Men’s basketball and women’s soccer take top athletic honors
Published: Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, June 6, 2012 01:06
Sophomore standout athletes James Walker and Angela Castellanos were named Athletes of the Year on May 31 at the 2011-12 Citrus College Achievement Awards Banquet.
Walker was introduced by men’s basketball coach Chris Victor. Women’s soccer coach Tim Tracey introduced Castellanos.
Tracey praised Castellanos for her toughness and determination during the 2011 season, noting that she only missed two games despite suffering a dislocated elbow, a fractured nose and a concussion.
“[Angela] is a leader by example demonstrating commitment and work ethic not matched by her peers,” Tracey said. “She is the definition of resiliency, heart, and what it is to be a tough minded student athlete representing Citrus College.”
Castellanos, 20, played midfielder for the Citrus Owls for the 2010 and 2011 seasons, earning consecutive 2nd Team All-Western State Conference South honors. Also a Citrus Scholar-Baller with a 3.82 GPA, Castellanos’ 31 career points places her fourth on the program’s all-time points list. She will attend University of Colorado, Colorado Springs on an athletic scholarship in fall 2012.
“My first day at practice I felt like a little kid on a big field,” Castellanos said. “I feel like I really grew . . . I’m so happy [that I won the award] and that I can represent Citrus.”
Castellanos also received recognition as one of the top 100 achievement award winners in the 2011-12 graduating class, having been nominated by the language arts department.
As for Walker, the Male Athlete of the Year award cements him as the most decorated men’s basketball player in Citrus history.
Walker had previously won the WSC South’s Most Valuable Player award and he was also the first athlete in Citrus history to earn the California Community College Athletic Association’s Player of the Year award.
The 20-year-old shooting guard helped lead the Owls to the CCCAA Final Four for the second year in a row, completing the 2011-12 season with an average of 19.1 points per game, the second highest single-season total in the program’s history.
“I was very fortunate to coach [Walker] for one season,” said Victor during the award presentation. “I wish I had him for two.”
Walker’s freshman season was spent at Utah State University, where he started one game for the Aggies. He said Victor helped him develop into a better player on the court after he transferred to Citrus.
“[Coach] gave me an opportunity to shine this year,” Walker said. “It feels good to receive such a prestigious award.”
“There are a lot of athletes that are competing within the school, and to be the only one to come up with the award is something
that I’m proud of.”
Walker will be attending St. Mary’s College in the fall of 2012.