Many local senior athletes have already traded in their uniforms for caps and gowns, as they graduated from high school recently.
Instead of performing to the roars of the crowd, they received their diplomas to the strains of Pomp and Circumstance.
While many seniors are moving on to try their success at the college level, prep underclassmen are looking forward to what the next school year will bring.
However, before this school year fades away completely, let’s take one last look back at the events and individuals that made an impact.
The year saw its share of remarkable achievements; successful teams and outstanding individuals who helped make the campaign memorable.
But along with the successes come disappointing moments and unique happenings that deserve recognition.
As is the yearly tradition, these deserving athletes, coaches and events from the four high schools — Burbank, Burroughs, Providence and Bellarmine-Jefferson — should be given special treatment.
So, here is this year’s list of Tully Trophy winners. To be a recipient, an individual, team or school has to exhibit meritorious or worthy accomplishments. Either that, or they have to have done something stupid or strange.
So, without further adieu, here are the winners from the 2011-12 school year.
•The historical run trophy goes to Burroughs running back Zander Anding. The senior broke school records and had the finest season by a running back in city history, rushing for 2,686 yards in 204 carries with 26 touchdowns.
•The it’s about time trophy is awarded to those involved in the Memorial Field restoration project. Although it was decades in the making, took years of planning and months of construction, the project was finally finished in February.
•The what were you thinking trophy is given to the designer of the scoreboard at the newly refurbished Memorial Field. All over the venue the proper name of the facility, “Memorial Field” is prominently displayed. However, when the football field was dedicated, many in attendance noticed that the scoreboard read “Memorial Stadium.”
•The instant impact trophy goes to Providence freshman boys’ basketball player Marcus LoVett Jr. In his first year with the Pioneers, he helped lead the team to its first-ever appearance in a CIF Southern Section championship game. In addition, LoVett earned his share of awards after averaging 31.7 points a game, which was best in the nation among freshmen.
•The dramatic turnaround trophy goes to the Providence baseball team. After going 0-12 in 2011, the Pioneers surged back with season, finishing the year with a 9-4 record. It was the most wins by the program in more than a decade.
•The screaming meemie trophy goes to the mother of a Bell-Jeff football and baseball player. The mother is so loud at games, and her rants so intense, that she could easily drown out an air raid siren.
•The second time around trophy is awarded to the Bell-Jeff softball team. For the second consecutive year, the Guards advanced to the CIF Southern Section Division VII championship game, only to lose to the same team — Pomona Catholic — by one run again.
•The hate to see you go trophy is given to Bell-Jeff girls’ basketball standout Rishonda Napier. Napier, who graduated and is heading to Southern Illinois University, used her talents to help the Guards earn CIF Southern Section as well as state championships. She is also one of the nicest, well-mannered players you will ever meet.
•The heading in the right direction trophy goes to the Burroughs baseball team and Coach Kiel Holmes. After the program was shut down in 2011 because of an underage drinking scandal, Holmes came in, straightened things out and help lead the Indians make it to the postseason in 2012.
•The unlikely run trophy is awarded to the Burbank girls’ basketball team. Although being the 13th seed in the Southern Section Division I-A playoffs, the Bulldogs advanced to the semifinals for the first time in school history. Burbank also qualified for state competition for the first time.
•The making a statement trophy is given to Burroughs senior distance runner Anthony Monroy. Monroy ended his cross-country career with the Indians by qualifying for the CIF-State Cross-Country Championships for the second straight year.
•The coach of the year trophy goes to Andrew Bencze of Providence. Bencze took a girls’ basketball team with no stars — and minus one of its key players who was injured — and led it to the most productive playoff run in program history. The Pioneers (27-6) advanced to the CIF Southern Section Division V-AA semifinals for the first time and further made history my making it to the regional semifinals of the state playoffs.
•The ending of the streak trophy goes to the Bell-Jeff baseball team, which saw its string of nine straight playoff appearances end during the 2012 season.
•The streak continues trophy is given to the Bell-Jeff girls’ volleyball team, which captured its sixth straight Santa Cruz League title.
All the winners can step forward and claim their awards. And please, keep your speeches brief.