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And the winners are...Vince & Amanda Lopez
Cousins Vince and Amanda Lopez join the ranks of Mike Tubera, Latrisha Jordan, Trevor Mew and Julie Calderon.

Their names will be printed on the Golden Hawk Athlete Award Banner that hangs inside Central Valley High School's Gymnasium.

The two seniors were presented trophies on May 19. Athletic Director Michelle Parrish made the announcement.

A point system taking into account athletic and academic achievement, and community involvement for the past four years determined the male and female winners.

"I always wanted it because I'm competitive," Vince said. "It's an honor to be recognized. It's another reminder hard work paid off."

"It's an award for all the hard work I put into school," Amanda said. "It's a big accomplishment. My name is going to be up there forever. I'm really grateful."

Vince earned five varsity letters during his prep athletic career, including three in football and one in both wrestling and track and field.

He totaled 2,486 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns on offense.

A standout cornerback, Vince intercepted 12 passes.

"There are so many things I can say I'll miss," he stated. "I really can't sum it up. The part I liked about it the most was there's nothing like a Friday night when everyone comes out to watch you and your friends play. I'm glad I got into something that's bigger than yourself."

Vince will always remember the night he made his varsity debut in football.

He started at cornerback, split time at running back with Joaquin Casas and contributed on special teams in Central Valley's season-opening 28-23 win over Los Banos at Bulldog Stadium. He was just a sophomore.

"The very first game I played, I was anxious and excited," Vince said. "I walked out. I saw the lights. The stands were filled. When I scored, the crowd went crazy."

Vince intercepted a pass and returned it 47 yards for a touchdown.

He also enjoyed playing against crosstown rival Ceres High.

Central Valley won all three meetings.

The 2009 showdown ended in dramatic fashion.

The Hawks won 28-26 after stopping Hadon Lopez on a potential game-tying two-point conversion run with 1:02 to play.

Vince totaled 108 yards on 15 carries.

"It shouldn't have been that close," he said. "We kept everybody on the edge of their seats."

Vince was voted to the VOL first team as a utility player on offense this past season. He also earned second-team, all-conference honors for his supreme play on defense.

Vince rushed for 969 yards, scored eight touchdowns and tallied six interceptions.

He had an 82-yard kickoff return TD and ran back an interception 38 yards for a score.

"Football was my second life from family and school," Vince said. "It was all year, nonstop."

He plans to continue his football career at Modesto Junior College or University of Mary in North Dakota.

Amanda lettered in four varsity sports, including volleyball (2), basketball (2), softball (2) and track and field (1).

She played volleyball, basketball and softball during her senior year.

When asked which sport was her favorite, Lopez said: "Basketball. The adrenaline you get right before a game is awesome. The team made it fun."

Amanda averaged 3.6 points and 2.1 rebounds per contest.

She also enjoyed bonding with her teammates during road trips.

"I don't know what I'd do without sports," Amanda said. "My mom says they keep me and my brother out of trouble."

Amanda will attend Cal State Stanislaus, where she'll focus on academics.

Besides being Golden Hawk Award recipients, Amanda and Vince share another thing in common. They're related.

"I didn't know we were cousins until last year," she said. "Our families joke about it. Vince's dad says it (athletic talent) runs in the blood."