Ken HubbsA Glimpse of Greatness


His Spartan efforts bring Hubbs honor

PAUL RODRIGUEZ: San Gorgonio’s 4-sport star becomes the 47th winner of the memorial award.

11:52 PM PDT on Monday, May 16, 2011
The Press-Enterprise

SAN BERNARDINO – The tears began welling in Helen Rodriguez’s eyes about two sentences into the recitation of her son’s resume. Then her son got emotional, too.

San Bernardino San Gorgonio multi-sport star Paul Rodriguez was named Monday night as the 47th Ken Hubbs Memorial Award winner, prompting much emotion at his school’s table at the Elks Club of San Bernardino.

He is the first San Gorgonio athlete since Tony Kounas in 1986 to win the award.

“I knew right away,” Helen Rodriguez said. “As soon as they said he played football for three years and volleyball, I knew. It just clicked and I said ‘Oh my God.’ This is awesome.”

Paul Rodriguez, a San Diego State football signee, said he planned a speech in his head earlier in the day while playing golf with his father, also named Paul. But when it came time to address the several hundred in attendance, he forgot the words.

“It’s such an honor,” the 6-foot-6 two-way football lineman said. “Just to be a school winner is great and to win the overall award is just awesome. I knew as soon as they mentioned basketball, because Dorian (Cason of Fontana Summit) and Choncey (White of San Bernardino) were the only other basketball players and they didn’t play football. It’s a great feeling. It makes me want to do more.”

Rodriguez competed in four sports at San G. — football, basketball, volleyball and track and field. But it was on the football field where he really shined, attaining All-San Andreas League lineman honors as both an offensive lineman and defensive end.

“Paul is special on the field because he strives to be not only good, but great,” Spartans football coach Ron Gueringer said.

Also honored at the banquet were individual school winners from the 21 schools in the greater San Bernardino area and, for the first time, two outstanding girls.

Rialto girls basketball star Janae’ Sharpe was feted for leading the Lady Knights to league, section and region titles and advancing her school to the CIF-State title game; and Redlands East Valley volleyball star Krista Vansant was honored for pacing her team to four league titles, three section titles, two state title matches and being named the 2010 Gatorade Senior National Player of the Year.

“It’s great and amazing,” said Sharpe, who has signed with Cal State Northridge. “I’m so happy to get awarded along with all these other athletes. It’s breathtaking.”

Said the University of Washington-bound Vansant: “It’s such an honor to be here with all these great athletes. That’s what makes this award special.”

There was also a major announcement by the Hubbs committee. Beginning in 2012, the Hubbs awards will become a truly co-ed event, with one boy and one girl from each school awarded. Also, an assembly will be held instead of a banquet — at a not-yet-determined site.

In addition to Rodriguez’s all-league honors, he made the All-CIF-Southern Section first team and the All-Inland team as an offensive lineman.

Also a standout away from the athletic arena, Rodriguez has a 3.27 GPA, earned a San Gorgonio High Scholar Athlete award for three years, was a three-year member of “G-Force” (the school’s athletic leadership program) and has done a significant amount of community service.

Rodriguez wins Hubbs; announces annual awards for girls

By TJ Berka on May 16, 2011 9:15 PM
The 47th annual Ken Hubbs Athlete of the Year award was given to San Gorgonio’s Paul Rodriguez at the Elks Club in San Bernardino tonight. Rodriguez, a four-sport star in football, basketball, volleyball and track for the Spartans, is the second San G athlete to receive the award, joining 1986 winner Tony Kounas.

Rodriguez was especially gifted in football for San G, making the first-team all-Sun team as an offensive lineman this past season while receiving a full scholarship to San Diego State. Rodriguez will play for the Aztecs this fall.

“It’s amazing to read some of the names of the guys who have won it and be among some of the athletes from other schools that you just hear about in the newspaper,” Rodriguez said. “I played against (2010 winner) Derrick Malone last year and he’s just a beast. You see guys like Ronnie Lott who made the NFL on the list and you want to be there right with them. I want to join them and add to the award.”

The committee also recognized two female athletes for the first time in the award’s 47-year history, honoring Redlands East Valley volleyball player Krista Vansant and Rialto basketball player Janae Sharpe. Perhaps inspired by the duo, the Hubbs committee also announced that it will be given out female school and overall winners annually started next year to go along with the annual male award.

“I think it’s great that girls are going to get the same amount of recognition that guys are,” Vansant said. “I feel fortunate to have helped bring that about a little bit along with Janae. I think having the two of us here really helped get this done and will help get more deserving girls recognized.”

The individual school winners were also honored Monday. They were Kyle Didier (Aquinas), Charles Izydorek (Arrowhead Christian), Jordan Boothe (Arroyo Valley), Paul Topoleski (Big Bear), Alexander Cruz (Bloomington), Thomas Carter (Cajon), Steven Reneau (Carter), Devan Hussey (Colton), Bernard Ireland (Eisenhower), Isac Fonseca (Fontana), Shaun Bradley (Kaiser), Kendall Chambliss (Miller), Carlos Espinoza (Pacific), Nolan Brown (Redlands), Chris Mecate (Redlands East Valley), Enrique Lopez (Rialto), Dillon Pretzinger (Rim of the World), Choncey White (San Bernardino), Dorian Cason (Summit) and Jordan Morris (Yucaipa).

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