One Round Table Athlete of the Week winner overcame a horrific car accident in 2016 to lead his team to a deep state playoff run last week. The other won by virtue of claiming first place in four different swimming events last Friday in Lompoc.
Shane Carney, of the Hancock men’s basketball team, and Haley Calderon, of the Braves girls swim team, were both honored by the Northern Santa Barbara County Athletic Round Table at Giavanni’s Pizzeria in Orcutt on Monday.
Carney kept his team’s season alive with 32 points in the double overtime victory over No. 2 seed San Bernardino Valley – catapulting the Bulldogs to the CCCAA championship tournament for the first time since 1974. Calderon won all four of her swims against traditional area aquatics power Cabrillo at the Lompoc Aquatic Center.
While standing in front of six different school representatives, Hancock College head men’s basketball coach Tyson Aye raved about Carney’s perseverance from that setback – as he mentioned how Carney had to undergo bypass surgery just to survive and continue his playing career.
“I’m so proud of him for what he’s done for both on and off the floor because…he almost died,” Aye said. “He had the surgery, plus the blood clots, it was a crazy deal. But his resilience to come back from that, become a captain and lead this group has been tremendous. We would not be where we are right now if it weren’t for that young man.”
The soft-spoken Carney called winning the weekly award and taking his team to a deep playoff run a great feeling. He also said he’s been reflective of his journey.
“It’s a blessing,” Carney said. “I think about it every day when I wake up. Around this time last year, I never understood what happened to me and I questioned it. But to see finally why I went through it, I needed a year to grow. I needed a year to look back and appreciate things more.”
Calderon, who is a junior, won the Female Athlete of the Week nod for the first time in her prep career.
“All my years, I’ve been hoping to win this award,” Calderon said. “I’m happy now and it’s been a great experience with high school swimming. It’s been fun.”
Valley Christian Academy
Lions athletic director Pete Fortier gave updates on where things stood on the baseball diamond – as VCA had Andrew Sparlin and Nick Dyer on hand.
The Spartans have usually gone with a deep core of athletes at the Round Table, but had just boys tennis in attendance.
Head coach Art Lopez was joined by his players Matt Lopez, William Jin and Joseph Bramble.
Speaking on behalf of the Braves was swim coach Jeff Story – who had Calderon and Torres at the luncheon.
Along with Calderon, Story stated how Torres also had a solid outing in the Cabrillo swim meet last Friday.
The Warriors went with a two-sport lineup at Giavanni’s – as baseball and boys tennis were on hand.
Coach Maddie Seeds introduced her players Kalin Corral and Ji-Soo Park. Head baseball coach Brian Tomooka shined a light on his athletes R.J. Clayton and Weston Hammell.
The Knights started their introduction to the Round Table with a new team on campus: The St. Joseph stunt team.
Assistant coach Paulette Biely described how stunt combines tumbling, competitive cheer and gymnastics – drawing the conclusion that the sport doesn’t look as easy as it seems and also didn’t classify the team as a dance team. Biely also mentioned how the Knights are the first program in Northern Santa Barbara County to have a competitive cheer/stunt team.
Biely introduced her athletes Erin McAuliff and Camryn McGrew to the Round Table. Debbie Wegemer then took the stage to speak on behalf of Knights baseball – as athletes Alex Ontiveros and Zach Trevino were in attendance.
Lastly for the Knights was boys tennis, as coach Ray Cavazos had Nick Stader and Ben Haskell sitting in the St. Joseph section of Giavanni’s.
Aye started his speech by thanking the entire community for its support of the Bulldogs’ playoff run – as AHC will now play in the state elite eight on Friday at Ventura College.
Along with Carney, AHC athletic director Kim Ensing was also in attendance.
Not present at the Round Table were Santa Maria, Santa Ynez, Pioneer Valley and Cabrillo.