Jason Whieldon of Orange Lutheran and April Ross of Newport Harbor were honored as athletes of the year Wednesday night at a dinner hosted by the Orange County Athletic Directors Assn. at the Anaheim Convention Center.
Whieldon, a two-sport standout, was The Times' Orange County back of the year in football and a first-team all-county selection in basketball.
In football, he passed for a county-record 40 touchdowns and 2,844 yards. In basketball, he averaged a county-best 26.3 points.
Ross was selected Gatorade National High School Player of the Year in volleyball after leading Newport Harbor to a second consecutive state title and an unprecedented third consecutive Southern Section Division I-AA championship. She also was The Times' Orange County player of the year in two consecutive years.
Ross also runs track and was a standout in the 100, 200 and 400 meters as well as the high jump and triple jump.
Bart Recktenwald, who spent the last six years as a varsity assistant football coach at Los Amigos, has been hired to coach Santiago, Cavalier Athletic Director Ron Heiman announced Wednesday.
"He brings new ideas and new blood into our program," Heiman said. "He's had a real good mentor in [Los Amigos Coach] Roger Takahashi. We're also excited about his youth and enthusiasm."
Recktenwald, 32, replaces Ben Haley, who in April accepted the coaching job at Anaheim, his alma mater. Last season the Cavaliers finished fourth in the Garden Grove League and posted a 5-5 overall record.
Wes Wardrop, a first-team All-Empire League guard at Loara, said he will transfer to Worcester Prep in Massachusetts this fall to play basketball.
The 6-foot-3 junior, who averaged 17 points a game last season, will be reclassified as a junior next season and will have two years of eligibility remaining.
"That's the main reason I'm going," Wardrop said. "I want to use that year to get stronger and quicker."
Wardrop said he also likes the idea of being exposed to more Eastern college coaches.
"It's tough to lose any player like that," Loara Coach Ed Prange said, "but he feels it's the best move for him, and we wish him luck."
The California Coaches Assn. has named Cypress' Ray Haas as the Community College Women's Soccer Coach of the Year. Haas directed the 1999 Chargers to a 27-0 record and a state championship, as well as the No. 1 ranking in the country by the National Soccer Coaches Assn. of America. Haas, who has been with the program since its inception in 1991, has a career record of 180-13-17.