On Thursday, May 31st, KIPP San Jose Collegiate held their 2nd Annual Signing Day Celebration, where seniors announce what colleges they will be attending and the school hands out various awards to students and community members throughout the evening. The Athletics Department bestowed 7 honors on student-athletes and community members at the event. The first set of awards handed out were the Alpha Award, which recognizes a senior male and female student athlete that demonstrates excellence in academics, sportsmanship, and athletics. This 2018 recipients were Gabriela Melendez-Quan (G. Volleyball) and Tyler Thai (Golf).
Melendez-Quan played for the Girls Volleyball Team. She was the team captain, was named to the PSAL 2nd team All-League, and she was among the league leaders in assists, aces, and digs. While doing all this, she was also a leader in the classroom, achieving a 4.3 GPA. She will be attending Bowdoin this fall.
Thai was a golfer. He helped start the program when it was just a club 4 years ago, and he was the captain when the team began competing as an official sport at the CCS level. He helped grow the sport at KSJC, and led his team to a CCS Scholastic Team Championship. He’s also a leader in the classroom, earning a 4.1 GPA. He will be attending Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in the fall.
The second set of awards given out was for the Neal Finch Award for Athletic Excellence. This award is named after the first Athletic Director at KSJC, who through his hard work and effort, established a strong program that serves almost half of our student population. The recipients of the award are being recognized for demonstrating excellence on the field of play during the 2017-18 school year. The 2018 recipients were Kaylana Becerra (G. Volleyball, G. Soccer, Softball) and Isaias Luna-Ramirez (B. Soccer).
Luna-Ramirez has been a starter on the boys soccer team for three years now. During a rebuilding year, he was consistently a stand out on the defensive end, keeping his team in games over and over again as he made one highlight reel save after another. This year, he stepped up and took a leading role on the team, serving as one of our most vocal upperclassmen on the team. Only a junior, he is already the KSJC Career Shutouts Record Holder. He was recognized earlier this year on the PSAL 1st Team All-League.
Becerra was a three-sport athlete who exemplifies what it means to be an all-around star. She has played 4 sports over her career at KSJC, but this year, she was an impact player for Volleyball, and a captain for Girls Soccer and Girls Softball. Over the course of her career, she has made an All-League team 5 times. This year, she helped lead the Volleyball and Softball teams to their best league records in school history. She was also recognized earlier this year for her efforts on the softball field by Prep2Prep News in their Honor Roll Series.
The final award given out is the Omega Award, which is given to one or more KSJC community members that have contributed a great deal to the Athletics Department, even though they typically are not recognized for their efforts. They selflessly give their time and energy to ensure the success of the Athletics Program. This year, three community members earned this distinction: Faroogh Quadri, Jennifer Ibarra, and Isis Diaz.
Quadri is a parent of two student-athletes who has contributed a great deal of time and energy to the Athletics Program. She always volunteers to help drive to cross country meet or soccer games, even when the request is made at the very last minute. She has dropped everything for the student-athletes to help get them to our competitions. She has volunteered to sell food at games and helps in coordinating banquets for various teams. Not only does she do a great deal for athletics, but she has also helped in various other functions around campus, helping with Robotics Club and parent fundraisers. She has been an indispensable part of the Athletics Program for the past 4 years, and we’re excited to continue to work with her in the years to come.
Ibarra is known as the “Student Athletic Director.” She’s served as Mr. McCormack’s T.A. all year, and more so than any other T.A. McCormack has had, she has done a tremendous amount of work helping the Athletics Department, whether that has been creating flyers for events, helping teams set up before games, or even filing in as a sub for our softball team when they didn’t have enough players. She’s been the ultimate team player, and many of the Athletics Departments’ accomplishments this year wouldn’t be possible without her hard work behind the scenes.
Our last Omega Award recipient, Diaz, has gone above and beyond in helping establish fundraisers for the Athletics Department, and in many ways serving as an unofficial assistant AD to Mr. McCormack for the past year and a half before Ms. Dela Rosa was hired. She always volunteers to pitch in where help is needed, and has helped to fundraise over $35,000 for the Athletics Department the past two years, money which has helped to develop the program and provide numerous opportunities to students on campus. This year, she served as a coach for the Girls JV Basketball program, and has really served in any way needed.
Congratulations and thank you to all our award winners for 2018! Howl on, Wolfpack! Howl on!