SACRAMENTO, CALIF. — Julio Cardona (Salinas High School) and Christine Chau (Raoul Wallenberg High School, San Francisco) were named the recipients of the prestigious CIF Spirit of Sport Award for Fall 2016. These two statewide winners will receive an award, a patch, a $500 scholarship and be recognized at the year-end CIF Federated Council dinner on April 7, 2017, in Ontario.
The winter and spring Spirit of Sport winners will be announced following their respective submission deadlines.
The CIF Spirit of Sport Award recognizes student-athletes who have demonstrated the 16 principles of Pursuing Victory with Honorsm, are active in school and community service and exhibit leadership qualities. The principles of Pursuing Victory with Honorsm are the operating principles of the CIF and have been adopted by the 1,582 member high schools throughout the state.
“The student-athletes throughout California are learning valuable life lessons on the athletic fields and in the gymnasium classrooms that might not be learned in any other environment,” said CIF Executive Director Roger L. Blake. “These recipients have exemplified the Spirit of Sport and reflect the positive elements of Pursuing Victory with Honorsm, reinforcing the value of education-based athletics.”
Julio Cardona is a four-year member of the Salinas High School football team and currently serves as the team captain. Additionally, Cardona is a member of the AVID program at Salinas and is also involved in his community, volunteering more than 100 hours in various projects.
“Any person can do great and positive things in their life, but it takes courage to step out of one’s comfort zone and work harder than one can imagine possible, while choosing the right decision,” states Cardona. “The people that I try to demonstrate the most positive role model characteristics to are the migrant students because before I became who I am, and all the accomplishments that I have made, I used to be one of them.”
“Julio is the type of character and student that I want associated with our program,” stated Salinas Head Football Coach Stephen Goodbody. “He will take from his experience here at SHS and move easily and confidently into his future endeavors on and off the playing field.”
Salinas Athletic Director, Patty Lamar adds, “Julio is an awesome young man, and he is a great example of what we expect of the Cowboy Way – Safe, Honorable, Sensible. He is a leader in his classes, especially for the other migrant students. He challenges them and encourages them to be their best and he expects nothing less of himself.”
Christine Chau is a four-year member and current captain of the volleyball team at Raoul Wallenberg High School and also participates in basketball and softball. She is also involved in many other school activities including, S.F.U.S.D Student Advisory Council, Blue & White Club and Key Club. Additionally, Chau is the founder of the homeless youth non-profit Fill A Student’s Heart and is also involved with the Orthopedic Trauma Institute Junior Academy.
“Having the drive to be committed to something makes me want to work 10 times harder because I’ve already dedicated a part of myself towards something,” states Chau. “I will always be committed to something in life whether it’s being a better version of myself, committed to someone else, or just being committed to make myself happy. Participating in athletics at Wallenberg has shown me what it truly feels like to be part of a family who will commit to grow together and achieve great things.”
“I think very highly of Christine Chau. She is a young woman who has developed some of her gifts and I am confident she will continue to grow and develop as a student and person,” praised Raoul Wallenberg Teacher and Coach Patrick Mulligan. “She serves as an exemplar of all the best qualities for which CIF stands.”
“This young lady goes above and beyond what an average high school student does,” stated Raoul Wallenberg Athletic Director and Coach Emily Atkinson. “Christine does this for no other reason than she cares and wants the best for everyone involved. She is one of the hardest working girls, who never ceases to amaze me.”