Santa Ynez athletic director Ashley Coelho had trouble sleeping Thursday night, but it wasn't because she was nervous or anxious.
Coelho was excited to see her student-athletes, most of whom have had their senior year of high school thrown into disarray amid the coronavirus pandemic which closed Santa Ynez Valley High School in mid-March, along with schools throughout the county.
With a little extra time on our hands, we are taking a look into the past of prep sports on the Central Coast. Our sports staff has been going…
Coelho and the high school administration hosted "Celebrate our Seniors" day on Friday, allowing the school's 200-plus seniors to drive through campus to pick up special awards and yard signs to commemorate their prep careers.
"I was so excited to see all of the seniors today that I didn’t get any sleep last night," Coelho said. "Today was filled with so many emotions, from sad to happy and everything in between, but I was so thrilled to be a part of celebrating our seniors with many of my colleagues."
"Julian texted me Wednesday and said, 'Hey, workers here did so much for me, I wanted to give something back," said Lompoc High principal Paul Bommersbach.
Coelho was inspired to help celebrate the Santa Ynez seniors because the Pirates have around 100 senior athletes, many of whom lost most if not all of their spring seasons due to school closures.
"We have 97 senior student-athletes and every single one of them got an athlete sign and a patch for their letterman jackets as a gift from Pirate Athletics," Coelho said. "I’m so proud of our students and their accomplishments. Every day I wake up and the first thing I do is celebrate a senior for their achievements. I started with the athletes and I have included AVID as well. I’m currently working on some FFA shout-outs, too."
The Pirates also announced the awards for their top student-athletes from the 2019-20 school year.
Water polo standout Henry Allen and soccer star Nico Rocha are the co-Male Athletes of the Year.
Basketball standout Malia Loos is the Female Scholar Athlete of the Year. Quincy Valle, a football/basketball/track and field standout, is the Pirates' Female Athlete of the Year.
"He's that once-in-a-generation type of player," Josh McClurg says of Prendergast. "We were lucky to have him and (All-League receiver) Jasper Kadlec at the same time, but Gabe was a super special kid.
Wrestler Richie Sandoval is the Most Inspirational Male Athlete of the Year and Morgan Blunt, from the Pirate golf team, is the Most Inspirational Female Athlete of the Year.
The CIF Southern Section Ford Academic Awards Program, where recipients must have a minimum of 3.50 GPA on a 4.0 scale in their sophomore through senior years and be involved with athletics and extra-curricular activities, honored two Santa Ynez students as Male Athlete of the Year and Female Athlete of the Year. Those winners are Grant Lockhart and Lexi Hemming.
Fifteen Santa Ynez students were named AP Scholars after receiving passing scores on three or more AP exams.
They are Allen, Lockhart, Hemming, Lukas Bohnet, Kiara Costarelli, Roni Ann Curtis, Nicolas Dragonette, Amelia Kazmierczak, Amanda Kyrstkowiak, Jordan Nelson, Clara Newton, Anna Palsgaard-McCann, Cassandra Rivera, Lauren Thorburn and Miles Trobridge.
Below is a list of the Pirates' student-athlete scholarship award winners:
Mike Quiroga Memorial Scholarship Recipient
- Tyler Rasmussen $500
Sean Misner Memorial Scholarship Recipients
- Liz Rodriguez $300
- Quincy Valle $500
- Kiely West $300
Jerry Preuss Memorial Scholarship Recipient
- Morgan Blunt $500
Jeff Rio Memorial Scholarship Recipients
- Jacob Davies $1,000
- Quincy Valle $1,000
Football Boosters Scholarship Recipient
- Owen Thompson $500