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Oregon Sports Awards show fills the notebook, as usual

by: JOHN LARIVIERE - Maryssa Becker, North Medford High softball pitcher, offers thanks after winning the Prep Softball Player of the Year Award for 2012 at Sunday's Oregon Sports Awards, hosted by Nike.Notes and quotes from the 61st annual Oregon Sports Awards, which graced the stage Sunday night at Nike's Tiger Woods Center:

• The event, which began in 1948 as the Bill Hayward Banquet of Champions, expanded significantly this year with new awards given to the top high school athletes in 19 sports (boys and girls) sanctioned by the Oregon School Activities Association.

These were in addition to the traditional Johnny Carpenter Prep Athletes of the Year, which go to the outstanding overall high school competitors, male and female, from the Class 6A-5A ranks and 4A-3A-2A-1A classifications.

The high school winners all showed poise on stage. Nearly every one gave the proverbial thanks to parents, family and coaches, and sometimes to teammates or siblings.

This is incredible."

— Calvin Hermanson,

Lake Oswego High basketball

"This is incredible," Lake Oswego High basketball star Calvin Hermanson said as he looked out at the full house.

At the end of his acceptance speech, Hermanson made sure to also mention "the community of Lake Oswego — this one's for you."

• Oregon Sports Awards host Neil Everett, an ESPN SportsCenter anchor and commentator, queried some of the prep winners as to their preferences.

He asked Sunset High's Cameron Stitt, the Prep Boys Swimmer of the Year: "(Ryan) Lochte or (Michael) Phelps?"

"Phelps," Stitt said.

by: JOHN LARIVIERE - The Prep Girls Tennis Player of the Year, Erin Larner of Jesuit High, tells Oregon Sports Awards host Neil Everett that if she could pick anyone to hit balls with for an hour, her choice would be Roger Federer.Jesuit High's Erin Larner, the Prep Girls Tennis Player of the Year, said that if she could hit balls with anyone for an hour, she would pick Roger Federer.

Beaverton High golfing sensation Gigi Stoll, who earned the award for her sport, called Portland Golf Club her favorite course.

Why?

"Because I'm a member there," she said.by: JOHN LARIVIERE - Beaverton High's Gigi Stoll, the Prep Girls Golfer of the Year, chats with ESPN's Neil Everett, host of Sunday's Oregon Sports Awards.

• Scappoose High soccer standout Ariel Viera, who scored 116 goals in her career, earned the Prep Girls Soccer Player of the Year Award.

This is probably the only time I'll be able to hold this, once my mom gets hold of it."

— Ariel Viera,

Scappoose High soccer player

Like the other winners, she came to the stage to receive her trophy.

"This is probably the only time I'll be able to hold this, once my mom gets hold of it," she said.

• North Medford High pitcher Maryssa Becker won the Prep Softball Player of the Year Award. She led the Black Tornado to the Class 6A championship in 2012 — and she didn't forget to include the other half of the North Medford battery in her remarks from the podium on Sunday.

"This is pretty awesome," Becker said. "Thanks to my parents for introducing me to the game I love, and especially (thanks) to Katie Williamson, my catcher. She has been there for me for all my softball and has made me look good."

• Sutherlin High's Dony Knight won the Lou Burge Special Olympics Athlete of the Year Award, which has been presented since the Oregon Sports Awards returned in 2002 from a five-year hiatus and with its new name.

Knight, who impressed the theater crowd with a thoughtful acceptance speech, is a big fan of the Oregon State Beavers. After the show, he wondered if it would be possible to meet OSU's All-American defensive back, Jordan Poyer, who was one of the event's 12 award presenters.

by: SPORTSONE - Dony Knight (left), the Special Olympics Athlete of the Year, celebrates with Oregon State football All-American Jordan Poyer after Sunday's Oregon Sports Awards show at Nike's Tiger Woods Center.But Poyer had already left the building.

Undaunted, Chelsea Corrado of SportsOne, the Beaverton marketing company that helps lead the way in staging the Oregon Sports Awards, put in a phone call to Poyer.

The former Astoria High star did what a lot of big-name athletes probably would not have done — he took the time to turn around, drive back to Nike and pose for photos with Knight.

• Oregon Sports Awards host Everett was thrilled to be back in the state and part of the show.by: JOHN LARIVIERE - Neil Everett gets into the Oregon Sports Awards with a familiar setting - the look of his usual set on ESPN SportsCenter.

Everett was born in Portland, attended Willamette University, graduated from the University of Oregon, worked in Florence, has relatives in Astoria — and seemingly has had more personal and family stops in different corners of the state than Greyhound.

Oh, and he let on that he has just bought a house in Seaside, where he plans to retire after his broadcasting career.

I didn't know Fox did college football."

— Neil Everett

• Everett and award presenter Joey Harrington, the former UO quarterback who has become a top analyst with Fox Sports, joked a bit about their day jobs.

Harrington got in the first dig, noting that Everett worked for the "worldwide leader in sports .... Fox Sports."

"I didn't know Fox did college football," Everett said as a comeback line.

by: JOHN LARIVIERE - Accepting an award for former Oregon Ducks coach Chip Kelly, UO players Taylor Hart (center) and Marcus Mariota (right) took the stage alongside presenter and coaching legend Mouse Davis.• Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota and defensive lineman Taylor Hart from Tualatin accepted the Slats Gill Sportsperson of the Year Award for former UO football coach Chip Kelly, who is now head coach of the NFL Philadelphia Eagles and did not attend the show.

"He's a great coach," Hart said.

Kelly was a co-winner with Erik Spoelstra, the former Jesuit High and University of Portland player who coached the Miami Heat to the 2012 NBA title.

by: JOHN LARIVIERE - Mitch Lofstedt, Southern Oregon University national champion wrestler, addresses the crowd at Nike's Tiger Woods Center on Sunday after winning the Ad Rutschman Small College Athlete of the Year Award for men.• Southern Oregon University wrestler Mitch Loftstedt, a national champion at 125 pounds who was named the outstanding competitor at the NAIA meet in 2012, won the Ad Rutschman Small College Athlete of the Year Award for men.

Lofstedt made sure to pay tribute to someone in his immediate family.

"Special thanks to my older brother for beating me up all these years and making me better," he said.

• Everett, 50, gave a mini-lecture to the younger generation in the audience as he introduced one of the award presenters, former Oregon State and NBA center Steve Johnson.

As a Beaver, Johnson shot .678 from the field for his career, which ranks No. 2 all-time in the NCAA, and he hit .746 as a senior, an NCAA single-season record, in leading the Pac-10 in scoring average.

by: JOHN LARIVIERE - Steve Johnson, former Oregon State and NBA star, got to announce the winners of the Prep Basketball Player of the Year awards, won by Lake Oswego's Calvin Hermanson and Springfield's Mercedes Russell.Finally, Everett told the crowd, "Just Google Orange Express, Ralph Miller and Greatest Shooting Big Men."

To which Johnson joked, "If you Google pictures of Steve Johnson, it'll show you 101 ways to shoot a layup."

• The Oregon Sports Awards presented veteran Oregon Institute of Technology men's basketball coach Danny Miles with the DNA Award for his passion and dedication to sport in Oregon.

Play hard and have a great time."

— Danny Miles,

OIT men's basketball coach

Miles is the second all-time winningest coach in college basketball at any level. His Owls won the NAIA Division II championship in 2012, their third national title in the past nine seasons.

His advice to young people: "Follow your dreams. Follow your coaches' advice. Play hard and have a great time."

• Some winners, as is typically the case, weren't able to attend the show because they were either competing or training elsewhere in the country or abroad.

Olympic decathlon champion Ashton Eaton was in that category. The world-record holder won the Harry Glickman Pro Athlete of the Year Award for men and sent a video acceptance speech in which he said it was an honor just to be considered for the award, "especially with my good buddy, Galen (Rupp)," referring to the U.S. distance running star from Portland who was one of the Glickman finalists.

"I appreciate you guys for supporting me in what I do," Eaton told the audience, "and I will continue to do the best I can."