It has been a banner year for the Pioneer Valley girls wrestling team as a pair of wrestlers earned All-American honors.
So — what better to celebrate than with a pair of banners?
At the Northern Santa Barbara County Athletic Roundtable luncheon held Monday at Giavanni’s Pizza in Orcutt, Pioneer Valley athletic director Greg Dickinson and coach Kevin Ilac presented Monica Bobadilla and Courtney Tompkins with their banners that will be hoisted up in the Pioneer Valley Gym as a permanent reminder of the girls’ All-American status.
In the United States Wrestling Association National championships held at the Bowen Field House at Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan, Bobadilla and Tompkins wrestled their way into the All-American ranks.
Wrestling in the 103 pound division, Bobadilla, a senior, finished in third place.
Just in her second year on the mats, Bobadilla just kept getting better. She was seventh in CIF, then fifth in state, before moving on to the nationals.
Wrestling at 154 pounds, Tompkins, just a sophomore, earned fourth place in the nationals after finishing sixth in California.
“Obviously it’s a great honor when you are an All-American,” Dickinson said to his wrestlers. “For us, we are a young school and we don’t have a lo of banners in our gym.
“On behalf of the Pioneer Valley administration and athletics, we wanted to present to you in front of your peers a banner that will go inside Pioneer Valley’s gym.”
The two banners will also be accompanied by a third girls wrestling banner.
In April 2011, Ashley Woods became the first Pioneer Valley All-American when she finished in sixth place in the 134 pound division at last year’s event
Before presenting the banners, Dickinson also paid tribute to Kevin Ilac and David Sigala, who coached the girls to their success.
“It says something when you not only teach at an academic level, then also coach three sports,” Dickinson said about Ilac, who also coached boys and girls tennis this year. “And then when you have guys like David Sigala do a great job in helping us, it works out great.”
Ilac appreciated the compliments of his AD, but saved the best compliments to his wrestlers.
“It’s easy to be a good coach when you have great athletes,” he said.