Timbers' Porter pays homage to history as sportsperson of year

by: COURTESY OF JOHN LARIVIERE - Portland Timbers coach Caleb Porter (right) receives the Slats Gill Sportsperson of the Year award from Oregon Sports Awards host Neil Everett during Sundays 62nd annual show.Damian Lillard, Alex Morgan, Brandin Cooks, Liz Brenner and Caleb Porter — a fab five, for sure — captured the premier individual honors Sunday at the 62nd annual Oregon Sports Awards.

Oregon-bred Neil Everett of ESPN SportsCenter fame served as host of the stage show at Nike’s Tiger Woods Center. He introduced a bevy of celebrity presenters as well as many of the 41 winners.

It all took place before a packed house of some 900 people and a live-stream audience, as Nike and its co-sponsors (which included the Portland Tribune) paid homage to the state’s top performers and accomplishments in 2013.

Portland Timbers coach

Porter won the Slats Gill Sportsperson of the Year Award over finalists Scott Brosius and Pat Casey. Brosius coached Linfield to a national baseball title, and Casey led Oregon State to the College World Series.

Porter became the third soccer coach to win the Sportsperson Award, and he paid tribute to both the Timbers’ first coach, Vic Crowe (1975 Gill honoree), and Clive Charles (the 1995 and 2002 recipient who built the University of Portland women into a national power).

Crowe guided the inaugural Timbers in ‘75 — “the year I was born,” Porter noted — and Charles was “a legend who coached me with the World University Games team.”

by: COURTESY OF JOHN LARIVIERE - Bill Schonely, Trail Blazers broadcasting legend, helps to present the Harry Glickman Pro Athlete of the Year awards, won by Blazers guard Damian Lillard and Portland Thorns soccer star Alex Morgan at Nikes Tiger Woods Center.The multitalented Brenner continued as a fixture in the show. The volleyball/basketball/track and field/softball Oregon Duck from Jesuit High took bows this year with her second consecutive Bill Hayward Female Amateur Athlete of the Year honor. She beat fellow finalists English Gardner, UO’s national champion sprinter, and Portland Pilots soccer star Amanda Frisbie.

The Hayward male trophy went to Oregon State’s Cooks, who is awaiting the NFL draft after earning the Biletnikoff Award as the best receiver in college football. UO quarterback Marcus Mariota and OSU outfielder Michael Conforto also were Hayward male finalists.

Lillard and Morgan were the top vote-getters in the Harry Glickman Pro Athlete of the Year races.

Lillard, NBA rookie of the year for the 2012-13 season, became the 10th Trail Blazers player to earn the Glickman honor, joining Drexler (a five-time honoree), Brandon Roy, Bill Walton, Geoff Petrie, Terry Porter, Buck Williams, Clifford Robinson, Damon Stoudamire and Sidney Wicks.

Morgan, who starred for the Portland Thorns, followed in the footsteps of 2011/2012 Glickman winner and fellow U.S. soccer ace Megan Rapinoe.

Lillard’s male co-finalists, after the run of nominations and voting throughout the state, included world decathlon champion Ashton Eaton a former Duck from Bend, and Madras native Jacoby Ellsbury, whose outfield play, hitting and base stealing helped lead the Boston Red Sox to a World Series title. Eaton won the award after his Olympic gold in 2012, and Ellsbury earned the prize for 2011.

The female pro finalists were Morgan and Thorns teammate Christine Sinclair, the Canadian national team hero and former UP great, and U.S. 10,000-meter champion Shalene Flanagan of Portland. Sinclair won the Glickman in 2006.

The quality of candidates across the state showed also in the George Pasero Teams of the Year selections.

This award goes to national champions or other teams that achieve significant national recognition. In 2013, six teams distinguished themselves with national titles, and one other team was honored Sunday for coming close to the very top.

The Oregon Sports Awards gave its hefty hardware to champions from Concordia University (NAIA women’s soccer), Linfield College (NCAA Division III baseball), the University of Oregon (acrobatics and tumbling; NCAA D-I women’s indoor track and field), the Portland Winterhawks (Western Hockey League) and Thorns (National Women’s Soccer League) — and to Oregon State’s 52-win, Pac-12-champion baseball Beavers.

Corban University softball standout Stephanie Hull and Linfield pitcher Chris Haddeland, from McMinnville, took home Ad Rutschman Small College Athlete of the Year honors.

by: COURTESY OF JOHN LARIVIERE - Haley Crouser (right), from Gresham High and now a freshman at the University of Oregon, collects her trophy as prep girls track and field athlete of the year for 2013 from former UO sprint star English Gardner.The Oregon Sports Awards saved the bulk of its awards, though, for high school athletes — 23 of them, covering every Oregon School Activities Association-sanctioned sport.

The biggest honor for high schoolers is the Johnny Carpenter Prep Athlete of the Year award, which has been around since 1966 and has gone to Steve Prefontaine, Galen Rupp, Kevin Love and many other greats.

Carpenters now go to the top male and female from both the Class 6A-5A schools and 4A-3A-2A-1A schools. Winners for 2013 were West Albany running back Jake LaCoste and Springfield basketball All-American Mercedes Russell for 6A-5A and multisport standouts David Henry of Oakland and Venessa D’Arpino of North Valley for 4A-1A.

Individual prep sport winners included repeat picks in boys soccer (Christo Michaelson, Jesuit), boys swimming (Cameron Stitt, Sunset), boys and girls basketball (Calvin Hermanson, Lake Oswego; Springfield’s Russell), girls golf (Gigi Stoll, Beaverton), girls track and field (Haley Crouser, Gresham) and boys and girls tennis (Goutham Sundaram, Lincoln; Erin Larner, Jesuit).

Of the 19 individual prep sport awards, 17 went to 6A athletes, with the Metro League earning six trophies.

Summit cross-country runner Matthew Maton was a 5A winner, and Crook County wrestling champion Tyler Berger came from the 4A ranks.

Other Oregon Sports Awards honors went to the annual Lou Burge Special Olympics Athlete of the Year (16-year-old Travis Koski of Hillsboro) and the Game Changer Award winner (veteran teacher, coach and athletic director Craig Rothenberger, now at Junction City High).

OSA presenters included football stars De’Anthony Thomas, Jordan Poyer, Ed Dickson, Sean Mannion, and Keanon Lowe; former Blazers forward Brian Grant; football coaching guru Mouse Davis; U.S. national team softball standout Ashley Charters; UO sprint star Gardner; Timbers players Jack Jewsbury and Taylor Peay; Mana Shim and Kat Williamson of the Thorns; do-everything Duck Brenner; Blazers broadcasting ambassador Bill Schonely, and distance running champion Matthew Centrowitz.

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