Two Brea Olinda High School student-athletes have been recognized by the Orange County Athletic Directors Association (OCADA) for exemplifying positive character traits on and off the field. Jocelyn Islas and Austin Yamamoto were among several Orange County athletes recognized at a ceremony on Jan. 22 at Servite High School.
OCADA recognizes and honors athletic directors, coaches, and student-athletes that showcase exceptional character and dedication to their craft. This organization's mission is to honor these individuals and promote learning experiences that foster sportsmanship, teamwork, and integrity.
Austin Yamamoto is a multi-sport athlete completing his fourth year in Cross Country and his first year on the Boys Varsity Soccer team. Austin said he played soccer before high school but it wasn’t until this past year that he decided to join the team at BOHS. He was also a member of the track team from freshman to junior year.
“The thing I love most about sports at BOHS is the family that you build in these sports,” Austin said. “My teammates in cross country and track are some of my closest friends.”
Austin shared that it was an honor to be chosen for the OC Athlete of Character award and that he credits his parents for developing his character and who he is today.
“They (parents) taught me integrity and grit which are invaluable in a sport like cross country,” he said.
Austin is a senior and plans to study mechanical engineering after graduating with the hope of creating a start-up to help engineer solutions to the world's environmental issues.
Jocelyn Islas shared a similar sentiment about her character-building and says her parents played such an important role in helping to shape her into the person she is today.
“My parents have always brought me up to compete for what I want but with a good attitude,” she said. “They have also taught me to keep my faith at the center of all my priorities, and offer my talents up to God. I firmly believe that these qualities have helped me become the person I am today, and I feel blessed to have parents as amazing and strong as mine.”
Jocelyn started playing tennis when she was about seven years old and continued to play for several years until she made it all the way up to the top 40 in California for her age division. After a short break, Jocelyn joined the United Choirs of Brea show choir program where she found much success and love for music until she returned to the sport of tennis during her junior year at BOHS.
“I got back into tennis and fell back in love with it,” she said. “This year I devoted all my time to the tennis program and had a great season.”
Jocelyn indeed had a great season. She was awarded Team MVP and League MVP this past season and was recognized as a league runner- up along with her doubles partner, Kimberly Wu, which then qualified them both for CIF.
“I love being a student at BOHS as it has provided me a place where I can thrive in both my academics, sports, and other hobbies,” Jocelyn said. “The teachers, especially Ms. Hefner, who I have had the pleasure of having for three years as a teacher, has really influenced me in the best way possible and it has opened up so many opportunities.”