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Kenzi Pedersen, Garfield-Palouse three-sport standout, is SBLive's Class 1B Senior Athlete of the Year

Pedersen was all-1B Southeast in volleyball and softball, but made her biggest mark in basketball as the classification's state player of the year

Welcome to a continuing tradition at SBLive Washington – honoring the WaFd Bank 2021-22 senior athletes of the year for each classification, recognizing the top multi-sport athlete in the state.

The criteria isn’t too expansive: The starting point is finding seniors who are all-league/all-state performers in two or more sports. Totality of career is also a factor. So is administrator/coach/fan recommendation.

As fluid and determined as Garfield-Palouse's Kenzi Pedersen is on the basketball court on softball diamond, she has her issues on the sidewalk.

Her mother - and softball coach - Rochelle Pedersen calls her a "clumsy, natural athlete."

The teenager agrees.

"On the court, it's a lot different because I can get into a groove," Kenzi Pedersen said. "But in ordinary life, I will trip over nothing and fall. But it's gotten better."

Pedersen stood tall as a three-sport athlete for the Vikings, garnering all-1B Southeast Conference honors in volleyball, softball and basketball, her best sport.

In fact, Pedersen was SBLive WA's Class 1B girls basketball player of the year in 2021-22 after leading the program to a third-place finish at the state tournament in Spokane.

"It's her commitment," Vikings girls basketball coach Garrett Parrish said. "We've had five years of basketball practices together in the season and in the summer, and there were two days she missed for a city-league softball championship game. It was pretty remarkable."

Parrish didn't stutter - Pedersen joined the varsity team as an eighth grader, something the WIAA allows at smaller schools in the state of Washington.

"That was really scary ... but it's also benefited me because I am now used to the pressure of playing with and against older, better players," Pedersen said.

When that deep class-of-2018 group graduated, Pedersen returned as the team's unquestioned leader as a ninth grader.

"Somebody had to step up," she said.

And she's carried on that role her entire high school career in the small town in Whitman County.

"Obviously I go to practice to get better, but I also want to be the person my teammates can rely on," Pedersen said. "To do that, you have to show up."

Pedersen led the team by averaging 19.6 points and 9.6 rebounds per game in leading Garfield-Palouse to its first state tournament appearance in 13 seasons. The Vikings lost to eventual 1B champion Mount Vernon Christian in the state semifinals.

She will continue to play at Columbia Basin College in Pasco next season.

"I wasn't doing this just for myself, but for my teammates, family and coaches. They've done so much to get me where I am," Pedersen said. "I wanted to repay them by working hard."

Kenzi Pedersen, Garfield-Palouse girls basketball, class of 2022

Garfield-Palouse forward Kenzi Pedersen played five seasons with the school, and signed with Columbia Basin College.


School: Garfield-Palouse.

Sports: Volleyball, basketball, softball.

Next step: Signed to play basketball at Columbia Basin College (NWAC) where she will also study exercise science.

Senior-year highlights: Named SBLive WA's state girls basketball player of the year in Class 1B, averaging 19.6 points, 9.6 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game. Earned all-tournament first-team honors at the state tournament as well, leading Vikings to a third-place showing. Was named the 1B Southeast player of the year. Also played on the 1B squad in the WSGBCA all-star game. ... Was an all-league first-team performer in volleyball (134 kills, 130 digs, 33 aces). ... Was an all-1B Southeast pitcher in softball who also hit. 490 and had an on-base percentage of .653.

Career accomplishments: Four-time all-1B Southeast first-team basketball selection finished 1,376 points and 747 rebounds. ... Four-time team captain in volleyball who was picked to all-league team three times. She finished with 459 kills, 766 digs and 151 aces. ... Four-time team captain on softball team playing for her mother, Rochelle. Career .519 hitter was named to all-1B Southeast team four times

School/community achievements: 4.0 GPA and class co-valedictorian; National Honor Society president and member for three years; earned 11 athletic- and academic-based scholarship offers for college; ASB vice president as a senior - a year after she was the student-body treasurer as a junior; four-year member of school's Future Farmers of America (FFA) club; volunteer coach for community's "Little Dribbler's" youth basketball program; volunteer referee for community youth basketball leagues, and umpire for youth softball leagues; volunteer teacher for Palouse Federated Church's vacation bible school.