Ben Yurosek and Alexsia Drulias' trophy cases are about to get even more crowded.
Yurosek, a standout football and basketball player at Bakersfield Christian, was named the Jim Tyack Male Athlete of the Year on Monday, while Drulias, a tennis star at Garces, was named Female Athlete of the Year.
The award ceremony, now in its 65th year, was originally slated to take place at Hodel's restaurant, but was instead hosted on Zoom because of the coronavirus.
Yurosek, who became just the second person to win BVarsity Player of the Year honors in football and basketball in the same year, helped lead the Eagles to historic runs in both sports during the 2019-20 school year.
He led BCHS to a CIF Division 3-A State title, catching three touchdown passes from the tight end position in a 42-21 win over Rancho Cotate in the championship game. He then transitioned to basketball, where he and BCHS reached the D-IV state title game that was canceled as COVID-19 began picking up steam.
“I just wanted to make sure senior year we were able to capitalize when we got the opportunity," he said "And we were able to.”
Yurosek will now prepare for a college football career at Stanford. Always aspiring to attend the prestigious university, Yurosek's affinity for the football program only grew, as it was one of the few places that encouraged him to play multiple sports.
“A lot of people warmed me, 'Don’t play a second sport, don’t play basketball, you’re risking all of this,'" he said. "But Stanford, my tight end coach was very supportive, he knew that basketball was a big part of my life and it helped me become a better overall athlete, I think.”
For Drulias, a three-time BVarsity Girls Tennis Player of the Year winner, taking on too much was never a concern in her time at Garces.
In addition to starring on the tennis team, she was also a cheerleader, a girl scout, the vice president of the California Scholarship Foundation and was involved in numerous other activities, all while holding down a 4.73 GPA.
“My parents always told me I was doing too much and I told them I wasn’t because I was having fun," she said. "I had to cram it all in there because I love being busy and it was really fun the last four years.”
Those activities helped her gain admittance to her dream school UCLA. Her sister Anastasia, who she teamed with to win the first of three Central Section doubles titles in 2016, is currently a senior at UCLA, which has created some natural excitement in the family.
“We’re very excited," Alexsia said. "When I heard (I got in) a couple weeks ago there was a lot of screaming going on.”
Collatz accepts Merv Alexander Award
When she left the Los Angeles area to attend Cal State Bakersfield, Maria Collatz had to deal with some gentle ribbing from back home.
“My dad always teased me, ‘When you moving home?’ And I never had any desire to move home," Collatz said. "I just feel blessed to be part of Bakersfield. I’m never moving home. This is my home.”
Her homestead may get spruced up a bit, as Collatz, who's led an impressive turnaround coaching the Stockdale volleyball program, accepted the Merv Alexander Coach of the Year Award Monday.
Collatz, whose daughter Alexandra was a 2011 Jim Tyack winner, was acquainted with the namesake of the award she won Monday, and was noticeably emotional while accepting it.
“I knew Marv Alexander, so to have my name in the same sentence as him (is) unbelievable," she said "I feel completely honored.”