Kevin May was named the San Diego Hall of Champion’s boys water polo player of the year, and Sarah Van Norman received the organization’s girls player of the year honor. Both come from a school that has a student body of just 925 in seventh through 12th grades.
“For it being a very small school, relatively, it was really cool to have two people honored,” May said. “It was especially cool to have us honored in the same type of sport. I’ve known Sarah probably since the sixth grade, and to see us come so far and finally achieve our goals is pretty amazing.”
The Hall of Champions awards were presented at a gala last month, which included the top athletes throughout the county from 28 different sports. Chargers star linebacker Shawne Merriman was the keynote speaker, and Emmy-award-winning television reporter John Weisbarth was the event’s master of ceremonies.
The Hall of Champions is San Diego’s central resource for sports education, celebration and recognition. As part of its mission, the Hall of Champions encourages and awards all levels of athletes around San Diego for exceptional performance in sports.
“It was pretty fun - we got to hang out with all the other top athletes at a reception and had dinner,” May said. “I just thought it was really a cool thing.”
“It was really fun to see all the top athletes in one room together, because you know that at least half the kids there are going on to play Division I sports, and you’re probably going to read about them again. Even though you may not have known much about them before because they don’t go to your high school, it’s fun to see everybody honored for what they’ve done and think about what they might do in the future. It was a pretty awesome experience.”
May helped lead the Knights to a 20-7 record and their fourth straight CIF-San Diego Section Division II boys water polo title with yet another stellar season. He scored a whopping 111 goals, and augmented that remarkable statistic with 47 assists and 38 steals. Those numbers during his senior season helped him finish his high school career fourth in the section for career steals and sixth for career goals.
Van Norman’s girls team also won the CIF-San Diego Section Division II championship, compiling a season record of 29-2. The Knights’ girls squad also won four straight section titles in her time at the school. Van Norman totaled 138 goals, 15 assists, 40 steals and 61 ejections drawn. She leaves Bishop’s holding the San Diego Section career scoring record, with 507 goals, a number that could stand for years to come.
Van Norman will continue her water polo career at USC this year. She wasn’t able to be reached by La Jolla Light for comment, but did tell the Bishop’s Web site that “I’m really happy with the four-peat. This is a perfect way to end my high school career.”
Van Norman comes from a family that has spent plenty of time in the pool. She has an older sister who has played water polo at USC and an older brother who is a college swimmer. A 2-meter player, she has played for the U.S Youth National team and was named the CIF-San Diego Section player of the year as a junior.
May will move from Bishop’s to Stanford this fall, where he plans to continue his career as a utility player in the pool. “I’m looking forward to continuing to play at the Division I level and in the NCAA,” May said.
As a utility player, May sees time at hole set, hole set guard and driver. “I’m hoping that will continue (at Stanford),” May said. “I like being allowed to play different positions and being more versatile. It makes it more fun for me. Rather than being stuck in one specific role, I like to be able to roam around the pool and do what I like to do.”
May said that winning four straight section titles and capping his career off with a player of the year award made for a high school sports experience that couldn’t be beat. He spoke for both himself and Van Norman when he said the award was icing on the cake.
“It’s great to look back on it and see that all the hard work you put in has finally paid off in the end,” May said.