May 23, 2011
Graves of Folsom, Nightingale of St. Francis named River Cats Athletes of the Year

By Joe Davidson

Some familiar names were honored again for all the right reasons.

Folsom High School quarterback Dano Graves was presented with the "Art Savage" award as the region's Sacramento River Cats High School Athletes of the Year. Savage was the beloved owner of the River Cats, who this season again play in his honor.

The "V" award winner is St. Francis volleyball star Zoe Nightingale, in honor of the late Vicki McDermott, wife of longtime Bee reporter and prep historian Mark McDermott, who presented Nightingale before Sunday's River Cats game at Raley Field.

Graves shattered regional and state records records for a Bulldogs team that stormed to a 14-1 record and won the State CIF Division II championship. Graves accounted for a stunning 85 total touchdowns, a state record that vaulted him to Bee Player of the Year honors and MaxPreps National Player of the Year honors.

Known for his leadership, drive and instincts, Graves is off to Air Force to play the position.

Nightingale was The Bee's volleyball Player of the Year after powering the Troubadours into the NorCal playoffs. A leader in performance and in academic standing, Nightingale was a four-year starter who now heads to UCLA on scholarship.

Per sport, the finalists for boys Athlete of the Year were:

* Chris Kigar, El Camino, cross country and track
* J.D. Davis, Elk Grove, baseball (Cal State Fullerton)
* Jake Elliott, Oakmont, wrestling
* Nick Blaser, Roseville, football, basketball and baseball

Per sport, the girls finalists:

* Ally Carda, Pleasant Grove, softball (UCLA)
* Keelie Houston, Davis, water polo (UC Davis)
* Belle Obert, Del Oro, basketball and volleyball (Butler)
* Danielle Henderson, Sheldon, softball (Cal)

About the Prep blog

Bee staff writers Joe Davidson and Bill Paterson provide news, analysis and insight on the area high school sports scene in their Prep Blog. Have a question to ask them? Send them an email any time at or

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