Tradition sets in on campuses across Orange County this time of year.
It's a time when school finals take place, preceding yearbook signing,
caps and gowns, commencement speeches and, finally, graduation.
It is also a time of year when most schools reveal whom students and
staff have selected as tops in the graduating senior class.
Laguna Beach High has named its male and female athletes of the year
for the 2001-02 school year.
Jason Boyd and Martina Speare have been named the recipients of this
The criteria for an athlete to be nominated included success as a
multi-sport athlete, in scholarship and citizenship.
Other criteria considered was whether an athlete received an MVP or
other valued team award, and some recognition as all-league or All-CIF
Southern Section. Being a senior is not a requirement.
Below is a look at what Boyd and Speare accomplished during their
final year at Laguna Beach High.
Boyd was a two-way sports standout for the Artists, playing both
football and basketball. Being named the school's male athlete of the
year caught the 18-year-old somewhat off guard.
"It's pretty unexpected but pretty cool. There are a lot of good
athletes at this school, so I consider this a big honor," he said.
The 5-foot-10, 170-pound Boyd began his senior year with an
outstanding turn on the football field.
Starting at free safety and playing some at the receiver and running
back positions, Boyd went on to be one of the team's top tacklers. He
also had a couple of forced fumbles and recoveries.
Boyd concluded his two-year varsity career by earning the team's 2001
MVP award, was named second team All-Pacific Coast League and to top it
off, was named All-CIF Southern Section Division IV.
Boyd's summer sports schedule was full as football at times overlapped
with afternoon basketball games. On some occasions, he'd go from football
to basketball practice, then sprint back to the stadium for more football
He served as team captain on the basketball team in the winter
averaging 10 points per game.
"Jason's a great person who displays great leadership qualities," said
Laguna Beach Athletic Director Mario Morales. "He's a quiet and humble
kid who is a strong scholar-athlete."
Boyd is bound this fall for San Diego State and is thinking of trying
out for the Aztec football team this summer.
"I'm looking forward to the challenge," he added.
Perhaps the greatest feat Martina Speare accomplished this school year
was that of becoming a master juggler.
This vivacious 17-year-old, who is headed to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo
in the fall, played volleyball, soccer and softball, and still managed to
play alto saxophone in the Artists' marching band and with the jazz and
And she did it all superbly.
In volleyball, the 5-8 1/2 outside hitter, a second team All-PCL
selection and Coaches Award winner, played a pivotal role in Laguna
Beach's march to the CIF-SS Division IV championship match last November.
That role, both as a player and person, drew heavy praise from her
coach, Shawn Patchell.
"I can talk forever about Martina," he said. "She was an impact player
who probably knew better than anyone on the team what her role was.
"She is among the top three kids that I've ever coached and probably
the biggest compliment I can pay Martina is that my kids just love her."
In softball, Speare was first team All-PCL as a shortstop, team MVP
and one of two chosen from the program as a recipient of the 2002
On the soccer field the fullback, sweeper and goalie won the 2002
"What I enjoyed most about playing sports is the part of working
together as a team," said Speare, who does volunteer work through the
National Charity League and Community Services National Charity League.