Emany Plasencia, a member of the Cambria Reds Intermediate Little League squad, has received the Steve Kniffen Award, given each season to the 12-year-old player who best demonstrates outstanding leadership, sportsmanship and a true love of the game.
Plasencia, who received the award Saturday, June 6, during Little League Closing Ceremonies at Lila Kaiser Park in Morro Bay, is the kind of kid who is “happy and kind and fun” and is always the first to arrive at practices and the last to leave, according to Reds Coach Gary Stephenson.
The award is voted on by all three Cambria Little League coaches, and it was given to Plasencia this season for his excellent baseball skills, his support for his teammates and his interaction with opponents, Stephenson added.
“He always goes out of his way to be kind and considerate,” his coach said.
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Recent Kniffen Award winners who play for CUHS teams include: Alexis Mireles in 2011 (starting quarterback for the Broncos and the top seed in boys tennis); Will Stephenson and Thor Ronemus in 2012 (Stephenson was given honorable mention on the All-Coast Valley League baseball team in 2015); Chase Volz and Edgar Nunez in 2013 (both played Bronco varsity baseball in 2015; Volz made second team on the All-CVL team); and Carlos Guizar in 2014.
The Cambria Reds Little League team edged the Los Osos Yankees 12-11 on Saturday, May 30, at Leffingwell Park.
Gary Stephenson said a dramatic catch on a foul ball by Zack Stephenson in the seventh inning — with the tying run on second base — sealed the deal for the Reds.
The coach also pointed to the “great” three-inning pitching performance by David Amodei — and the fine defensive contributions provided by Plasencia, Ethan Hoffman, Riley Volz and Nate Markham — as key reasons for the victory.
“We needed that win,” Gary Stephenson said, reflecting on his team’s recent struggles.
The Cambria Giants Little League squad scored just one run but surrendered 11 runs against the Morro Bay A’s on Saturday, May 30. On Tuesday, June 2, the Giants fell 14-5 to the Morro Bay Pirates.
Coach Matt Saunders pointed to a gutsy steal of home by Giant Alex DeAlba and terrific defense by Ben Merlos as outstanding contributions.