SANTA MARIA, Calif. - For one final time during the current 2016-17 school year, athletes gathered Wednesday night for the season-ending Northern Santa Barbara County Athletic Round Table Hall of Fame Recognition Banquet.
Held at the Santa Maria Elks Lodge, the event including dozens of top local athletes, family members, coaches, teachers, administrators and community members.
After a traditional Elks Lodge meal and Hall of Fame inductions, emcee Steve Lavagnino announced the four major award winners.
The female athlete of the year award went to Lompoc three-sport standout Cheyenne Marmolejo, who shined in basketball, volleyball and softball.
"There's a lot of great athletes on the Central Coast," said Marmolejo. "To be named the athlete of the year is such an honor, especially for Lompoc High. I've been playing sports since I was four years old, competing against boys until I was in high school, then going to the girls side and I haven't had a summer off since I was seven years old, so all the hard work has paid off and I really thank my dad especially."
The male athlete of the year was another Brave, Lompoc distance runner Isaac Acosta, who starred in cross country and track.
"I just want to make my family proud and my friends proud and to bring it back to Lompoc High," said Acosta. "To win athlete of the year is such a blessing really. I never thought I would win something like this, honestly. Running didn't come naturally to me. My grandpa told me my junior year that he had a brother that run cross country and track back then and that and I guess that's what made me the runner I am today, just looking up to my grandpa and his older brother. Maybe I have his genes."
The scholar athletes of the year went to a pair from Santa Ynez.
The male scholar was awarded to Blake Hadley, who participated in basketball and volleyball, while the female scholar athlete was awarded to tennis player Mary Kavaloski, who was not in attendance.
In addition to the awards given out to this year's top athletes, four individuals were recognized for past contributions with enshrinement to the Round Table Hall of Fame.
This year's 2017 Hall of Fame class includes former Lompoc football coach Mike Warren, former Cabrillo softball and tennis coach MaryBeth Stieber, former Allan Hancock College basketball coach and Santa Maria High School alum Bobby White and Santa Maria Valley community contributor Joe Hagerman.