When Bryce Odegard was honored earlier this year by the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association with a scholarship, he said he turned to his father and deadpanned, “How many kids actually applied?”
The kid’s going to need a new line.
Craig Moore and Bryce Odegard of Pahrump Valley High School have been named to the Top 10 list of Southern Nevada student-athletes by the NIAA.
The awards are given annually to student-athletes who “exemplify total school and community involvement,” according to Donnie Nelson, co-assistant director for the NIAA. Special consideration is given to those who participated in multiple sports, other school groups and/or student government and community service while maintaining a high academic status.
“While the requirements sound restrictive, we know these student-athletes exist as evident by the group of individuals we have as winners,” Nelson said. “It is our goal through the Top 10 program to find and honor these superb individuals.”
Pahrump Valley athletic administrator Jason Odegard said the school had two athletes on the list last year as well, but the recognition is always special.
“”It is an honor for PVHS to have our student-athletes win this award, because it embodies the importance of being a student as much as being a successful athlete,” Jason Odegard said.
Palo Verde High School also had two student-athletes on the list, while Eldorado, Faith Lutheran, Virgin Valley, Boulder City and Needles, California, also were represented.
The general categories include scholastic achievement (class rank, grade-point averages, number of semesters on the honor roll, number of honors/AP classes taken, and ACT and SAT scores), overall sports participation (number of varsity sports, number of varsity letters, individual and team athletic achievements), other contributions (school activities, community service accomplishments), an essay and letters of recommendation.
The Top 10 Student-Athletes of the Year in both Northern Nevada and Southern Nevada, as selected by a panel of judges, will be honored with a formal dinner banquet April 24 at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.
Moore owned the best GPA in his class after his junior year; is a member of the National Honor Society, Student Council and Trojan Athletic Leadership Council; has won class-specific honors in geometry, algebra and physics; and has received the perfect attendance award for seven consecutive semesters.
Moore has earned seven varsity letters in soccer, wrestling, cross-country and golf, although golf is his primary sport and the only one he has played for four years. He was the junior varsity’s MVP as a freshman and the varsity’s Most Improved Player as a sophomore.
Last season, Moore flourished and was named first-team All-Sunset League and second-team all-Class 3A Southern Region as the Trojans finished fifth in the Class 3A state championships.
“Although golf is the sport in which I have the most experience, I was the most noticeable as a role model for my teammates during my sophomore year of wrestling,” Moore wrote in his essay. “When I joined the wrestling team, I did not know what it entailed, and as a result I found myself wanting to quit after the first week.
“Even though the thought of quitting was appealing, my inner sense of duty told me that I had teammates that were depending on me to persevere. I was able to improve, and I earned a spot on the varsity team. My simple decision to be a trustworthy teammate made me a role model … for being there when a team needs you.”
That last has applied to Bryce Odegard practically since he walked in the door as a freshman. The first Pahrump Valley runner to win a state cross-country title, Odegard is an 11-time letter winner and an eight-time team MVP or co-MVP. He has been named all-state four years in cross-country, and in track and field he was first-team all-state in the 800 twice, 1,600 twice, 3,200 twice and as part of the Trojans’ 4×800 once. He also has been honorable mention all-state two years in basketball.
The National Honor Society member was voted senior class president and is a multi-time qualifier for the NIAA’s All-State Academic Team. Odegard also has been involved in numerous community organizations, including the Nye Communities Coalition and in Youth Advocates for Changing the Community.
“I am proud for the growth I have experienced since that spring day when I was a 4 year old on the T-ball field,” Odegard wrote in his essay. “The importance of respect, responsibility, leadership and sportsmanship mean much more to me now than they did then. As much as I have grown in size, experience and knowledge, I am confident that my behavior in regard to these (important) character traits can be clearly seen by everyone I meet.”
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