SACRAMENTO, CALIF. — Ben Krongard (Francis Parker School), Natalie MacEwan (El Camino Real Charter High School), Nicholas Kull (El Dorado High School) and Sachi Land (Aptos High School) were named the recipients of the prestigious CIF Spirit of Sport Award for 2018 Winter and Spring respectively. The four statewide winners, along with the two Fall recipients, will receive an award, a patch, a $1,000 scholarship and be recognized at the year-end CIF Federated Council dinner on April 6, in San Jose.
The CIF Spirit of Sport Award recognizes student-athletes who have demonstrated the 16 principles of Pursuing Victory with Honorsm, are active in school and community service and exhibit leadership qualities. The principles of Pursuing Victory with Honorsm are the operating principles of the CIF and have been adopted by the 1,587-member high schools throughout the state.
“These recipients have exemplified the Spirit of Sport and reflect the positive elements of Pursuing Victory with Honorsm, reinforcing the value of education-based athletics,” said CIF Executive Director Roger L. Blake.
Additionally, the CIF selected a boy and girl Section winner, in each of the 10 Sections for each season of sport, from all submitted applications to receive $500. A list of all winter and spring 2018 Section recipients follows.
Ben Krongard is a three-sport athlete at Francis Parker School participating in football, soccer and baseball, and served as team captain of the soccer team this past year. He is also very involved in his school serving as yearbook Editor in Chief and as a member of the Chinese Honors Society. Additionally, Krongard has volunteered over 100 community service hours and has been a member of the Teen Volunteers in Action all four years.
“The spirit of sport then, is pushing through adversity, bouncing back from embarrassment, and taking on the challenges that in our everyday life we ignore or are too scared to confront. Additionally, it is remaining humble and determined to work hard when you succeed,” says Krongard. “The spirit of sport has made me the person I am today, both on and off the field. There are truly no experiences that challenge and each of us like playing a team sport!”
“Sportsmanship, ethics and strong resolve are cornerstones of Ben’s character,” stated Francis Park School Soccer Coach Jarrad Phillips. “His leadership by example and tremendous work ethic have garnered the immediate and continued respect of his peers and coaches.”
Natalie MacEwan is a three-sport athlete at El Camino Real Charter High School as a member of the volleyball, water polo and swimming teams. Additionally, she volunteers her time as one of the leaders for the National Youth Leadership Training Program, Venturing Boy Scouts of America and a host of other activities.
“Sports have become my most meaningful commitment because of the competition that comes from being on a sports team, the comradery between teammates, the opportunity to inspire and mentor others, the satisfaction of a victory or achieving your personal best, and because of becoming life ready through sport,” states MacEwan.
“In my experience with Natalie, she may not be the most physically gifted athlete, but she makes up for it with her character, her leadership, her passion and her work ethic,” commends El Camino Real Charter Athletic Director Richard Yi. “She embodies the Sprit that we want all of our students in the CIF-member schools to embrace.”
El Camino Real Charter Counselor Rachel Bereny adds, “Natalie’s resiliency and integrity has motivated her to work that much harder in school and life in general.”
Nicholas Kull is a three-sport athlete at El Dorado High School participating in volleyball, basketball and soccer. In the classroom he serves as a peer tutor in Algebra. Additionally, he has served his community as an Eagle Scout and volunteering at Snowline Hospice and for the Boys and Girls Club.
“Sportsmanship is learning how to channel the passion for winning while maintaining respect and love for the game and one’s competitors,” states Kull. “The love of the game is what motivates each athlete to excel in their sport. It is the foundation of all the experiences that fuel the fire within each athlete.”
“With all of Nick’s outstanding qualities, the one that I find most impressive and remarkable is his ability to accept and learn from mistakes and failure,” praised El Dorado High School Basketball Coach Thomas Spencer. “He has the confidence, positive outlook, and ability to motivate others when times are tough.”
El Dorado High School Math teacher Doug Round adds, “Knowledge of one’s subject, reliability and the ability to work well with others are all important to be successful in any career. Nick has shown that he possesses all three of these qualities in great measure.”
Sachi Land is a member of the track and field and soccer teams at Aptos High School. Additionally, she is a Red Cross Club member at her school having served in various leadership positions during her four years and also currently serves as the secretary for the Environmental Club. Land also works as a student athletic-trainer in the school Sports Medicine Program.
“In high school, sports have been monumentally important in shaping my goals and future,” stated Land. “They helped me grow mentally and physically and have introduced me to some of my best friends and mentors.”
“I can say without equivocation that she is a dynamic, intelligent and hard-working individual with great leadership skills,” praised Aptos High School Athletic Director Mark Dorfman. “More importantly, she is the glue of her teams. She is an articulate and passionate leader, and incredibly supportive teammate and a tireless worker.”
2018 CIF Winter Spirit of Sport SECTION Winners
Erik Elliott – Basketball, Sierra High School (Tollhouse)
Rhegan Fernandes – Basketball, Mission Oak High School (Tulare)
Central Coast Section
Aabid Ali – Soccer, Kipp San Jose Collegiate
Kahlea Santos – Basketball, Alma Heights Christian High School (Pacifica)
Los Angeles Section
Djuka Lylecyrus – Soccer, Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies
North Coast Section
Kyle Conway – Basketball, Credo High School (Rohnert Park)
Brooke Grialou – Basketball, Marin Catholic High School (Kentfield)
Kyle Matheson – Ski/Snowboarding, Weed High School
Shannon Jackson – Basketball, Weed High School
Alondra Casillas Franco – Basketball, Coliseum Prep Academy (Oakland)
Makale Bradley – Basketball, Skyline High School (Oakland)
Juan Ramon Capetillo – Soccer, Cristo Rey High School (Sacramento)
Erin Benning – Basketball, Hilmar High School
San Diego Section
Katya Pourteymour – Soccer, Cathedral Catholic High School (San Diego)
San Francisco Section
Junaid Noon – Soccer, Wallenberg High School (San Francisco)
Yasmin Jimenez – Basketball, Abraham Lincoln High School (San Francisco)
Phillip Hathaway – Basketball, El Dorado High School (Placentia)
Inez Gonzalez – Water Polo, Saddleback High School (Santa Ana)
2018 CIF Spring Spirit of Sport SECTION Winners
Dax Korenwinder – Baseball, Tulare Western High School
Sophie Jimenez – Track and Field, Central East High School (Fresno)
Central Coast Section
Liam Tveit – Volleyball, San Lorenzo Valley High School (Felton)
Eryn Lee – Softball, Saratoga High School
Los Angeles City Section
Magdalena Perez – Softball, Granada Hills Charter High School
North Coast Section
Jordan Phan – Track and Field, Novato High School
Cindy Yuan – Badminton, Mission San Jose High School (Fremont)
Ralph Gonzales – Baseball, Winters High School
Saydee Pevehouse – Softball, Fall River High School (McArthur)
Albert Mitchell – Track and Field, McClymonds High School (Oakland)
Neisha Moore – Track and Field, McClymonds High School (Oakland)
Violet Matlock – Softball, Mariposa County High School
San Diego Section
Michael Yourg – Baseball, Francis Parker School (San Diego)
Selena Serna – Softball, Hilltop High School (Chula Vista)
San Francisco Section
Reign LaFreniere – Track and Field, Ruth Asawa School of the Arts (San Francisco)
Kassandra Lacayo – Softball, Balboa High School (San Francisco)
Luke Lovett – Baseball, Lutheran High School (La Verne)
Isabelle Valdez – Softball, Orange Lutheran High School