Pacific Coast League Awards Senior Athletes For Character and Performance


Photo Courtesy of Katherine Levensailor

Although this year’s ceremony was held on a virtual platform, the celebrations of these athletes remained strong. Principal John Pehrson said, “in no way [the process] diminishes our admiration or gratitude for all you do and what you stand for.”

Bia Shok, Staff Writer

At the 2019-20 Pacific Coast League Senior Student Athlete Awards Virtual Ceremony on May 20, varsity water polo player Shaivi Bandatmakur and varsity football player Kaveh Wojtowich received scholar athlete awards while varsity tennis player Lauren Hwang and varsity football player Kai Horn received sportsmanship awards.

The Senior Scholar Athlete Award recognizes “seniors who have maintained a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher” over their high school careers and “have made significant contributions on the varsity level for their respective sports,” according to athletics director Katherine Levensailor. 

“Receiving the award makes me feel like a lot of my hard work has paid off, because athlete of the year was something that has been my goal since I started high school,” Wojtowich said. “I would like Portola athletes to respect their coaches, cherish every moment, never quit no matter what you are feeling and take care of your family and school as much as your sports. I want younger athletes to know that if you give your all in practice and in the classroom, be respectful and grateful to those who help you and keep your priorities in line, success will come naturally.”

The sportsmanship award is granted to one female and one male senior athlete who exhibits “trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship” and is a unique award to PCL that celebrates athletes with outstanding character on and off-court, according to Levensailor. 

“I would thank my coach and my teammates for not only this award but for all the support and memories throughout my high school years. They’ve been a second family to me, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without them,” Hwang said. “I hope that future student-athletes at Portola continue to uphold our PRIDE values and be there for each other whether that be by attending other sports games or even high five-ing a teammate on the court, field, track or pool.”

Because the award focuses on the athlete’s character and personality along with their excellence in the sport, the award is harder to obtain and more rewarding. 

“It honors students that have demonstrated not only strong athletic prowess but really strong character while competing,” principal John Pehrson said in the ceremony. “It’s a lot about what you offer your team and how you lead and the type of person that you are as a competitor. You have been demonstrating this in whatever sports you are in, and whatever venues and whatever arenas you compete in, and you have been recognized by teammates, your coaches as well as your fans.”