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The Idaho State Journal’s fifth annual Sports Stars awards presentation was live streamed by Publisher Travis Quast and sports editor Madison Guernsey from the Journal’s Facebook account on Monday, May 18. Like so many other things, the format was adjusted to meet the state restrictions in place for COVID-19.

The Journal chooses the top athletes, top freshmen, best teams and best all-around athletes from the 2019-20 academic year in high school sports from the 18 schools in its coverage area.

Idaho State Athletic Director Pauline Thiros was this year’s keynote speaker. Thiros, who is also a decorated former high school volleyball coach and was a student-athlete at ISU, spoke to the quality of prep sports in Southeast Idaho.

“I know better than most how special you are. I’ve known and coached so many students from our community who moved on to compete with the best in America — the best in the world even — and win,” Thiros said via video. “Everyone who knows me knows I have a saying I use all the time, and I know it’s something all of you being honored tonight have in common: you were never interested in being good, you’ve been working your tail off to be smoking hot. I’m always very proud of the tradition of smoking hotness that we enjoy in Southeast Idaho high school sports. Thank you for the way you have continued that tradition.”

Ty Hyde headlined the event for Preston as the boys basketball player of the year, top male athlete.

Hyde was Preston’s quarterback during football season and led the Indians’ basketball team to a 4A state title in March. In February, Hyde signed to play football as an offensive tackle at Dixie State University.

“I would like to thank all my family, friends, coaches and teammates for getting me to this point,” Hyde said in his acceptance speech. “I couldn’t have done it without any of them. Preston has the best fans in the state, without question, so I would like to say thanks to the community of Preston for always supporting the Indians. Thank you to the best coaching staff for developing me as an athlete. I wouldn’t be near the athlete I am if it wasn’t for them or my teammates. They are all outstanding ballplayers and they truly earned this award for me. Thank you to everyone that has coached me and got me to this point.”

The Preston boys basketball team was named Boys Team of the Year. Riley Reid who recently signed to run for CSI was recognized as the Boys Cross Country Runner of the Year and Tyson Moser of West Side Football, as Male Coach of the Year.

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