Ryan Palecek and Brianna Quiroz were the major winners during Central Valley High School's Senior Awards Night.
The 2019 grads were both presented Golden Hawk trophies on May 8 in front of family and friends.
A point system taking into account athletic and academic achievement, and community involvement determined the winners.
“I’m grateful I was able to be the recipient of the award,” Quiroz said. “It was one of my main goals in high school. I worked all four years to be able to put my name up in the gym.”
“As soon as I won it, I got super emotional,” Palecek said. “I was happy and sad. At that point, I realized that was the end of my career for high school sports. My mom was crying like crazy. My dad even teared up. They’re so proud of me.”
Quiroz earned 10 varsity letters during her prep athletic career, including four in softball, three in wrestling and three in volleyball.
“I had a handful of coaches who pushed me to be better,” she said. “They’re the reason I’m the athlete I am.”
Quiroz also gave credit to her parents.
“I couldn’t have gotten the award without their support,” she said.
Quiroz wrapped up her prep grappling career with a top-18 finish in the 150-pound weight bracket at the CIF State Girls Wrestling Championships.
She won one of three matches.
Quiroz’s senior season was filled with individual and team success.
She posted a 26-9 overall record.
She qualified for state for the second year in a row.
She placed second at Masters.
She finished first at South Regionals.
She captured her second consecutive conference title.
Quiroz helped propel the Hawks to back-to-back league championships.
Quiroz earned first-team all-league honors in softball for the second year in a row this spring.
She batted .526 with one homer, three doubles, 20 hits, six RBIs and seven runs in 12 games. She had on-base and slugging percentages of .571 and .684, respectively.
She ranked second in the Central California Conference in hits, and third in both batting average and on-base percentage.
She made just three errors on her way to posting a .929 fielding percentage at third base.
Quiroz was selected to the WAC First Team as a junior.
She was a second-team pick her sophomore year.
Quiroz received second-team all-league accolades in volleyball for the second straight season during the fall.
She ranked first on the team in kills (92), second in digs (103), aces (25) and assists (5), and third in blocks (19).
She helped lead the Hawks to a playoff berth as a sophomore.
“I am satisfied but I know I could have done more than I did,” Quiroz said, while assessing her prep athletic career.
Quiroz has yet to finalize her college plans.
“I plan on trying out for Modesto Junior College volleyball and maybe softball,” she said.
Palecek earned seven varsity letters, including three in wrestling, two in football and two in baseball.
“I give my parents a lot of credit,” he said. “They were always there to support me. They went to everything. They kept me out of trouble. I’m impulsive. Sometimes I do stupid things.”
Palecek enjoyed his best season to date in wrestling this past winter.
He posted a 31-13 overall record.
He placed first in the 182-pound weight class at the Central California Conference Championships.
He took second at the Division-III tournament.
He won two of four matches at Masters.
Palecek earned honorable-mention CCC recognition in football this past fall.
He had 61 tackles, two pass deflections, one sack, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery at linebacker.
Palecek totaled 106 tackles, two sacks, two fumble recoveries, one forced fumble, one interception and four pass deflections in 20 career games.
Palecek batted .261 from the plate with five doubles, 18 RBIs and 22 runs in 45 career baseball games. He logged playing time in the outfield on defense.
“I’m proud to say I gave it my all every single time,” Palecek said. “I wanted to make a difference. I did whatever I could to help my teams. I definitely would have liked to win more.”
Palecek earned a partial football scholarship to Kansas Wesleyan University.
Palecek’s and Quiroz’s names will be displayed on a banner inside CV’s gymnasium, along with past winners Estevan Barragan (2018), Nayeli Pelayo (2018), Oso Fregoso (2017), Blanca Espinoza (2017), Moses Ghiorso (2016), Mikayla Mabie (2016), Jaron Dickson (2015), Heaven Simon (2015), Ja'Quan Gardner (2014), Lexy Cordova (2014), Abraham Navarro (2013), Malynda Lomeli (2013), Daniel Ochoa (2012), Drucella Miranda (2012), Tyree Jones (2011), Alyssa Long (2011), Vince Lopez (2010), Amanda Lopez (2010), Trevor Mew (2009), Julie Calderon (2009), Mike Tubera (2008) and Latrisha Jordan (2008).
“It was expected that I would win the award because I don’t think there was anyone else who worked as hard as I did in three sports,” Quiroz said.
“It’s the best award I’ve got by far,” Palecek said. “I told my mom I was going to win it my freshman year. It’s cool I left a mark. I’ll be one of those people that will be remembered.”