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Six from Fallbrook honored at Salute to the Champions banquet

 

Last updated 4/14/2005 at Noon



Six athletes from Fallbrook were honored by the San Diego Hall of Champions at the 59th annual Salute to the Champions banquet February 22 in San Diego.

Water polo player Holly Hartzell earned an Amateur Star of the Month award for April, golfer Kenny Adams earned a Prep Star of the Month award for May, Lindsay Kanewischer’s lacrosse achievements and Jana Rempalski’s water polo feats earned them Amateur Star of the Month awards for May, football running back Evan Harney earned an Amateur Star of the Month award for October, and football quarterback Derek Shaw earned a Prep Star of the Month award for December.

Hartzell, a 2000 Fallbrook High School graduate, played collegiate water polo for San Diego State University for four years. In 2004, her senior collegiate season, the Aztecs compiled a 26-9 record for the second-highest win total in program history. Hartzell led the Aztecs with 57 goals and 55 steals, posted the team’s highest shooting percentage at .456, and drew 109 ejections for more than half the team total. She earned first-team all-Mountain Pacific Sports Federation honors, giving her all-conference honors for all four years, and she was one of four finalists for the Peter J. Cutino Award given annually to the most outstanding female collegiate water polo player in the nation. Subsequent to her April achievements she would also earn first-team All-American honors.

The Star of the Month was the fourth for Hartzell, as was the banquet. “It was nice. I had a good time,” she said. “I know it’s my last one since I don’t play any more, so I took it all in.”

Hartzell graduated from San Diego State in Summer 2004 and is working on her teaching credential. She hopes to coach water polo in the future.

While the February 2005 banquet might be Hartzell’s last as an award recipient, she might return in the future as a family member. Her 12-year-old sister, Haley, continues the family water polo tradition. “I’m sure she’ll be a force to be reckoned with,” Holly Hartzell said of her younger sister.

If Haley Hartzell is honored by the Hall of Champions in the future, Holly Hartzell pledges a return. “I’ll be there to cheer her on,” Holly Hartzell said.

Adams was a senior at Fallbrook High School in May 2004 when he won the CIF San Diego Section individual golf championship by two strokes with a 36-hole score of 139. He shot a 67, or five under par, in the opening round May 18 at Warner Springs Ranch and followed that round with a score of 71, or one over par, at the Pauma Valley Country Club nine days later.

“It was pretty exciting,” Adams said of the banquet.

The award was the first for Adams, and the banquet included a larger crowd than Adams expected. Adams also did not realize that closed-circuit television would include having cameras on him when he accepted the award and that the audience’s attention would be on him for a brief moment. “It was pretty exciting to have that experience,” he said.

In addition to the professional, amateur, and prep stars of the month, the Salute to the Champions banquet also honors the professional, amateur, and disabled stars of the year and the inductees into the Breitbard Hall of Fame. This year’s four inductees to the Breitbard Hall of Fame included golfer Scott Simpson, and the six professional Stars of the Year included Padres second baseman Mark Loretta.

“I had a great time going down there and seeing Scott Simpson inducted into the Hall of Fame and Mark Loretta down there,” Adams said. “It was fun being in the same room as those guys.”

Adams had played baseball before high school, but he switched to golf as a freshman as he believed he was too small to be successful in baseball. Adams is currently on the college golf team of Cal State University San Marcos.

Kanewischer played lacrosse collegiately for Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. During her four seasons the Mustangs won the Women’s US Intercollegiate Associates National Championship four times. As a senior Kanewischer was named a first-team All-American and National Player of the Year.

“It was just an honor to walk up on the stage,” Kanewischer said.

The Star of the Month honor and the banquet were the first for Kanewischer. “I absolutely had no idea what to expect,” she said. “They gave us those giant plaques.”

Kanewischer was seated at the same table as 1997 Breitbard Hall of Fame inductee Earl Faison, who played for the American Football League’s San Diego Chargers in the 1960s. “It’s been quite the experience,” Kanewischer said.

Kanewischer, Rempalski, and Hartzell all graduated from Fallbrook High School in 2000, while Harney graduated in 2001. “The greatest part was there were six of us from Fallbrook,” Kanewischer said.

Kanewischer’s other highlights at the banquet included walking by Loretta and standing by master of ceremonies and well-known sports announcer Dick Enberg. Kanewischer, who will graduate from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in June 2005, also noted that in the future she will be able to visit the Hall of Champions and view her recognition among the historical stars of the month.

“It was a great way to end my collegiate lacrosse career,” Kanewischer said.

Rempalski followed her Fallbrook High School water polo career with four years at the University of Redlands. In May she was part of the Redlands team which won the NCAA Division III national championship, and she was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player after scoring 11 goals and adding five assists, ten steals, and seven ejections drawn. During her senior season she scored 52 goals and had 20 assists, 59 steals, and 33 ejections drawn.

The honor and banquet were the first for Rempalski, who also underestimated the magnitude of the banquet. “I didn’t even know that I was going to get up on stage,” she said. “What a big deal it was.”

Rempalski noted that the honor meant a sense of accomplishment. “I feel very special and honored,” she said.

“I never thought that it was that big a deal,” she said. “Now I can see how unique my experience has been.”

Rempalski is currently a graduate student at Syracuse University, where she is pursuing a Master’s degree in higher education. “It was really cool to come back to San Diego,” she said.

She flew to San Diego for the event. “I was on the fence about whether or not I was going to come,” she said.

Although Rempalski was concerned about her class schedule and her job as a resident director at one of the Syracuse University residence halls, her mother convinced her to return to San Diego for the awards ceremony. “I’m glad that I listened to her,” Rempalski said. “I realized that it was a much bigger deal.”

Rempalski and Kanewischer were pen pals in elementary school. “I hadn’t seen her since high school,” Rempalski said. “To be honored in the same month with her was really cool.”

Rempalski and Hartzell both played club water polo with the Shores team. Their Shores teammates included Moriah Van Norman, a University High School graduate who earned the Peter J. Cutino award as the top collegiate water polo player and one of the 2004 Amateur Star of the Year honors for her season at the University of Southern California as well as a May 2004 Amateur Star of the Month award, and Brittany Russell, a La Jolla High School graduate who also earned May 2004 Amateur Star of the Month status for her water polo efforts at the University of California Davis.

“It’s kind of nice to hear all the great things that my club teammates have accomplished,” Rempalski said.

The five Amateur Star of the Year honors went to Von Norman, tennis player Amber Liu, and three college football players. The six Professional Star of the Year awards honored two runners, one golfer, one Chargers football player, one stock car racer, and Loretta. The four Breitbard Hall of Champions inductees were Simpson, two former Chargers, and sailing’s Joe Jessop. Amputee triathlete Sarah Reinertsen earned the Disabled Star of the Year recognition.

“It’s really nice to know that San Diego is so supportive of athletes on so many different levels,” Rempalski said.

“It was just awesome,” Rempalski said of being honored. “It was definitely a high note of my career.”

Although Rempalski is now coaching club water polo at Syracuse, the NCAA Division III championship and the award ended her playing career on a high note. “This was just another positive reminder of that,” she said.

Harney, a junior at the University of San Diego, was recognized for his October 23 performance against Davidson. Although Harney gained only 89 yards in that game, he was rested early in the second quarter after scoring three touchdowns in the first quarter. Harney had carried the ball 18 times during his limited playing time. His third touchdown of the quarter gave him 33 career touchdowns over two seasons, setting a USD career record for total touchdowns. USD won that game by a 56-0 score, and Harney earned Pioneer Football League Offensive Player of the Week honors for his performance in the Davidson game.

“I just thought it was really an incredible event,” Harney said. “It was an amazing experience to get to see all those athletes.”

Harney was also making his first banquet appearance after receiving his first award. “I really enjoyed it, so it would be great to get invited back again,” he said.

Harney was also happy that six Fallbrook athletes were honored. “It was pretty cool to get to see some old faces,” he said.

Shaw, who attended three Fallbrook Union Elementary School District schools and currently attends Oceanside High School, quarterbacked the Pirates to the CIF Division II football championship. He also earned a berth on the all-CIF first team and was named as the San Diego Union-Tribune’s Offensive Player of the Year. Shaw completed 139 of 255 passes during the season, or 54.5 percent, and his season totals included 2,796 passing yards and 30 touchdowns.

“I was honored,” Shaw said. “It’s a great deal.”

Shaw, who has signed a letter of intent to play football at Arizona State University, was also attending his first banquet. “It’s really cool. A lot of great people here who worked really hard, and it’s a pleasure to be a part of it,” he said.

Hall of Champions staff members read newspapers, speak with coaches and athletic directors, and watch games to obtain information about potential nominees. Each month’s nominations are sent to the Hall of Champions’ Awards Committee for approval and selection of the best performers. After the Awards Committee makes its selections, they are presented to the Hall of Champions’ Board of Trustees for approval.

 

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