The following Mariner athletic awards were awarded by Homer High School’s coaching staff:
Male Athlete of the Year
Pedro Ochoa, senior: cross country running, wrestling, track
Wrestling, Pedro placed fifth in the state in the 152 pound weight class. He won 19 matches missing many weeks with an injured foot and was the wrestling team’s captain. He is the hardest worker in the SST lifting class and inspires his teammates. He placed fifth at state championships for cross country running, was team captain and a role model with an incredible work ethic and easy to coach. He has worked harder than any other male athlete over the past 12 months, and his work ethic has served him well as he has performed at a high level in three sports. Pedro is currently ranked as a top-10 distance runner in the state in several track and field events.
Female Athlete of the Year
Tayla Cabana, senior: volleyball, basketball, track and field
Tayla is a multi-talented athlete who runs, jumps, throws extremely well and consistently places high in all of her events. She is a top-10 state track and field hurdler and long jumper. She is currently No. 1 in the long jump. Tayla was a varsity volleyball player for two years. During the 2013-2014 season, she led the team in attacking percentage and was tied with total kills for the season. She was a leader in service aces and earned honors as second team all-region, all-tournament team at the Peninsula Challenge and Cordova tournaments. In basketball, Tayla made the all-tourney team for two of the five tournaments in which the Mariners competed. She made first team all-conference and third team all-state. She was a strong defender based on stats of the opponent. In track from last year, Tayla finished fifth in the individual 400, fifth in the 300 meter hurdles, third in the long Jump and was part of the state champion 4x400 team.
Freshman Male Athlete of the Year
Jared Brant: cross country running, wrestling, track and field
Jared was the top freshman varsity athlete on the boys third-place finish for the Homer High cross country team at state. Jared placed fifth at the state wrestling meet. He won 29 matches and earned a varsity letter. He is very dedicated and only missed one day of practice all season. He is working hard in the off-season by lifting and doing freestyle and running on the track team. He is a gifted freshman distance runner in track and field.
Freshman Female Athlete of the Year
Megan Pitzman: cross country running, soccer
For years, Megan has outperformed her classmates by winning the Presidential Fitness award. She is the most versatile freshman athlete. She is a record-winning runner and earned the title of the Region III cross country champion. She currently plays for the varsity girls soccer team.
Manager of the Year
Heidi Kauffman: football
Heidi has been a huge part of the Mariner football family for four years. Her hard work has been truly appreciated throughout those years and has made the coaches’ jobs easier. The care and consideration she gave players and the program is second to none.
Parents of the Year
Phil and Sharon Needham
The Needhams have been an integral part of so many sports over the years, organizing basketball responsibilities and always there for financial, emotional and physical support whether it is bringing up clinicians, spending long hours working the city fields for high school softball or just doing so much behind the scenes that most people don’t even notice. They have years in as supporters of basketball, soccer, volleyball and, of course, softball.
Coach of the Year
Bill Bell: softball
Coach Bell blends healthy living, instruction, communication, camaraderie and empowerment to playing any sport. His dedication to fundraising, maintaining a current and meaningful webpage (marinersoftball.net), keeping current with new coaching techniques and bringing expert skills clinicians to Homer are only a few ways he exemplifies what it means to be a great coach. Bell is mild-mannered, balanced, yet demands a high level of commitment from players.