship.

As a team, they won. While other members of the championship soccer team, such as Drew (who took third overall), Christy Riva and Jesi Robbins, just to name a few, also skied to their second state championship in one year, it was Poulsen who rose above the rest that day, tying for the individual Nevada State Skiing Championship.

Poulsen finished first in the slalom event and second in the GS. Reno’s Melissa Slocumb was second in the slalom and first in the GS, so the two split the title.

Poulsen was one among many who won a state championship in two sports. However, with the individual title tacked on, she rose above.

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