The Herald asked each local athletic director to nominate an athlete from their school for our 2021-22 Girls High School Athlete of the Year award.
From the nominees, we selected a winner and five other finalists. Here’s a look at each of those athletes:
GIRLS ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Cheyenne Rodgers, sr., Snohomish
Rodgers was a three-sport athlete who played key roles in the state success of the Panthers’ girls basketball, girls soccer and girls track relay teams. As a guard in basketball, she averaged 11.2 points, 2.9 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.8 steals per game en route to first-team All-Wesco 3A/2A and second-team Herald All-Area honors. Her all-around play helped propel Snohomish to an 18-5 record, a Class 3A state quarterfinal trip and a fourth-place state trophy. In soccer, she totaled 12 goals and seven assists as a first-team All-Wesco 3A/2A forward, helping the Panthers to a 14-5-2 record and a 3A state quarterfinal appearance. And in track, she helped Snohomish to a fourth-place 3A state medal in the 4×100-meter relay and a fifth-place state medal in the 4×200 relay. Rodgers is set to continue her basketball career at Whitworth University in Spokane.
FIVE OTHER FINALISTS
Chloe Pattison, sr., Lake Stevens
Pattison was a three-sport athlete and a 12-time letter winner in track, basketball and soccer. She had a massive performance at the 4A state track meet, earning a medal in all four events she ran. She placed second in both the 100 hurdles and 300 hurdles, finishing just 0.03 seconds behind the state champion in the former. She also helped the Vikings to a pair of relay medals, anchoring a third-place finish in the 4×100 relay and an eighth-place finish in the 4×400 relay. As a guard in basketball, she averaged 9.8 points, 4.4 assists, 5.4 rebounds and 3.0 steals per game en route to second-team All-Wesco 4A honors. Her versatile play helped Lake Stevens to a 20-6 record, the Wesco 4A title and the 4A state quarterfinals. Pattison also finished with a 3.81 grade-point average in the classroom.
Lilli Thompson, sr., Everett
Thompson was a three-sport athlete and a 12-time letter winner in volleyball, tennis and basketball. As a middle blocker in volleyball, she averaged 4.0 kills and 2.0 blocks per set en route to first-team All-Wesco 3A/2A and second-team Herald All-Area honors. She helped lead the Seagulls to a 13-7 campaign — the program’s most wins since 2013 — and to within one game of a 3A state tournament berth. In tennis, she and doubles teammate Halle Burt took second place in the 3A District 1 Tournament and advanced to the 3A state tournament. Thompson also had success as a singles player in tennis, finishing 22-2 over the past two seasons at Everett’s No. 2 spot. And in basketball, she was a role player on a team that went 12-8 and reached the 3A state regionals for the first time since 2013. She also posted a perfect 4.0 GPA in the classroom and was the female winner of the Dwayne Lane’s Athlete of the Year Scholarship, which recognizes Everett School District’s top student-athletes. Thompson is set to continue her volleyball career at Whitman College in Walla Walla.
River Mahler, sr., Monroe
Mahler was The Herald’s All-Area Softball Player of the Year, as well as a first-team All-Wesco 3A/2A selection in softball and a second-team All-Wesco 3A/2A pick in volleyball. The Stanford University signee compiled a record-breaking season on the diamond, batting a school-record .691 with nine home runs, a school-record six triples and a school-record 18 doubles. She had at least one hit in every game and posted a .709 on-base percentage and a whopping 1.297 slugging percentage, while also stealing nine bases and making a number of highlight-reel plays at shortstop. The Pac-12 recruit’s all-around play led the Bearcats to a 20-8 record and a tied-for-fifth-place finish in the 3A state tournament. Mahler also finished with a perfect 4.0 GPA and earned valedictorian honors.
Paige Almanza, sr., Stanwood
Almanza was a three-sport athlete and a 12-time letter winner in soccer, softball and basketball. In soccer, she was a first-team All-Wesco 3A/2A selection and a second-team Herald All-Area pick as a defender. She totaled four goals and six assists, while helping the Spartans to a 10-7 record and anchoring a defense that allowed 1.7 goals per match. She also was a first-team All-Wesco 3A/2A outfielder in softball, batting .468 with a .538 on-base percentage and 14 stolen bases. And in basketball, she was a role player on a team that went 14-7 and placed sixth in the 3A state tournament. She also posted a perfect 4.0 GPA and earned valedictorian honors. Almanza plans to play both soccer and softball at Clackamas College in Oregon, while majoring in pre-medicine.
Alyvia Wright, sr., Darrington
Wright was a three-sport athlete and team captain in volleyball, softball and basketball. In volleyball, she was a 1B first-team all-state setter who averaged 7.1 assists, 1.0 kills, 1.5 aces and 1.6 digs per set while posting a .500 hitting percentage and leading the Loggers to the 1B state tournament. In softball, she was a five-year starting pitcher and a first-team all-league selection who helped lead Darrington to its second state tournament berth in program history. And in basketball, she was the Loggers’ leading scorer. Wright finished as the first-ever three-time recipient of Darrington’s female athlete of the year award. She also participated in a number of clubs in the school and community. She’s set to continue her volleyball career at North Idaho College.