Camryn Elness has been named Ceres High School’s Female Athlete of the Year.
Athletic director Shawna Nunes presented a Bulldog trophy to Elness this past month.
CHS coaches selected the winner.
“My freshman year, I watched Sis Bates win the award,” Elness said. “That made me want to get it. I’m so lucky that I did. I’m truly blessed.”
Six-foot-tall Elness accomplished a first in CHS girls water polo program history this past fall by being voted Most Valuable Player of the Western Athletic Conference.
"“I exceeded my expectations. I never thought I’d reach that level. I’m still shocked."Camryn Elness
“I exceeded my expectations,” she said. “I never thought I’d reach that level. I’m still shocked. My parents motivated me. They’ve always been hard workers. My coach and teammates pushed me to do my best.”
“I’m not surprised,” said Stephen Dias, Elness’ head coach. “She was determined to be great. She was super dedicated. She was coachable. She was fearless. She was always prepared and focused.”
Camryn led the Bulldogs to a 14-5 overall record and second-place finish in the WAC standings (7-2) for the second year in a row.
CHS also made its second straight playoff appearance.
“It was really an honor to be a part of winning teams,” Elness said. “We clicked and worked really hard. We had a lot of great talent. I’m proud of our accomplishments.”
Camryn totaled 140 blocks in 19 matches.
“It’s a difficult position physically and mentally,” Elness said. “You have to tread water, be explosive and keep your head in the game the whole time. You have to have confidence.”
Elness was the Bulldogs’ goalie for a total of three seasons.
She was a first-team all-WAC selection as a junior.
“I put in countless hours before and after practice to make myself and team better,” Elness said.
“She was a huge contributor to the team,” Dias said. “I could have played her in the field and she would have done well. She’s a great all-round athlete.”
Camryn earned four varsity letters during her prep athletic career, including three in water polo and one in track and field.
“I’m really honored to be one of Ceres High’s top athletes,” Elness said. “I’ll miss being on a team, going to practice and competing. It’s definitely something I’m going to think about every day.”
Camryn turned down a rowing scholarship from Sacramento State.
She’ll focus on academics at Modesto Junior College and work part-time instead.
Elness will major in business administration.
“I don’t know how my body would hold up rowing in college,” Camryn said when asked why she opted not to continue her athletic career at the next level. “It’s tore up from water polo.”