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NIAA announces 11-member 2019 Hall of Fame class

Former Canyon Springs football coach Hunkie Cooper was honored by the Pioneers this month.

He will be honored by the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association this year.

Cooper and 10 other Southern Nevadans were inducted into the NIAA this week, the organization announced Tuesday. They will be honored during a banquet April 25 at The Orleans.

“When you look over the list of names that our committee selected for induction, the thing that stands out the most as a collective group is that it was as a whole greatly involved with students on a direct and personal level,” NIAA assistant director Donnie Nelson said. “So 11 truly outstanding individuals, all of them worthy of selection to our Hall of Fame.”

Cooper, now the wide receivers coach at San Diego State, went 43-20 from 2009 to 2014 with the Pioneers, who renamed their football field after him on Jan. 10. He’s joined in this year’s Hall of Fame class by fellow coaches Ron Adams (Moapa Valley, volleyball), Phil Lawton (Bonanza, cross country), Randy Minagil (Rancho and Chaparral, soccer), Ginger Whipple (Pahranagat Valley, volleyball), Art Plunkett (Las Vegas, football and golf) and the late Rod Poteete (Pahrump Valley, baseball).

Larry Goins (Sierra Vista, Desert Oasis, Pahrump Valley) and Larry McKay (Clark County School District) also were inducted as administrators. Former Rancho golfer Kerri Clark, who won a state golf championship, will go in as an athlete. Southern Nevada tennis coordinator Kim Barnett will go in as a contributor.

The 11 were inducted by an eight-member committee comprised of former athletes, coaches and administrators. Applications for induction are compiled throughout the year, and Nelson said holdovers from previous years also are considered. There is no set number of inductees per year, he said.

“(This year’s group made) a lasting impact as a collective group as much as any other group I’ve ever seen in my 21 years in this office,” Nelson said.

SLAM girls win wrestling event

SLAM Academy’s girls wrestling team won the annual Nevada Girls All State Wrestling tournament Saturday at Clark with 184 points. Reed finished second with 130 points and Palo Verde third with 72.

The event, the largest girls wrestling tournament in the state, featured 94 competitors. Local winners included SLAM Academy’s Sterling Dias (106), Gisell Garcia-Flores (115) and Amor Veloz (170), Palo Verde’s Dezare Kummler (121) and Tatum Pine (126), Desert Oasis’ Kalee Everett (143), Bishop Gorman’s Isabella Mir (150), Bonanza’s Kamila Montenegro (189) and Coronado’s Sydney Bentlet-Smith (235).

The state’s first girls dual wrestling meet took place Jan. 16 between Palo Verde and SLAM Academy.

Centennial girls ranked

Centennial’s girls basketball team is ranked No. 6 this week in USA Today’s Super 25 national poll. The Bulldogs (21-1) also were No. 6 last week and haven’t lost since Dec. 19.

Contact reporter Sam Gordon at sgordon@reviewjournal.com. Follow @BySamGordon on Twitter.

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