This article was originally published on TBO.com
With the school year over, here the Tribune’s list of the top prep players and coaches of the year for 2014-15 season.
Players and coaches of the year were selected by correspondents Mike Camunas, Andy Villamarzo, Tony Castro and Steve Campbell.
Ethan Haslam, Sr., Academy at the Lakes
BOYS ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Like his brother, Jake, and his father, Tom, the shooting guard made an unexpected trip to states, and the long lasting memory may well have been the game prior to the Wildcats’ state semifinal at the Lakeland Center. In the region final, Haslam scored 35 points in a win against 2014 Class 2A state champion Orlando Christian Prep, a team that had blown out AATL the previous two postseasons.
Tom Haslam, Academy at the Lakes
BOYS COACH OF THE YEAR
No season can be as memorable as the one Haslam had guiding the Wildcats this year. Haslam was able to share the experience during his son’s final high school season, plus the team became the first Pasco County boys basketball team to reach states since Wesley Chapel in 2002-03. Academy finished 20-10, and despite losing to Orlando Agape Christian 57-36 in the state semifinals, Haslam believes, win or lose, his team had a season to remember.
Audra Leipold, Fr., Academy at the Lakes
GIRLS ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Leipold was impressive last season as an eighth-grader, but she was able to follow that with an improved freshman season. The shooting guard passed 1,000 career points and posted season averages of 19.9 points and 5.0 assists while leading the Wildcats back to the Class 2A state semifinals. Leipold is on a torrid pace that could see her surpass 3,000 career points before she graduates.
Karim Nohra, Academy at the Lakes
GIRLS COACH OF THE YEAR
Through 23 years of coaching girls basketball, the 2014-15 season might have been one of Nohra’s best coaching jobs to date. Using a six-player rotation during the regular season and playoffs, Nohra led the Wildcats to a 27-2 record and reached the state tournament for the fourth straight season. Nohra also passed the 500-win mark during the regular season, and one of the area’s best coaches will take aim at winning his first state title next season.