Anchorage’s District 1 Nunaka Valley Little League junior girl’s softball team was chosen as a 2013 Alaska Sports Hall Of Fame Directors Award recipient on Wednesday, according to a press release from the ASHOF.
Juneau fans may remember Nunaka Valley when they battled the Gastineau Channel Little League in the Alaska State Juniors All Star Softball Tournament at Melvin Park this past July.
Nunaka won the first game 7-0. Juneau won the second game 2-1. Nunaka won the third game 6-5 after Juneau battled back from a 6-1 deficit and had a runner on the base before a double play ended the night. The final game was a 7-3 Nunaka win that game them the series three games to one and sent them on their way to dominating the West Regionals at Arizona with a 4-0 record and outscoring opponents 44-8. Nunaka then won Alaska’s first Little League World Series title by going 5-1 at Kirkland Wash., bringing their season total to 16-2. One of those two losses came to the GCLL Junior Girl’s Softball team of Makayla Harp, Maya Hayward, Maddie McKeown, Ashley Cunningham, Quincy Bates, Jordan Harris, Sophie Hultberg, Erica Maiquis, Maddie Johnson, Emily Lukshin, Meranda Frenzel, Elle Gray, manager John Boucher, and coaches Chuck Gordon, Mitch Harp and Jun Maiquis.
The Nunaka Valley team are: Sierra Rosenzweig, Leilani Blair, Taria Page, Felila Manu, Hannah Peterson, Teighlor Rardon, Lauren Syrup, Morgan Hill, Nanea Tali, Jacynne Augafa, Alexis Joubert, Ashton Jessee, manager Richard Hill, and coaches Rick Peterson, and Sean Syrup.
The ASHOF Board of Directors selected the Director’s Awards recipients. They will be recognized along with the Class of 2013 inductees during the ASHOF induction ceremony at the Anchorage Museum on Tuesday, February 26th at 7:30pm.
The 2013 Directors Award winners are:
Joe Floyd Award--For Significant and Lasting Contribution to Alaska through Sports. For a person or group of people who have, over a period of years, made a significant and lasting contribution to sports in Alaska. This contribution could be for a particular sport, for multiple sports, for a particular town or area and for participants or spectators. This may be given each year but is for achievement over multiple years with priority given to more recent years.
Don Dennis: Since Don Dennis took over as general manager of the Alaska Goldpanners in 1967 the club has become the most successful team in amateur baseball history. Dennis was also responsible for the development and growth of the entire Alaska Baseball League. Now the team’s chief operating officer, he has faithfully guided the Goldpanners through 50 years of executive operations. Dennis continues to be highly regarded as a mentor and business leader in the Alaskan community and throughout the baseball world.
Trajan Langdon Award--For Leadership, Sportsmanship and Inspiration. For a person or group of people who have demonstrated leadership, integrity and sportsmanship during the past year in such a way as to positively influence and inspire others to be better sportsmen or sportswomen.
Paul Tandy: Paul Tandy, a sophomore at West Anchorage High School, decided to join the wrestling team during the 2011-12 school year despite the challenge of being blind. A 4.0 student in the classroom, Tandy progressed quickly from novice to a respected competitor, ultimately winning five matches during his first season. He earned the respect and admiration of his teammates for his work ethic, positive attitude and courage.
Pride of Alaska Award (female)--For Consistent Excellence in Athletic Competition. For a female athlete or athletes, team or coach who have not only excelled in sports in the past year or recent years, but who have done so with integrity and sportsmanship so as to be a positive role model for others.
Nunaka Valley Girls Softball Team: With a mantra of “unfinished business” the Nunaka Valley Girls Softball Team won the first-ever World Series crown by an Alaska team of any age group or gender. After finishing fourth in the 2011 World Series, many of the 12 to 14 year old players returned to claim the world championship with a 6-2 win over a powerhouse team from Victoria, British Columbia. The close-knit group used strong pitching and scrappy defense to win the international tournament and become celebrities in Alaska.
Pride of Alaska Award (male)--For Consistent Excellence in Athletic Competition. For a male athlete or athletes, team or coach who have not only excelled in sports in the past year or recent years, but who have done so with integrity and sportsmanship so as to be a positive role model for others.
Mario Chalmers: Mario Chalmers became the first Alaskan to win an NBA Championship in 2012. As a starter for the Miami Heat, Chalmers was a steady contributor throughout the season but saved his biggest moments for the biggest games, including Game 4 of the Finals when Chalmers scored 25 points and sealed the game with a last-minute basket.
Chalmers competed in the 3-point shooting contest at the 2012 NBA All-Star Game and recently tied a club record with 10 threes in one game.
Director’s Award recipients will be recognized on a plaque at the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame gallery at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International airport.
The 2012 recipients included Don Winchester and Steve Nerland (Joe Floyd Award), the Chugiak High School football team (Trajan Langdon Award), the UAA Women’s Basketball Team and the Alaska Aces (female and male Pride of Alaska Award).
The Alaska Sports Hall of Fame Board of Directors are Eric Ohlson (President), Jim Balamaci (Vice President), Chris Myers (Treasurer/Secretary), Matt Carle, Chuck Homan, Reggie Joule, Gina Luckey, Jason Metrokin and Rick Mystrom. Harlow Robinson is the Executive Director.
The Alaska Sports Hall of Fame is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization established in June 2006. The mission of the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame is to teach, to honor and to inspire.
For additional information about the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame, visit www.alaskasportshall.org.