With the school year winding down and graduation just around the corner, Morro Bay High School’s Athletic Department and Booster’s Club handed out the Annual Platinum Pirate Awards for each sports program, and named the male and female Athletes of the Year in a ceremony with roots back to the school’s first graduating class in 1960.
First year Athletic Director, Tyler Hoyt, was emcee for the awards ceremony and banquet held May 13 for the first time in the school’s new cafeteria and theater.
Hoyt said the top athletes this year were an easy choice for the coaches and staff that met to decide the awards. While one might think there’d be long debates, the truth is, he said, the two honorees were unanimous first ballot selections.
“Both of these winners were quickly decided on,” Hoyt told Estero Bay News. The Male Athlete of the Year went to multi-sport standout, Aiden Blackwood, and the Female Athlete of the Year was water polo standout, Josephine Davis.
“Both of them earned All League honors,” Hoyt said. “Josephine was All CIF, and led the team to a second place finish in the Division II CIF Championship game.” Davis is a junior, so she’ll have another year to improve upon an already stellar record.
Blackwood, a senior, was one of the top football players in the Central Section of CIF. “For Aiden,” Hoyt said, “he finished the season with 180 tackles earning him the most tackles in the CIF Central Section.
“He played both sides of the ball all football season, and he was a dynamic athlete during the track and field season, as one of the top hurdlers and high jumpers in the league. Aiden will be playing football and running track at Santa Barbara City College next year.”
Blackwood led the Pirates to a second consecutive Ocean League Track & Field Championship.
As for Davis’ future sporting opportunities, Hoyt said she had begun to get attention from some big name schools. “Josephine is beginning to be recruited,” Hoyt said. “Michigan, Princeton, and Brown have already reached out to her.”
Both their names will be added to the perpetual trophies that have the names of every winner engraved on them going back to the first graduating class in 1960.
There’s another school wide award the Pirates hand out — the Good Gal and Good Guy Awards given to students that not only perform on the field and in the pool, but are inspirations to their teammates and set proper examples of sportsmanship and love of team and school.
This year’s Good Gal and Guy Awards went to Hannah Colleti and Charlie Fryer, Hoyt said.
New this year was the Ron Roundy Family Scholarship Award begun by the family of the late-Ron Roundy, who was a big supporter of the school cross country program, organizing fun run fundraisers in Baywood Park for nearly 30 years.
Roundy’s daughter, Faye Padayachee (“Faye Roundy” when she attended MBHS and was a cross country standout), spoke for the family and said that her father continued to support the cross country program long after she and her brothers had graduated.
She said they estimated that over the years, the Oktoberfest and June Fest Fun Runs raised about $75,000 for the program. The first of the Roundy Family scholarships was given to Dylan Bueno.
The Athletic Boosters Club handed out four scholarships, going to: Alejandro Alvarez, John Skaggs, Samantha Rocha, and Carmen Spahr.
The Platinum Pirates Awards are more than Most Valuable Player Awards and also take into consideration a more, well-rounded student athlete, one who helps and encourages his or her teammates, contributes to their teams on and off the field and positively contributes to the school community.
Award winners this year were: Gabe Paul for Baseball; Alfredo Castillo and Bella Musloff for Boys and Girls Basketball respectively; Isa Rojas for competitive cheerleading; Michael Carbajal and Noleena Fahy for Cross Country; Nami Hoag for Football; Jonas Smith and Sydney Laughlin for Boys and Girls Golf respectively; Sammy Sweeney for (girls) Sand Volleyball; Jessica Chavez and Jesus Ruvalcaba for Girls and Boys soccer; Channell Thibodeaux for Softball; Jude Moore and Maya Hitchcock for Boys and Girls Swimming and Diving; and Jackson Hanson and Nellie Calderwood for Boys and Girls Tennis.
Blackwood and Kate Avila were honored in Track & Field; Max Taylor and Reese Mischel in Boys and Girls Volleyball respectively; Emory Wishon and Devyn Downing for Boys and Girls Water Polo; and Laiza Lerio and Josiah Lieberman for Girls and Boys Wrestling.
Estero Bay News asked Hoyt how his first year as athletic director went?
“This was my first year as the athletic director for Morro Bay High,” Hoyt said. “In the fall, we had seven out of eight teams make the CIF Playoffs with girls water polo making a deep run to finish second in the Division II Playoff bracket for their second year in a row.
“In the winter, we had five out of six teams making the playoffs with boys and girls soccer both making deeper runs in the playoffs than they have in years. In the gym, we hosted CIF for both boys and girls wrestling, and we had the honor of watching sophomore, Shea Dawson, win a CIF title in his home gym.
“In the spring, five out of 11 teams made the playoffs.”
The sports program as a whole is in fine shape. “With a school population just under 800 students and 25 teams,” Hoyt said, “we have done an incredible job fielding competitive teams locally and across the Section.
“Looking forward, I am excited to continue to build on our successes and foster more partnerships across the youth athletic programs in Cayucos, Los Osos, and Morro Bay in the years to come.”