BY ZACH EWING Californian staff writer email@example.com
As Bakersfield Mayor Harvey Hall listed the accomplishment's of this year's Mayor's Trophy recipient Wednesday night in the Harvey Auditorium at Bakersfield High, Silas Nacita sat up in his chair.
Nacita had no idea he was about to become the 36th winner of the award, given annually to Bakersfield's top senior student-athlete as measured by athletic, academic, leadership and community service qualities.
"I had filled out a form, but I had no idea what it was," Nacita said. "Then the mayor comes out and starts reading this list of accomplishments. It starts to click in my head: 'Hey, that sounds familiar.'"
Nacita played running back and defensive back on Bakersfield High's varsity team for three years, helping the Drillers to a 2010 Central Section runner-up finish and the 2011 Division I championship.
He also was a two-time state medalist in wrestling, including the 170-pound silver medal this year.
He was first-team All-Area twice in each sport and also picked up diving on a whim last month with three weeks left in the season: He narrowly missed qualifying for the section finals.
"I did it to get a tan," Nacita said. "Just kidding. I'm just not the type of person to not be doing anything. I had to pick up something else."
Nacita also was the BHS senior class vice president, the school's Fellowship of Christian Athletes president and a two-year captain in both football and wrestling; he'll play football at Cornell University.
Nacita volunteered for a number of community organizations, including the Special Olympics, Relay for Life, Great American Clean-Up, Bakersfield Homeless Shelter and Jesus Shack.
"It's just a great honor to come here and be recognized in front of my community and the mayor," Nacita said. "I'm so thankful they put this together and to the community for their support."
Other finalists for the award were: Patrick Farley, Garces; Matthew Huckaby, Bakersfield Christian; Lucy LaFranchise, Liberty; Harmandeep Manku, South; Cameron Miller, Stockdale; Kaylee Moyer, North; and Adrianna Salazar, West.
The Mayor's Trophy was presented at the beginning of the second PEAAK (Promoting Excellence in Athletics and Activities in Kern) Awards ceremony at BHS.
Other notable winners included Best Male Athlete Chris Hannible, BHS; Best Female Athlete, Meghan Shain, Frontier; Best Sportsmanship, Isaac Lopez, Ridgeview; Play of the Year, Javier Kirksey, Ridgeview; Best Male Student-Athlete, Ryan O'Leary, Highland; Best Female Student-Athlete, Brooke Dickens, Stockdale.