Cambria’s Angie and Sean Kennedy have abundant reasons to be very proud this spring. Their eldest son, Riley Kennedy, a standout in football, baseball and basketball, was named Coast Union High School’s “Male Athlete of the Year” in his final year as a Bronco.
Their daughter, Ellie Kennedy, entering her junior year, was named to the Coast Valley League’s second team in basketball and showed “great leadership and aptitude” on the 2017 volleyball team, according to her coach, Pam Kenyon. In the basketball team's playoff game against Santa Clara, she scored six points, grabbed five rebounds and had a pair of steals.
In the meantime, following his final year of Little League eligibility, 13-year-old Caiden Kennedy has won the Kniffen Award — given to the Little League player who demonstrates grace and leadership on and off the field. The Kniffen Award winner is also selected for demonstrating sportsmanship and a love of the game.
Caiden Kennedy’s Little League coach, Matt Saunders, said he “Represents the epitome of what the Kniffen Award means. He is one of those kids that would simply say, ‘Yes coach,’ and figure out a way to play both shortstop and second base at the same time.”
He was always working towards ways “to keep his team in the game, and he encouraged his fellow players to keep fighting,” Saunders said.
He was a player “who never backed down from pressure situations and instead embraced it as an opportunity to the groups’ overall success,” he said.
Previous winners of the Kniffen Award include: Aiden Kasper (2017), Zach Stephenson (2016), Emany Plasencia (2015), Carlos Guizar (2014), Edgar Nunez (2013), Thor Ronemus and Will Stephenson (2012) and Alexis Mireles in the initial year of the award (2011).