2012 Best of Bellevue Sports | Year in Review

As another year comes to a close, the Reporter takes a look back at the best moments, athletes and stories in sports and recreation from the past year.

From an historic fifth straight title to a dynamic, college-bound quarterback and developmentally disabled Bellevue College student-athlete with Olympic sized dreams, these are the people and moments that defined 2012.

Person of the Year- Steve Ferreira, Bellevue College

Even for able-bodied individuals, maintaining an exercise regimen can be a hassle. For Steve Ferreira, it's just a part of life.

The Bellevue College student-athlete has been in a wheelchair for his entire life and has cerebral palsy, but uses the chair for more than sitting.

A basketball player during his youth and award-winning athlete during his prep days at Issaquah's Liberty High School, Ferreira now has a specialized chair to participate in field events like discus and club throw, and in 2012 took part in Paralympic qualifying for the London games.

Game of the Year- Bellevue VS Trinity (Texas) football

In 2011, Bellevue's football team ventured to California for a high-profile matchup with Oaks Christian that paved the way to another dominant season of in-state play and a 3A state title.

In 2012, everything was the same except the plane ride.

Bellevue welcomed nationally-ranked Euless-Trinity to Seattle for the marquee game of the season's opening week and neither team disappointed.

The Wolverines raced to a quick lead before Trinity pulled things even to force overtime. After a quick score from Budda Baker gave Bellevue another lead, Nathan Derider picked off a pass on Trinity's first offensive snap of the overtime to give the program another signature win that carried national implications.

Community athlete of the Year- Joseph Raineri

When retinitis pigments began robbing Bellevue resident Joseph Raineri of his sight at age 13, he thought the active lifestyle he enjoyed throughout his youth would be lost forever.

Instead, he finished high school before completing Bachelor's and Master's degrees and maintained an emphasis on physical fitness that eventually led him to teaching adult exercise classes through the city of Mercer Island.

He has also competed with the U.S. disabled ski team, completed 19 marathons and numerous other endurance events.

Coach of the Year- Jeff Hansen, Newport boys basketball

Already a heart-transplant survivor, Newport alum and assistant boys basketball coach Jeff Hansen remained on the court with the Knights throughout last season despite increasing kidney failure.

Hansen has served as a reminder of the importance of treating teammates and coaches like family and also given players and others in the program a first-hand look at life changing struggle and the determination that accompanies it.

Fan of the Year- Nick Nyquist, Bellevue

In a city with the 12th Man, legions of loyal Washington Husky fans and the Sounders Army, passionate fan support is nothing new.

But at the high school level, Bellevue's Nick Nyquist stands alone, literally.

Nyquist has been the lone student at many contests throughout his prep days and never misses a chance to encourage his peers and display school pride.

Players and coaches have taken notice and Nyquist himself has begun to make inroads in the world of sports, playing with the Eastside Lions Youth Rugby Club.

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