Multiple local athletes were named Student-Athlete of the Year in their respective sports by the CIF on Friday.
The award is only given out to seniors who have held at least a 3.5 GPA over the past three years while also lettering in one varsity sport on top of having extracurricular activities.
Here is the full list of local winners:
• Brooke McCormick, Canyon, girls’ soccer – 4.0.
• Pablo Rodriguez, Canyon, baseball – 4.0.
• Lucas Lichtenstein, Castaic, boys track and field – 4.0.
• Sophia Crawford, Castaic, softball – 3.9.
• Christopher Kim, Hart, boys’ golf – 4.0.
• Riley Koebel, Hart, girls’ tennis – 4.0.
• Abigail Lim, West Ranch, girls’ basketball – 4.0.
• Jared Admiraal, West Ranch, boys’ tennis – 4.0.
Rodriguez has made an immediate impact on first-year head coach Zach Newman.
“Pablo can be summed up in one word: dedication,” Newman said in a phone interview. “He is dedicated to academics, challenging himself with the most difficult curriculum and rising to the top of his class. He is dedicated to baseball, exemplifying work ethic, staying late to hit, making sure he gets his long toss in, never skimping on conditioning. And he is dedicated to being a leader, teaching by example to the other students how to be respectful, helping to set up and clean up the field, supporting kids who need a pick-me-up, never complaining, and never making excuses. He is really one of a kind and nobody deserves this award more than Pablo. He has earned all the great things he will undoubtedly accomplish.”
Admiraal has been a staple of West Ranch boys’ tennis for four years now as the senior will aim to win another singles league title. Cats head coach Jackie Resler believes his play on the court clearly matches his focus in the classroom.
“Jared does prove to all of us why he is the No. 1 player not only in the team, but in league, too, because of the tools he brings in his toolbox,” Resler said via email. “If one of his weapons is not working, he knows how to rely on the other skills in order to compete. He can mix up his game strategies well and will provide answers to his opponent’s strategies.”
“Jared also takes time off the team practice to practice at junior tennis programs. So realistically he spends what seems like a minimum of 20 hours per week training and competing. Even during the season, I know he is competing in junior tournaments. The time he spends training and competing is as if this is a part-time job.”
Kim has taken 13 advanced placement classes at Hart and his weighted GPA is a 4.81. The Hart golfer will also be the valedictorian of the 2023 class. Head coach Steve Lindberg has seen Kim learn to balance the difficult weights of athletics and education.
“Chris has learned through lots of discipline and some stress how to balance his time between academics and athletics, where as a student athlete, academics always came first,” Lindberg said. “He never had a country club membership, but spent many long hours grinding out his golf game. As a three-year varsity starter, he has contributed greatly to our team’s success on and off the course.”
Only 251 selections were honored in the entire Southern Section.