Tippy Wilcox, Simi Valley High's man for all seasons, breathed life into a dying species this year: the three-sport athlete. He was a throwback, earning three varsity letters for the Pioneers.
Wilcox was a linebacker for the football team, a power forward on the basketball team and the No. 1 hurdler for the Simi Valley track team. That's accomplishment enough for Simi Valley's answer to the Renaissance athlete, but Wilcox's role was more impressive than that.
All three teams that had the 6-3, 180-pound senior in the lineup won a Marmonte League championship.
The football team was 9-3 and advanced to the quarterfinal round of the Southern Section playoffs, and both the basketball and track teams placed second in the Southern Section. Wilcox's three teams combined for a 43-6 record.
A popular figure on campus, Wilcox is the senior class president and has earned a scholarship to play football and track at Cal Lutheran University.
Wilcox downplays his accomplishments, saying he's just a guy looking for things to do.
"I don't like sitting around," he said. "I like to be active. Sports are what I live for, so I just come out and play."
Wilcox, who is easygoing off the field, seems to thrive on pressure and combat. That probably accounts for his first choice in sports: football.
"I don't know whether it's the crowd or the hitting, but I can take out my aggressions in football," he said. "You can hit people in football and it's legal."
Courage is Wilcox's legacy at the school. He made a lasting impression on Simi Valley football Coach Dave Murphy during the final game of the season. Wilcox suffered a broken nose when he was kicked in the face, but insisted on returning to the game. He completed a long pass off a fake punt in the final minutes of the fourth quarter.
"His nose was flattened all over his face; it was bent and there was gauze stuck up both nostrils," Murphy said. "He got right in my face and told me he had to go in for the fake-punt play. He not only gets in but he completes the pass. As a human being, I will never forget that moment."