Seniors Andre Williams was recognized by the Press Democrat as the Small Schools Boys Scholar-Athlete of the Year in their annual All-Empire Awards program. He was one of eight overall winners selected from over 35 schools in the Redwood Empire. Williams competed for the Coyotes in cross country in the fall, where he won the California State Dvisions V Cross Country Championship. He also competes in track and field in the spring and has advanced to the Meet of Champions this weekend with top qualifers advancing to the State Track & Field Meet next weekend. For a link to the Press Democrat article, visit: https://www.pressdemocrat.com/sports/9575592-181/press-democrats-all-empire-athletes-of
That same evening, SA's head cross country and track & field coach Danny Aldridge was selected as the Empire Coach of the Year by the Press Democrat. Danny has had an amazing athletic career as an athlete and coach, including having individual State Champions (male and female) at Sonoma Academy as well as qualifying both teams to the CIF State Championships. For a link to the Press Democrat article, visit: https://www.pressdemocrat.com/sports/9586765-181/benefield-longtime-empire-coaches-doug
We headed to CSU Long Beach with the biggest group to ever qualify in Speech for the State Tournament. This year we had five qualifiers in four events (because one of the events was a duo).
Reece Stromberg '19 joined our team just this year, and he quickly drew quite a bit of attention to himself by winning trophies at the league tournaments in National Extemporaneous speaking. In this event Reece gets a half hour to prepare a speech on a topic related to the politics and economy of the United States. In general, extempers are a tight-knit group and they know each other quite well. So Reece proved to be a big disruption midway through this year. He finished with quite a great record under his belt, and he enjoyed his time at the State Tournament.
Emma Hartley '20 has attended the State Tournament three years in a row in the same event—Advocacy. This year Emma wrote a powerful, well documented speech on reforming living conditions in the Appalachian Mountains. She dazzled the judges all year with this speech, even when she had to give it as an Oratory rather than an Advocacy, which is an event that emphasizes eloquence and delivery more than grounded research and argumentation. Given Emma's track record, we can probably expect her to make it again. Prior to Emma, no student has even made it to State more than twice!
Our dynamic duo, Ellie Ramos '21 and Veronica Aranda '21, performed their duo, "Birthday Candles." The most impressive thing about this team is their work ethic, which is the only thing greater than their natural talent for acting and storytelling. These two never stopped adding to their choreography. One of the most challenging things about speech is performing the same piece for an entire year. Many competitors loose interest in their speech and want to start new ones. These young women found ways to keep their interest alive, finding nuance in the language, or new ways to imagine their scenes. As sophomores, these two will undoubtedly be contenders at this tournament again.
Finally, there is Elannah De La O '20. She wowed the school at community meeting the week prior with a performance of her Program in Oral Interpretation. For her piece, she has woven five different pieces together to create a new work that aims to convey the Mexican American experience and the diverse range of voices within this community. Her piece includes poetry by Jimmy Santiago Baca and a transposed performance of the song "One Time One Night" by Los Lobos. Elannah beat the odds by breaking to semi-finals in her event, making her top fifteen in the state in her event.
We have had a wonderful season... probably the most successful ever, and we can only expect greater things to come. Undoubtedly there's so much to celebrate at the Awards Banquet last week!
The only private, independent, college preparatory high school in Sonoma County. On its beautiful 34-acre campus nestled at the base of picturesque Taylor Mountain in South Santa Rosa, Sonoma Academy students are able to explore their interests and passions in a challenging environment that prepares them for college and life beyond.