- Published on Tuesday, 18 May 1999 20:33
- Written by Town Crier Staff Report
Gabe Garcia of St. Francis High and Sean Williams of Los Altos High were among the 12 boys finalists for the spring California Interscholastic Federation Sportsmanship/Citizenship Award.
Jeremiah Fillo of Downieville was selected as the winner of the boys' award. Fillo and girls' winner Elizabeth Schunk of Novato were honored May 7 at the State CIF Federated Council dinner.
Selecting the winners wasn't easy, however, according to CIF executive director Jack Hayes.
"This is a most impressive group of young students," Hayes said. "They are an integral part of what sport is all about - fair play, integrity and respect for teammates, coaches, officials and opponents."
Garcia and Williams, both seniors, made the finalist list for their work on and off the playing field.
Garcia has competed in football, wrestling and baseball at St. Francis and also found the time to coach a youth baseball camp at Stanford University. He also has volunteered at San Mateo Convalescent Hospital, Samaritan House and Habitat for Humanity. In addition, Garcia is an Eagle Scout and organized, supervised and worked with a group of scouts to renovate a city park in San Mateo. For his work, Garcia received a commendation from the San Mateo City Council.
"Gabe's most visible mark is in the area of leadership," St. Francis guidance counselor Tom Tuite wrote in a letter to the CIF. "His style is not outgoing or flamboyant. The quality he possesses is quiet charisma. He has a presence that others respect. This can be seen in the classroom, in student government and in athletics."
Williams, the captain of both his high school cross country and track and field team, serves as the Associated Student Body (ASB) vice president at Los Altos. He is the vice president and co-founder of the school's Alcohol and Drug Free Club and was head of the homecoming parade committee. Williams also was in charge of the 1998 freshmen orientation.
"He is always the first to introduce himself to new runners and to help them meet everyone on the team, both in practice and during the school day," Los Altos cross country coach Margaret Bennett wrote in her letter to the CIF. "It was his idea to institute our team's 'take a runner to lunch' day where upperclassmen host freshmen and new runners for lunch. In every team meeting he gives fresh words of encouragement and positive feedback to his teammates."
The CIF Sportsmanship/Citizenship Award was established this school year and the first winners were selected last fall. Nominations are made by CIF member high schools.