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Boys’ Athlete of the Year: Success was twice as nice for Providence’s Whitaker

Photo Gallery: Providence boys’ basketball in first-round CIF playoff against Garey
Providence High’s Bryce Whitaker helped the Pioneers boys’ basketball and boys’ track and field teams to Prep League titles.
(Tim Berger / Staff Photographer)

Athlete Bryce Whitaker was able to enjoy an impressive accomplishment during the 2018-19 campaign for Providence High.

As a junior, Whitaker was a member of two of the school’s most successful teams, as both squads earned the lone league championships in the new Prep League.

Whitaker was a starter on the Pioneers boys’ basketball squad that stormed to a league crown without dropping a game. In addition, he was instrumental in helping Providence advance to a CIF Southern Section title game and enjoy a lengthy playoff run.

For his efforts, Whitaker earned All-CIF Southern Section honors

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In the spring, Whitaker enjoyed a wealth of success in track and field. The junior won individual and relay titles and assisted in the Pioneers in securing a championship in their initial season in the Prep League.

It is because of those accomplishments that Whitaker has been named the Burbank Leader Boys’ Athlete of the Year for the 2018-19 campaign.

By far, the most successful team at Providence for the year was boys’ basketball.

After some tough nonleague games and some challenging tournaments, the Pioneers (28-8) celebrated their first season in the Prep League with a championship, going 8-0.

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In the Southern Section Division IV-A playoffs, Providence advanced to only the program’s second championship, defeating Foothill Tech, Pomona, Wisburn-Va Vinci and Orange Vista to earn a title shot.

Unfortunately for the Pioneers, the No. 1 seed, they fell to Ribet Academy, 56-45, in the CIF title contest.

The team continued to make history by winning two games in the CIF State Southern California Regional Division IV playoffs, losing to in the regional semifinals to Silverado, 50-41.

Pioneers juniors A’jahni Levias and Jordan Shelley were named to the Division IV-A first team, while Whitaker was a second-team selection after averaging 9.9 points, 4.6 rebounds, 5.1 assists and two steals a game.

Providence coach Brandon Lincoln was named the division’s coach of the year.

In track and field in the spring, Whitaker stepped up and helped Providence secure a Prep League title with a slim win over Pasadena Poly, 99-98.

At the league finals, Whitaker won the triple jump (42 feet, 6 1/2) and qualified in the long jump (third; 19-4). He also teamed up with Lucas Weaver, Jaden Baker and Ryan Clemens to take the 4x100-meter relay in 45.13 seconds and worked with Nick Montijo, Clemens and Diego Pieragostino for a victory in the 4x400 relay in 3:42.18.

Whitaker advanced to the CIF Division IV finals, recording a fifth-place finish in triple jump with a 41-5 1/2 mark.


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