The 47th annual Ken Hubbs Athlete of the Year award was given to San Gorgonio’s Paul Rodriguez at the Elks Club in San Bernardino tonight. Rodriguez, a four-sport star in football, basketball, volleyball and track for the Spartans, is the second San G athlete to receive the award, joining 1986 winner Tony Kounas.
Rodriguez was especially gifted in football for San G, making the first-team all-Sun team as an offensive lineman this past season while receiving a full scholarship to San Diego State. Rodriguez will play for the Aztecs this fall.
“It’s amazing to read some of the names of the guys who have won it and be among some of the athletes from other schools that you just hear about in the newspaper,” Rodriguez said. “I played against (2010 winner) Derrick Malone last year and he’s just a beast. You see guys like Ronnie Lott who made the NFL on the list and you want to be there right with them. I want to join them and add to the award.”
The committee also recognized two female athletes for the first time in the award’s 47-year history, honoring Redlands East Valley volleyball player Krista Vansant and Rialto basketball player Janae Sharpe. Perhaps inspired by the duo, the Hubbs committee also announced that it will be given out female school and overall winners annually started next year to go along with the annual male award.
“I think it’s great that girls are going to get the same amount of recognition that guys are,” Vansant said. “I feel fortunate to have helped bring that about a little bit along with Janae. I think having the two of us here really helped get this done and will help get more deserving girls recognized.”
The individual school winners were also honored Monday. They were Kyle Didier (Aquinas), Charles Izydorek (Arrowhead Christian), Jordan Boothe (Arroyo Valley), Paul Topoleski (Big Bear), Alexander Cruz (Bloomington), Thomas Carter (Cajon), Steven Reneau (Carter), Devan Hussey (Colton), Bernard Ireland (Eisenhower), Isac Fonseca (Fontana), Shaun Bradley (Kaiser), Kendall Chambliss (Miller), Carlos Espinoza (Pacific), Nolan Brown (Redlands), Chris Mecate (Redlands East Valley), Enrique Lopez (Rialto), Dillon Pretzinger (Rim of the World), Choncey White (San Bernardino), Dorian Cason (Summit) and Jordan Morris (Yucaipa).