Hayden Randolph and Marcus Chan, high school athletes who each excel in multiple sports, received their first hurrahs of the coronavirus-delayed 2020-21 school year.
The Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table has honored the local pair with its two monthly awards: Randolph with the Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award for Santa Barbara High and Chan with its Womble Ethics in Sports Award for Bishop Diego.
The award presentations were conducted virtually on the Round Table’s web site, sbart.org, since its weekly press luncheons have been postponed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Randolph has compiled a GPA of 4.68 while taking advanced placement classes in literature, calculus, government and economics. She is a member of both the National Society of High School Scholars and California Scholastic Federation.
She was also an All-Channel League First Team performer last year as both a volleyball libero and a soccer midfielder.
“She’s someone who leads by example, always… is the hardest worker,” Dons’ volleyball coach Ariana Garner said. “She’s got a fearless mindset and a lot of grit. She never gives up on a play and is the definition of always giving 110%, and that’s something that her teammates admire about her.”
Randolph, who also plays beach volleyball, admired Garner’s “willingness to be flexible” by allowing her “to balance varsity practice and games with club soccer practice rather than (having to) choose a sport.”
“Her belief in me made me want to put my full effort into it, especially since I’d never really played indoor volleyball,” she said.
Randolph also credited her new head soccer coach, Willie Sims, who stepped in to help at mid-season last season when the previous head coach was fired. The Dons wound up advancing to the CIF-SS Division 3 playoffs and won a wild-card game before losing in overtime to top-seeded Flintridge Prep.
“It was such an awesome chance to have (Sims) as a coach, especially being a club coach,” Randolph said. “Our team really benefitted.”
Randolph has also been active outside the field of play, volunteering at a school during a month in Bolivia and serving with the National Charity League since the age of 12. Also, since age 7, she’s participated in the Keiki Paddle, a youth ocean event that benefits children with life-threatening illnesses. She’s been on its board of directors since age 13.
“Not only is she a phenomenal athlete, but she’s an even greater person with very admirable values and morals, and she represents her school and family in a very positive light,” Garner said.
Chan, like Randolph, received all-league recognition in two sports last year: First Team All-Camino League as a sophomore linebacker in football and second-team All-Tri Valley League as a guard for a Bishop basketball team that advanced to the CIF-SS finals.
He’s played varsity in both sports since his freshman year. Tom Crawford thought so highly of him that he made him the first sophomore to ever serve as a team captain during his 20 years as Bishop’s coach.
“As a freshman, he was like a sponge with the way he soaked up the things we wanted him to do,” Crawford said. “To use a cliché, he was like a coach on the field — very, very vocal in making a lot of the defensive calls and adjustments.
“This kid is very special not just because of his physical talent, but also because of the mental and leadership sides that he displayed even when he was that young.”
Chan, a 5-foot-10 and 192-pound junior, also showed his aptitude as a fullback and running back.
“He’s willing to get behind blockers and be patient, and trust that things will develop, and when he sees daylight, he accelerates through,” Crawford said. “He’s a very bright, instinctual player.”
Chan has accumulated a GPA of 4.28, is a four-time Scholar-Athlete at Bishop, and a member of both the National Honor Society and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He volunteers for the Assistance League, providing holiday packages for needy people.
He gets special satisfaction for the time he’s volunteered at Hillside House, a residential home for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The late Phil Womble, a community leader who originated the Round Table’s Ethics in Sports Award, was afflicted with cerebral palsy and lived part of his life at Hillside House.
“We do some work at Hillside House and put on some parties for them during holidays, as well,” Chan said. “For Phil Womble to have been a part of that, and for me to be there helping and supporting them, is really cool, and I’m grateful for the opportunity.”
Womble designed the award to be presented to a junior who “demonstrates the highest standards of ethics and sportsmanship.”
“He checks all the boxes,” Crawford observed. “He’s a tremendous teammate and extremely respected by his peers. He epitomizes the we-over-me idea. He’s positive in the face of adversity. He’s competitive yet respectful of his opponents in the game itself, and he’s incredibly reliable.
“Ever since he’s been at Bishop, he’s kind of set the standard for our student-athletes in terms of the commitment required, but more importantly in the way to comport yourself with class and sportsmanship. I think Phil would be very, very proud to have someone like Marcus receive this award.”