Times honors the best of the best for spring sports

Navajo Times | Paul Natonabah
The 2017 Navajo Times Spring Sports Player of the Year pose with their plaques on Tuesday at Quality Inn in Window Rock. From left to right, Tuba City’s Vaughn Jackson; Shiprock’s Landon Henderson; Miyamura’s Brandon Vidal; Chinle’s Eric Skinner; Monument Valley’s Janessa Johnson; Navajo Prep’s Martinique Larvingo and Navajo Prep’s Taylor Woody.

WINDOW ROCK

Taylor Woody just wanted to find something she was good at.

She spent her freshman and sophomore years playing softball and volleyball, but decided they weren’t for her. But this past season, she decided to step into unfamiliar territory and found what she was looking for.

In her debut golf season, the Navajo Preparatory School incoming senior finished the 4A/A District 1/5 champion and tied for ninth in the New Mexico high school golf state championships. On Tuesday, at the 2017 Navajo Times All-Star Spring sports banquet she was awarded girl’s golfer of the year along side other spring athletes and coaches of the year.

“I think knowing that after all the achievements that I have in this sport, this being only my complete first year, I’m actually set on golf now,” Woody said. “After this I want to do some more and make sure I win district again and this time make a bigger statement at state.”

Woody and nine of the other spring athletes of the year and coaches of the year attended the banquet held in Window Rock on Tuesday. A total of 16 players and coaches of the year were selected.

Athletes and their families attended the morning ceremony and were recognized by Navajo Times Sports Editor Quentin Jodie and CEO/Publisher Tom Arviso, Jr.

Woody said she learned for her selection over the weekend and celebrated with her family. She said the recognition was a testament to the work she put in this past season.

“It was more relieving that after all the stuff that I’ve done, that I actually got something for it,” she said.

She said she’s already started gearing up for her senior season and has outlined a plan for her return to the state championships.

Navajo Times | Paul Natonabah
The 2017 Navajo Times Coaches of the Year include, from left to right, Rock Point baseball coach Andrew Sanchez, Chinle softball coach Tim Su’e Su’e Liufau and Rehoboth softball coach Shawna Bailey.

Rock Point High School first-year coach Andrew Sanchez was in awe when he learned of his selection.

He said before he came on board this past season, the team hadn’t won a game in three years and he was happy to help change that.

“It’s unbelievable, I’m speechless. The first time my athletic director informed me of it I was just floored, completely speechless,” he said.

“It’s been a pretty good season for us. We did take our lumps and it was challenging, and overall, to get these kids to win 12 games through the whole season, including tournament games, was a big feat—it was huge for us.”


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Categories: Sports

About Author

Sunnie R. Clahchischiligi

Sunnie Clahchischiligi has been the sports writer for the Navajo Times since 2008. She has a bachelor’s degree in print journalism from the University of New Mexico. Before joining the Times, she worked at the St. Cloud Times (Minn.), the Albuquerque Journal, the Santa Fe New Mexican, Sports Illustrated Magazine in New York City and the Salt Lake Tribune. She can be reached at sunnie@navajotimes.com.