By Ray Hamill — It was a year young Joe Tanno won’t forget any time soon with an achievement for the ages.
And he’s only going to get better.
During the summer, Tanno was instrumental in leading the McKinleyville 12-year-old All-Stars to yet another state tournament appearance, with big contributions at the plate, defensively and especially on the mound.
His most impressive performance came while pitching in the district championship game, when he struck out all 18 batters he faced, including 10 of them on just three pitches.
And all of that resonated with the local sports community, which has voted Tanno the 2021 Humboldt Sports Male Athlete of the Year.
In what was a tight race up until this past weekend, Tanno pulled away late in the voting and finished with 18 percent of the 2,019 votes cast for the 20 finalists.
Former Eureka Logger Kenneth Spaight finished second in the voting with 12.7 percent after a big fall playing defensive back and kick returner for Clarke University football, an NAIA program.
Arcata High’s Shane Purcell, who had a huge year at quarterback for the Tigers, finished third in the voting with 10 percent.
Stanford bound St. Bernard’s pitcher Nick Dugan was fourth followed by Del Norte’s Anthony Slayton, a standout linebacker at Shasta College.
Male Athlete of the Year Top 10
1 — Joe Tanno
2 — Kenneth Spaight
3 — Shane Purcell
4 — Nick Dugan
5 — Anthony Slayton
6 — Jenner Christiansen
7 — RJ Loftin
8 — Antonio Garcinuno
9 — Hayden Bode
10 — Caleb Dodson