Jamani Woods, who played all four years on the Falcon football team, is top male while Kendall Cripe, who has seen the Falcon golf team grow in her four years at the charter school, grabbed the top female award.
Woods said that of all the sports he has played at Millennium, football helped to shape his high school experience.
Woods was a freshman on the Falcons’ inaugural team in the fall of 2008 that went 3-6 for the season. This past fall as starting quarterback he helped lead the team to Millennium’s first Central California Athletic Alliance title as the Falcons went 10-0 in the regular season.
In the fall he will play NCAA Division III football at University of La Verne near Los Angeles, where he will also study business and marketing.
“Football is now my life for the next four years,” he said. “This program has helped me get there.”
Woods has seen how athletics has changed the character and reputation of the local charter school, and affected the outlook of his fellow students.
“When they become involved in sports it turns their attitudes around,” he said. “It’s really an incentive for people to do well, because they’re rewarded by being able to play on the field or the court.”
He added that recent championship seasons, plus basketball and baseball games against the larger local schools, have helped build the stature of the school’s teams.
“They pass off our sports programs because we are a small school and don’t have a lot of students, but we can compete with the best of them,” he said. In addition to football Woods has played basketball for three years and was also on the baseball team in his sophomore and junior years.
Cripe joined Millennium’s golf team four years ago when it was a co-ed squad trying to establish a foothold in the Harvest Christian League.
By her sophomore year the Falcons had a full-fledged girls team, with Cripe as the Falcons’ scoring leader. She went on to represent Millennium at the Sac-Joaquin Section’s Division V tournaments for the next three years.
Her success has fed her passion for golf as she now works at Tracy Golf and Country Club and has a series of summer tournaments line up.
“It means a lot, especially considering that at this school we have a lot of female athletes who do really well and excel in sports,” she said.
While at Millennium she has also learned how to put forth the effort to participate in sports at an academically challenging school.
“You really have to try hard. It’s not something you can pass on through,” she said. “You have to be willing to put all of your effort totally into sports and totally into academics. It’s not one or the other.”
Her future plans include general education studies at San Joaquin Delta College, where she hopes continue her passion for golfing.