ix Honored as Athletes of the Month

Written by Neil Farrell

Neil has been a journalist covering the Estero Bay Area for over 27 years. He’s won numerous journalism awards in several different categories over his career.

April 1, 2024

By Neil Farrell


ach month, the Athletic Boosters of Morro Bay High School celebrates some of the amazing students/athletes that are representing Morro Bay High School.  

The Morro Bay High Booster’s Club is honoring six Pirate athletes with Athlete of the Month Honors for March 2024. 

This month’s honorees are: girls beach volleyball players Keolani Cross and Jane Taylor; track and field athletes Nami Hoag and Luca Macari; girls swimmer Tessa Standridge; and boys golf player, Jonas Smith.

Girls Sand Volleyball

Beach Volleyball Coach, Kate Yarbrough, named Cross and Taylor as her team’s Athletes of the Month. 

Both young women demonstrate on and off the court their commitment to individual and team improvement, Coach Yarbrough said, not only in their physical skills but their mature personalities and welcoming, encouraging attitudes.

“Keolani asks all the right questions and takes in every bit of coaching and turns it rapidly into results,” Coach Yarbrough said. “She is the player always asking for more — more repetitions, more workouts, more feedback, more anything to get better, and motivates her peers to work harder by setting that example.

Though just a sophomore, Cross is showing a lot of leadership. “She takes pleasure in helping less experienced players grow their game and grow our program,” the coach said, “and shows up every day with a smile and exceptional work ethic. She is one of the most elite athletes in our program and is crucial in adding wins to our record, but more importantly adds wisdom, kindness, and demonstrates in all her actions what it means to be a team player. All teams should be so fortunate to have an athlete like Keolani in their program.”

Taylor shows a lot of maturity for such a young age. “Jane gives and takes advice at a maturity level far beyond her years,” Coach Yarbrough said. “She is able to discuss her game at a deeply intellectual level and has the physical capabilities to back it up in action.”

Taylor’s a force in the huddle. “In team huddles,” the coach said, “she always notices the little details about her own performance and that of her teammates, and she has become most trusted by her peers to say something positive, encouraging, honest, and helpful. Jane is the leader in communication in our program, both during rallies, giving feedback during practices, and liaising between her fellow teammates and coaches.”

Already a great athlete, Taylor shows signs of continued growth. “Her incredible athleticism is only made stronger by the fact that her improvement is continuous and completely self-driven,” Coach Yarbrough said. “Jane is the kind of athlete all coaches want to have as a leader in their program.”

Track & Field 

Coach Jennifer Frere named Hoag and Macari as her Athletes of the Month. “Nami Hoag is a senior leader and sets an example for our younger athletes,” Coach Frere said. “He motivates others to do their best. He tries new events and is always looking for ways to improve. He is setting new personal records and has his sights set on success at CIF.”

Macari always gives his best effort. “He is on time to practice everyday and shows up ready to work,” Coach Frere said. “He is willing to try new events and is a team player. Luca is consistently improving as a result.”

Girls Swimming

Girl’s Swim Team Coach Laure Carpenter, praised her Athlete of the Month, Standridge for a great comeback from injury. 

“After missing out on competing due to an injury last season, Tessa is back and full of fierce energy this season,” said Coach Carpenter. “As our team’s leading breaststroker, she shows excellence in many areas: acting as one of our upperclassmen role models, moving as a force in the weight room, and maintaining a consistent drive to improve in the pool.”

Standridge strives to get better all the time. “She is always looking for ways to refine her talents,” Coach Carpenter said, “and is not one to shy away from a challenge. She is a multi-faceted, multi-sport athlete who completes our team in the best way, and she also has the ability to make anyone on the team laugh or smile. I’m proud to be her coach!”

Boys Golf

Boys’ Golf Coach Sean Allstot said Smith recently played scratch golf — shooting an impressive, even par, 72, in the opening league tournament. “This score led the tournament and anchored MBHS to the team victory!” he said.

Estero Bay News congratulates all the Student Athletes of the Month for March 2024. Go Pirates!

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