The pace quickens for Colin Kaepernick, the Pitman High graduate who found fame as a quarterback at Nevada.
He's been called the most productive player in the history of NCAA Division I football, but now he's just auditioning for a job in the NFL.
"My Pro Day is March 22. I have eight workouts scheduled," Kaepernick said. "It starts Friday."
Kaepernick squeezed in time Wednesday night, however, to take a bow at the 44th annual Outstanding Athlete Awards Banquet. More than 400 at the Sportsmen of Stanislaus Club gave him a standing ovation as he accepted his award for 2010 Stanislaus County Athlete of the year in the Men's Open Division.
"It's definitely special to be honored by the community you grew up in and supported you," said Kaepernick, the only quarterback in the history of Division I to pass for more than 10,000 yards and rush for more than 4,000 yards.
Kaepernick, an OAA finalist in 2010, '09 and '07 (as a Pitman senior), received the top award over San Jose State basketball star and Modesto Christian graduate Adrian Oliver and Modesto Junior College football-track standout Donovan Wallace.
USC senior Maria Sanchez, the Grace Davis graduate and No. 1-ranked singles player in the country (24-1), earned a win in straight sets over Arizona State Wednesday and could not pick up her Women's Open Division Athlete of the Year honor. Accepting for her was her local coach Mark Weir, the director of tennis at Del Rio Country Club.
Sanchez became the 11th athlete to win in both the high school and open divisions. Other finalists were MJC's three-time state champion swimmer Meghan Devlin and Cal State Stanislaus soccer freshman phenom Karenee Demery.
The high school divisions featured winners Kevin Kramer, Turlock High's UCLA-bound baseball star and quarterback, and Enochs' two-time Sac-Joaquin Section Masters golf champion Shawnee Martinez. Kramer was instrumental in Turlock's football resurgence from 0-10 in 2009 to 8-3 in '10.
Martinez, a junior who has verbally committed to Cal State Long Beach, succeeds her sister Marina Martinez, the 2006 OAA winner. The Enochs star topped prep girls finalists Becky Hobby (Hughson track and cross country), Lizzie Perez (Johansen softball), Brooke Fuller (Johansen swimming) and Jaci Powell (Oakdale track).
The other prep boys finalists were state wrestling champion David Ferry (Central Catholic), CC baseball-football star Billy Flamion (who will attend Oregon), Turlock grad and Oklahoma State freshman pitcher Vince Wheeland and Patterson quarterback Cody Weinzheimer.
The night was anchored by guest speaker and Escalon football coach Mark Loureiro, whose state-champion Cougars were honored as Team of the Year.
Other OAA honorees:
Doug Streeter, the 35th inductee to the Hall of Fame, thanked the four most influential coaches of his illustrious career: His father Jerry, Dick Windemuth, Carl Parrill and former Fresno State basketball coach Boyd Grant.
Glenn Davis, a talented and versatile high school coach in the area for about a half-century, received the Darell Phillips Coaches Award named after the late Bee sports editor.
The second annual 1st Lt. Daniel B. Hyde Memorial Service Award went to Marine Corps Sgt. Julian P. Torres, a former Johansen football player and wrestler who lost both legs last summer in the Afghanistan war. He's rehabbing in San Diego, said his father Ruben Torres Jr.
The Jay Pattee Award, the public service-oriented honor announced at the banquet, was given to Carl Rice, the founder of the successful junior handball program at the SOS.
Modesto High senior Jamasen Rodriguez received the $2,500 Tom Mellis Scholarship Award.
All-time list of OAA winners. Scoreboard, Page C-4