Thursday, November 26, 2015 • 11:38

Valley Center supports Michael McInerny for Athlete of the Year

June 26, 2013
Michael McInerny had an outstanding senior season as an athlete at Valley Center High School and earned the 2013 Valley Roadrunner Athlete of the Year award for his achievements on the field.

He also had the support of many in the community who wrote in to share why they agree with the choice of McInerny for Athlete of the Year.

Here, in their own words, are some of the letters of support sent in by the community.

* * *

I would like to express my support for your athlete of the year vote to Michael McInerny. Amongst the fans, he cheered for as an Irish Hispanic athlete hence the chant "Michael McInerny - Green Bean Power!" His impressive sportsmanship, citizenship, and athleticism both in the classroom, on a variety of fields, and within the community make him the obvious choice in my opinion. He is a prime example of the spirit of Valley Center. He was born and raised here. He has given back to our wonderful town by serving as a mentor to elementary school students. He has volunteered his time to work school functions such as at the Halloween carnival and at Ridgeview Church functions. He conducts himself with the highest regard for others. At games I have always seem him shake the hand of the opposing coach after games to thank them for the opportunity to play regardless of his win or defeat as well as the players. He is never smug or over-zealous. His dedication to sport is impressive. He has been welcomed to the VCHS Hall of Fame, holds first place metals in CIF Track 400m, many school records, and he has practiced all his life religiously. He rises early to train, he maintains a healthy diet, and always gives 100% both on the field and off. He is a gifted student and athlete. As a 5th grade teacher in the VCPUSD, I have seen first hand his natural abilities, his strong work ethic, and his drive for excellence. He is a shining exemplar of the VCHS mission. I could not be more proud and I wish to cast my vote in his ring.

Thank you for your time and consideration, Renee Contreras

* * *

We would like to express our support of Michael as athlete of the year.

Michael always led his team well. Michael never overly boasted or bragged. He always strives to improve. He trains and practices religiously, making practices on time and training privately in the wee hours of the morning. At every game I have had the privilege of watching him compete, he was a fierce competitor, always played with heart and passion for love of the game, and he was strategic and mindful of his coaches, his classmates, and his opponents. He was always respectful, fair, and confidant. His golden sportsmanship was refreshing; knowing that he gave 100% somehow allowed him to win or loose with grace. He always held the game and its players with respect and seemed to make his accomplishments look easy despite knowing his records were outstanding. From Michael, I have learned that hard work pays off. I know from him that hard work beets talent when talent does not work hard, and that good things come to those who want it and deserve it. Michael was nominated last year for this recognition but now is the right time for VC to send him off to USD with this honor. Let's give back to this lifetime VC resident who has afforded us the privilege of watching him play for us with the spirit of a Jaguar, a Thunderhawk, a Lizard, and a Bee.

Michael was recently honored with Valley Center High School's 2013 Hall of Fame Award for having a lasting effect on Valley Center High School Athletics. He was voted by the athletic department at VCHS.

So, PLEASE select Michael McInerny!

Sincerely, Rob Contreras (age 41), Roxana Contreras (7), Raquel Contreras (5) and Reese Contreras (3).

* * *

I was recently made aware that our son, Michael, has been nominated for VC's Athlete of the Year. Without Michael's knowledge, I am writing to you to support Michael's athletic achievements in hopes that he earns the Athlete of the Year. It would be a great honor for him to follow Kevin Murphy and Sidney Reilly as Valley Center's 2013 Athlete of the Year. As his mom, I wanted to share some information that might truly set him above all these wonderful athletes and that you may not know about.

Michael's team has won the FCA Dodgeball Tournament two years in a row. Michael also played ITS Tribal Sports, helping San Pasqual win championships in basketball and football. He also continues to play soccer on his 'spare' time. Michael has played indoor and outdoor soccer during his track season this year. Michael is the leading scorer for his outdoor team (which includes several varsity VC soccer players). He has 9 goals in three games! Michael also plays golf with his grandpa for fun. A few years ago Michael's tennis coach asked him to focus on tennis so he could compete. Unfortunately (I am a tennis fan), tennis was just a hobby.

I suppose I can continue with his accolades, but what impresses me the most about my son is his effort. So often he looked effortless on the football field, court, or track. But please don't misjudge his grace for a lack of work. He always came home after football games too exhausted to celebrate with his teammates. I always felt like he was missing out on hanging out with friends, but for Michael the best, most favorable times are competing with friends. He embraced being the team's playmaker for basketball. He was very unselfish and would prefer to see his teammates score and improve. Michael has never been a showboat neither; not when he caught touchdowns, made tackles, kicked PATs or field goals, not during his high scoring game, or any of his come-from-behind wins on the track. At track this year, I clearly remember him jumping up and down in the middle of the field for his teammate, Bannon Greer. He was so excited for Bannon as he was about to win his race, but never did he celebrate any of his wins. We have always taught him to be humble and graceful and that his talents are a gift that he should cherish.

Recently at school after receiving an award, he told the audience that he has been given the opportunity to continue to play collegiate sports and he wants to represent Valley Center and give people another reason to be proud of VC.

Sorry for being so long winded, but I would like to support Michael McInerny, my son, as 2013 Athlete of the Year for The Roadrunner. I hope I am not being brazen, and in no way do I intend to be boastful.

Thanks for your time and consideration, Roxana McInerny

* * *

First and foremost, thank you for selecting Michael as a nominee for Athlete of the Year.

I want to share with you why I truly believe Michael deserves Athlete of the Year.

Setting records and achieving accolades is just part of being an outstanding athlete. Commitment is an essential part as well. I am most proud that Michael was there for all his teams throughout the year. As you know most teams have workouts, trainings, practices, off season games, tournaments, etc. By choice, Michael was there for ALL of them.

Too often during b-ball's trainings, practices, and non-league games, there wasn't enough players to make a team and very often there was only the five committed guys routinely showing up to the games; David, Brett, John, James, and Michael. No matter what kind of sacrifice it took, hanging out with friends, taking time off, not wanting to go (these are some of the reasons why other teammates did not show) Michael was always there and he loved every minute of it! He was very active in recruiting players for the team too; he knew it would take more teammates to win a third league title in basketball.

Leadership is also vital. He was voted team captain for football and b-ball. The boys looked to Michael for leadership. He was the tempo for b-ball, he knew all the plays and supported his teammates with any inquiries about the plays.

Michael was also a key player. His stats suggest that he put the team ahead of himself because he knows it takes a team to get it done. He would pass up an open shot from outside just to get a better shot inside. As a guard, he led the team in rebounds! That shows hustle! He led the team in assists, which meant he did his job well. And his points were second to Brett's. Michael led the team from the foul line, the only place on the court where it's all about the individual. Stats don't lie. He loved b-ball and it showed.

Also, did you know that Michael decided on his collegiate athletics? He was highly recruited and offered scholarships for football and some smaller schools for b-ball, but decided to play football and attend the University of San Diego. He already has football workouts at USD. The coaches there believe he will be a contributor this coming year as a true freshman.

I feel very proud of his hard work and just wanted to share with you some information that you may not have known about Michael. I am very humble and grateful that he has been given these talents. I can only be hopeful that his work ethic will be an integral part of his career as he grows into adulthood.

Thank you, Mike McInerny Sr.

* * *

I would like to support Michael McInerny for Valley Center Athlete of the Year.

Michael's statistics alone are extremely impressive. If you haven't seen the complete list, I've outlined it below for your review. That extensive list of accomplishments does not tell the complete story of Michael as an athlete, competitor and leader. There are aspects of Michael's athleticism that set him apart from the field.

First, Michael has excelled as an individual and team leader in two sports in which, collectively, the best athletes across the county compete. The two sports are football and basketball. The best of the best compete in those sports vying for the opportunity to be noticed by colleges across the country. His ability to stand out among and compete successfully at times head-to-head against those athletes is noteworthy.

Second, Michael was able to help bring success to a program in Valley Center that does not normally experience the level of success realized this past season. The boys' basketball team finished with a 23–7 record playing against some of the top programs in the county (including La Costa Canyon and El Camino) eventually ending the season with a semi-final loss to private school Cathedral Catholic in Div. III CIF. Michael's contribution on that team did not always earn him the headlines, however his impact on the game through defense, rebounds, assists and hustle was critical to team success and contagious for his teammates.

Finally, Michael accepted the challenge of competing in track his senior year. Despite the fact that Michael has never trained as a runner, he had a level of success that was the envy of elite runners who train extensively for the 400m. Michael's natural athleticism and competitive edge were the difference. His selection as team MVP is also a testament to his ability to lead and rally his team.

Great athletes have intangibles that make them special and set them apart from the rest. My vote for Valley Center Athlete of the Year is Michael McInerny.

Thank you for your time! Jo Becvar

* * *

When considering athlete of the year nominations, there is one name that above all, is worthy and deserving of the award: Michael McInerny. In his brilliant career as a scholar and athlete at VCHS his statistics in football and basketball will show he is deserving, but the overwhelming support for Michael to win the award is his character and relentless efforts to make everyone on his team be better, either through his exemplary and highlight play on the football field or on the basketball court, and just as of late his accomplishments in Track and Field, or by always being there to offer words of encouragement to his teammates and often times his sportsmanship and camaraderie shared with his opponents.

Every year VCHS has but a few athletes that successful at the county level in any single sport but it is not often VCHS had an athlete that is successful at two sports and in one year of Track and Field at the San Diego County level.

Best regards, Dr. Raul Contreras

* * *

I appreciate the opportunity to write this letter on behalf of Mike being nominated for Athlete of the Year for Valley Center High School.

I have watched Mike grow from a shy, lanky young man into an exemplary athlete for Valley Center High School. His skills and stats speak for themselves; however, his sportsmanship with his teammates and opposing players is a credit to his school and community.

Myself and others have always been impressed with his maturity on and off the field and his enthusiasm for the sport he is playing in. He has always stepped up to do anything to help make the team better. Mike has shown he is a team player and proud to be a Jaguar through and through.

I know if given this award he will make the school and his family proud of the opportunity.

Thank you, Tom Witt

* * *

I just received notice that Michael has again been nominated for Valley Center's Athlete of the Year award. The fortitude he has shown on and off the field is no surprise to me. To be nominated once is gratifying, but twice, heavenly. He is hungry for that satisfaction for himself and his teammates—he puts forth that personal effort so that others can reap the benefits, and others are willing to follow in his footprints. That's the difference between a leader and a glory-hog. These are the things that you can read in between the lines of all those accomplishments of his. For this, there's no person more deserving than Michael McInerny.

Good friend, Jim Pendergast

* * *

I believe Michael Robert McInerny should receive this award, for many reasons. Beside the fact that he is the epitome of a athlete, in every form, his record-breaking school record speaks for itself.

Michael has been a powerful guiding influence on friends and his teammates. That alone should make him win this coveted title of Athlete of the Year.

Best regards, The Petersen family

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