ELKO — Annually, the NIAA has conducted a Top 10 Student-Athletes of the Year dinner and award presentation for the past 24 years — highlighting 10 recipients from the North and 10 from the South.
Unfortunately, the 25th installment of the ceremony was postponed until Sept. 21 due to COVID-19, the original date planned for April 3.
Although the celebration was pushed back, the NIAA still released its list of worthy award winners for the 2019-2020 school year, which included a pair of Elko County student-athletes.
Spring Creek senior Jeff Guthrie and West Wendover senior Jesus Gonzalez comprised one-fifth of the 2019-2020 selections from the North.
Guthrie, a two-year starter at quarterback for the Spartans, will continue his football career at the next level, committing to play for the College of Idaho, in Caldwell.
He was a two-time state champion wrestler (2018, 2020) and a runner-up finisher (2019) at 195 pounds, claiming four straight Division 3A state team titles with the Spartans.
Academically, Guthrie was just as impressive as he was on the field or the mat — serving as Spring Creek High School’s Valedictorian.
He plans on obtaining a dual-engineering degree and eventually earning his master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Washington University, in St. Louis.
He paced the Wolverines in scoring and rebounding, averaging 22.2 points and 7.8 rebounds per game — leading the 2A North in scoring and finishing second in rebounding — adding 2.3 steals, 1.9 assists and 1.2 blocks.
In the classroom, “Chuy” held a GPA of more than 4.0 and was also a dual-credit student at Great Basin College.
Congratulations to both Jeff Guthrie and Jesus Gonzalez for their athletic and academic achievements, showing the will and ability to impose their skills on opponents and inspire others on and off the field, mat or court.
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