Three of Boulder City High School’s top athletes last season — Joe Purdy, Kannon Rose and Blake Schaper — were recognized among the state’s best in early August, being named player of the year for Nevada by USA Today.
Announced during a national broadcast Aug. 5 by NFL Hall of Famer Michael Strahan and current NFL Super Bowl champion Rob Gronkowski, players of the year were announced for baseball, cross-country, football, golf, soccer, softball, swimming/diving, tennis, track and field and volleyball.
Competing against players from larger 4A and 5A schools, recent class of 2021 graduates Purdy and Schaper won for boys swimming and golf, respectively, while senior Kannon Rose won for boys volleyball.
“I think this is such a great accomplishment for these boys and our school,” boys volleyball coach Rachelle Huxford said. “They were all very deserving and have had great success in their sport. The thing that makes me most proud is that they represented the 3A classification and smaller schools. Usually when it comes to player of the year awards, athletes from bigger schools win them. I couldn’t be more proud of them.”
Purdy will be swimming on the collegiate level at the University of Denver this year. Schaper will play golf at South Dakota State.
Ending their prep careers on a high with the Eagles, Purdy and Schaper made the most of their COVID-19 shortened seasons.
Despite being unable to compete for an official state championship, Purdy closed out the season with wins in the 100-meter freestyle, 100-yard breaststroke and 200-yard individual medley at the Cheryl Grossman End of Season Invite that featured 11 teams.
“It’s a really big honor to be named player of the year,” Purdy said. “I put in a lot of hard work in high school and I’m thankful it paid off. I’m really hoping another swimmer can get the same award.”
Schaper, who helped the Eagles win the 3A classification regional title as a senior, finished first with an overall score of 136 on the par 144 course. Throughout the spring, Schaper picked up five victories.
“It feels really good to win this award,” Schaper said. “Sometimes it’s tough because you don’t necessarily get the same recognition in the 3A that others kids at the biggest schools get. It’s an awesome feeling to know I got picked.”
Rose will be the only returning Eagle this year. He said he hopes his senior season ends with another state championship.
Guiding the Eagles to a perfect 13-0 last season and 3A state championship, Rose generated a team-leading 144 kills and 105 digs, with 40 aces.
Contact Robert Vendettoli at BCRsports@gmail.com.