Small schoolers snag CIF state honors

South Fork of Miranda, which is located in the Humboldt-Del Norte region of the state surrounded by redwoods and only has an enrollment of 299, and Mammoth High of Mammoth Lakes, the highest high school in the state by elevation with an enrollment of approximately 20 less than South Fork, have produced this year’s CIF/Farmers Scholar-Athletes of the Year.

For two very small schools to produce these two statewide winners over all others who submitted candidacies is quite amazing. The full press release from the CIF, including all of the section winners, follows:

SACRAMENTO – Amanda Kirkeby from Mammoth High School and Cole Moody from South Fork High School were selected as the 2015 CIF/Farmers Scholar-Athletes of the Year. Twenty CIF Section winners, moreover, were recognized. Since 1982, the scholarship award identifies student-athletes who excel in the classroom, athletics, and are strong contributors to their schools and communities.

“The students of California and our CIF scholar-athletes continue to confirm for all of us involved in education based athletics that the future is bright,” CIF Executive Director Roger L. Blake said. “There were an exceptional group of nominees this year and I want to congratulate all of them and thank them for their contributions to their local school community. I also want to recognize Farmers Insurance, who without their generosity and support of CIF education based athletics and the Scholar-Athlete Scholarship program, California schools and students would not be able to reach the high level of success that exemplifies the best of California.”
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Kirkeby and Moody were selected from a pool of 432 candidates representing 1,554 CIF member schools statewide. The State Capitol and Senate and Assembly Floors will honor Kirkeby and Moody on Thursday, May 28 in Sacramento. In addition, each will receive a $5,000 award.

Additionally, thanks to the generous support of Farmers Insurance Group, two winners (one male, one female) from each CIF Section earned a $2,000 award.

“Farmers is proud to continue to support high school student excellence through the Farmers Scholar-Athletes of the Year program,” said Dan Lewis, Head of Territory for Northern California, Farmers Insurance. “Our agents are always looking to give back to the communities in which they are privileged to serve and this program allows them to make a real impact by honoring and rewarding young men and women who work hard both in the classroom and in their athletic endeavors.”

“At Farmers Insurance we believe in the power of smart. Mirroring that belief, we are honored to present college scholarships to these bright and talented scholar-athletes,” said Bill Walrath, Head of Territory for Southern California, Farmers Insurance. “We are delighted to be able to help these young men and women advance their educational aspirations and we look forward to following their continued success in the future.”

Amanda Kirkeby, Mammoth High School
Kirkeby is a three-sport athlete at Mammoth High School as a member of the varsity Nordic skiing, track & field and volleyball teams and boasts a 4.25 overall GPA and a class rank of #2. She has earned numerous honors in all three sports and is also a Far West Junior National Cross Country Ski Team member. Kirkeby has also been active in many other extracurricular activities as an integral member of ASB, Interact Club, National Honor Society and as a teacher’s assistant with an ongoing Stream Chemistry project with UC Santa Barbara. Additionally, she has spent hundreds of hours giving back to her community through various volunteer efforts around Mammoth. Kirkeby has also received numerous honors and awards including: Distinguished Scholar Award, Rotary Youth Leadership Award and Rotary Interact Club Group Presidents Award.

“My entire high school sports career has helped me develop my personality,” states Kirkeby. “Because of the size of my town, my fellow teammates and I have needed to exhibit our strong characters with small town pride. Our team may not be big in numbers, but I have sure made up for it with the quality of my character.”

“Amanda exhibits high standards of personal responsibility for her own demanding schedule and still cares more about group success than individual accolades,” said Mammoth High School Principal and Athletic Director Christopher Powell. “She has continued to develop her quiet leadership style and has positively influenced her peers, teammates, classmates and school community.

Kelley Jayne, Mammoth High School guidance counselor adds, “Amanda is bright, energetic, compassionate, determined, self-motivated and genuinely well rounded. I will truly miss seeing her in the halls every day, but excited for her to begin her new adventure.”

· GPA: 4.25
· SAT: 2160
· College: Middlebury College (Vermont)
· Career Interests: Environmentally friendly sustainable energy sources
· College Major: Mechanical Engineering, Environmental Studies or Physics
· Primary Sports: Nordic Skiing, Track & Field, Volleyball

Cole Moody, South Fork High School
Moody has been a three-sport varsity leader in baseball, basketball and football while his 4.0 overall GPA and class rank of #1 demonstrates his commitment to his education. He received All-Conference honors in both baseball and football, while academically he is the recipient of numerous scholastic honors and rotary awards. He is also involved in his school as a member of ASB, Interact Club, CSF and Spanish Club. Additionally, Moody has served his community volunteering hundreds of hours in various capacities, including being a teacher’s aide, to officiating youth sports as well as being part of an interview committee that hires new teachers for his school.

“The character I have withdrawn from my school, community, and friends has molded me into a very unique individual with a caring personality,” said Moody. “The big picture it not about what affects me, but the big picture is what I can do to affect others in a positive manner.”

“Cole cares about his school and his community,” praised South Fork High School Principal, Lisa Gray. “He is not only an excellent student-athlete, but is truly a wonderful human being.”

South Fork High School Athletic Director and Baseball/Football Head Coach, Andrew Olsen adds, “In my opinion Cole is the definition of this scholarship. He has excelled like none other in both the classroom and on the athletic fields.”

· GPA: 4.00
· SAT: 1580
· College: Pacific University (Forest Grove, OR)
· Career Interests: Physical Therapy, Massage Therapy, Chiropractor
· College Major: Kinesiology
· Primary Sport: Baseball

2015 CIF/Farmers Scholar-Athlete SECTION Winners

Central Section
Matthew Bravante, Redwood High School
Emma Horanic, Liberty High School

Central Coast Section
Cooper Scherr, St. Francis High School
Isabella Shahmirza, St. Francis High School

Los Angeles City Section
Xiangyang Liu, New Open World Academy
Tessa Belle Weinberg, Granada Hills Charter

North Coast Section
Ryan Cheng, Acalanes High School
Victoria Roderick, Middletown High School

Northern Section
Willliam Harris Gentry, Mercy High School
Abigail Folchi, Portola High School

Oakland Section
Matthew Elderkin, Oakland Technical High
Reva Swiedler, Oakland Technical High

Sac-Joaquin Section
Gregory Devine, Jesuit High School
Lauren Kroeger, River Valley High School

San Diego Section
Alexander Barone, Cathedral Catholic High School
Claire Nussbaum, Francis Parker School

San Francisco Section
David Mai, Lowell High School
Talia Moore, George Washington High School

Southern Section
Matthew Orgill, Crean Lutheran High School
Vianney Muñoz, California Military Institute


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