Kevin Cody

Shortened season doesn’t short South Bay Scholastic Surfing Association honors

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Redondo Union’s Carlos Price Gracida received the Awesome Attitude Award, presented by pro surfer Alex Gray. He was also the recipient of a South Bay Boardriders Scholarship. Photo by Steve Gaffney (SteveGaffney.com)

by Kevin Cody

This year’s standout high school surfers were recognized during a recent virtual awards ceremony presented by the South Bay Scholastic Surfing Association (SBSSA), with technical and financial assistance from the South Bay Boardriders Club.

Despite the season being cut short a month by the pandemic, Mira Costa’s unbeaten record earned it league title with an asterisk. SBSSA director Dickie O’Reilly credited Costa’s dominance over the past several years to coach Tracy Geller. Dickie called him the John Wooden of surfing. Awards emcee Mark Cole added that Costa’s retiring assistant coach Mike Quinn’s team nicknames were also key to the team’s success.

The John Joseph Awards, named after the league’s former director of over two decades, were presented to San Pedro’s Myles Dourmy and Peninsula’s Frandsen Ada. The award recognizes dedication and leadership.

Rookie of the Year honors went to Peninsula’s Karsten Wanke and Santa Monica’s Genevieve Nevius. Wanke’s breakout season invited comparisons to previous SBSSA stars-turned-pro Alex  Gray and Dane Zaun.

Gray made an online appearance to present his Awesome Attitude Awards. He described recipient Carlos Price Gracida, Redondo’s team captain, as “the first in the water, quick to laugh and a moral booster for the whole team.” Gray credited recipient Sophie Rizzo with similar qualities and also “rallying her school’s surf program back from near extinction.”

The Waterman and Waterwoman awards are generally based on results from the Allstar contest held at the end of the season. Though it was cancelled, Dickie announced that the consensus of the coaches was that Megan Seth had earned an honorary Waterwoman award. Seth won the award officially last year.

Dickie said the SBSSA was founded to give surfers the same team opportunities that other student athletes enjoy. 

Also recognized during the virtual awards ceremony were recipients of the South Bay Boardriders Club scholarships. They are Mira Costa’s Billy Atkinson and Shane Mosley, Peninsula’s Colin MacLeod, Redondo’s Carlos Price-Gracida, and Peninsula’s Ada Frandsen, who received a joint scholarship from the Jimmy Miller Memorial Foundation.

“Chasing Madness”

The SBSSA awards presentation was followed by a screening of “Chasing Madness,” by Brad Jacobson of Mad Video Lab (Formerly CivicCouch) . The video recounts the best of the South Bay’s past winter surf winter Video. Jacobson has video’d the past five winters for the South Bay Boardriders Club. ER

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