Cambrian: Sports

Postseason honors awarded for Coast Union basketball, soccer

Awards have been announced for basketball and soccer teams at Coast Union High School. Boys soccer coach Luis Plasencia honored Danny Pena as the team’s MVP. Cesar Hernandez was designated as the Most Improved player; and Diego Leonardo received the Outstanding Defensive Player award.

▪  Girls soccer: Coach Victoria McConnell named Cynthia Cadena as the MVP for the team. Maria Castillo was given the Most Improved award, and Karina Mendoza was given the Coach’s Award for the Lady Broncos.

▪  Girls basketball: Emily McAvoy was named MVP by coach Bobby Youngs. Ellie Kennedy received the Most Improved award, and Karis Lawson was given the Coach’s Award.

The Coast Valley League awards were also announced last week, and Lawson was named MVP of the CVL. Kennedy and McAvoy were named to the All-CVL first team, and Meg Stern received honorable mention for her efforts.

▪  Boys basketball: Coach Tim May — who led his 22-4 team to the CIF Southern Section Division 5A semifinal game, the first time a boys varsity basketball team got that far in 27 years — honored Jez Lawson as the MVP.

“Jez is a once-in-a-generation type of player. … He was our team leader in so many ways,” May explained in an email interview.

Auggie Johnson was given the Offensive Player of the Year award by May. Even though the coach put “handcuffs” on his 3-point shooters (Johnson was the Bronco standout from the 3-point arc) during the CVL season, because May didn’t like “running up the score” in games Coast was dominating, Johnson still led the team in scoring with 321 points.

Roberto Cueva won the Defensive Player of the Year award.

“He thrived as our defensive anchor … he did a great job communicating screens, talking to players … and adopting the philosophy of limiting the opposing team to one shot per possession,” May explained.

And May gave the Coach’s Award to Jack MacKinnon. May said as a coach he “rarely gives out this award,” but when it came to Jack’s extraordinary energy on the court, “He’s a gamer, he is locked in every game … he does not care what team we are playing … because he just wants to play the game the right way.”

▪  The Coast Valley League awards: Lawson was MVP; Johnson and Jack MacKinnon made the All-CVL first team; Riley Kennedy made the All-CVL second team; and Cueva received honorable mention.

▪  Boys JV basketball: Coach Michael McAvoy gave the MVP award to David Amodei, whom the coach called “the epitome of a fearless shooter. His energy and passion are contagious. … He has the ability to block out the negative and focus on the next shot. He has a natural self-confidence,” McAvoy explained in an email interview.

David Nolan received the “Defensive MVP” award because, according to McAvoy, “He was asked to defend guys who seemed to be about 50 pounds bigger, yet he did it with enthusiasm and solid effort. Nolan’s ability to work the boards on both sides was one of the keys to our success.”

The Coach’s Award was given to David May, McAvoy reported.

“He is the teammate who is always willing to speak up in an effort to help the team.” Calling May the “blue collar” player, the coach added, “He was our halftime locker room coach … the voice of reason and respect.”

A deeper story on the recent successful boys varsity and junior varsity seasons will be presented in next week’s Cambrian, in Pacing Through the Pines.