It was an historical night for the Ken Hubbs Award on Monday night at Colton High School.
For the first time in the history of the award (which became the Ken Hubbs Award in 1973), there were female honorees.
Yucaipa’s Kodi Lavrusky took home the inaugural girls award, while San Gorgonio’s Ryan Hunter-Simms took home the boys award.
Lavrusky, who is headed to UCLA, is a standout soccer player and also played basketball at Yucaipa.
Hunter-Simms is a standout in both football and track, but it is track (shot put and discus) for which he is going to the University of Oregon.
Both are also standout students.
Prior to Monday, I can think of one interaction I had with each athlete.
For Lavrusky, it was after she lost in the playoffs in soccer her senior year. She was very gracious, but also spent time with some young Yucaipa soccer fans. She mentioned those fans in the interview after receiving the award on Monday.
“That (young fans) makes me want to live up to them,” Lavrusky said.
Hunter-Simms was a standout lineman, but I spoke to him just last week at the San Andreas League finals, after he set a league finals record in the discus. He was very gracious and polite in answering questions about his performance. Much like he was on Monday.
This is the first year I have covered the Hubbs Award, named after the legendary Colton High athlete who tragically died in a plane crash in 1964. Believe it or not, I carried a 1963 Topps Ken Hubbs baseball card in my pocket to the ceremonuy at Colton High’s Ken Hubbs Gym.
San Bernardino High product and former NFL player Mark Seay spoke at the ceremony, encouraging the 42 seniors (2 of the 44 honored were unable to attend) to not give up. We also saw a video, which I am sure has been showed many years, of the Ken Hubbs story.
As far as I can tell, Lavrusky and Hunter-Simms are worthy recipients of the award.
Here is the list of all 44 honorees:
A.B. Miller: Chanel Gonzales and Ray Sanchez
Aquinas: Danielle Vega and Burrell Handy
Arrowhead Christian: Jordan Denmark and David Proctor
Arroyo Valley: Jenna Grande and Xavier Chavira
Big Bear: Cori Burks and Zakk Planz
Bloomington: Jackeline Lopez and Michael Haney
Cajon: Miranda Corneliussen and Damonte Kazee
Carter: Janessa Brown and Nathaniel Akingbemi
Citrus Valley: Kaitlyn Herrin and Nathan Davidson
Colton: Kaylie Garcia and Tyler Rich
Eisenhower: Kijera Gardner and Marvelle Harris
Fontana: Jennifer Barrios and Carlos Cruz
Kaiser: Alondra Rivera and Aisea Hansen
Pacific: Edith Jimenez-Flores and J.C. Eastwood
Redlands: Megan Borman and Tyler Fields
Redlands East Valley: Alyssa Mason and Kevin Womack
Rialto: Denae “Mary” Williams and Thomas Pegues
Rim of the World: Nicole Bartholome and Wyatt Walsh
San Bernardino: Darilnica McClendon and Aaron Cisneros
San Gorgonio: Gabrielle Sandate and Ryan Hunter-Simms
Summit: Kristen Drewitz and Donte Deayon
Yucaipa: Kodi Lavrusky and Alex Durham