ILS Celebrates Top Competitors at Athletic Awards



A long running tradition at Immaculata-La Salle High School includes the annual celebration of the school’s top athletes at the Athletic Awards ceremony. Normally coupled with Academic Awards, this year featured a change in the traditional setup for the event. Our to COVID-19 protocols, Athletic and Academic awards were split into two separate events.

This year, ILS celebrated some of the most successful and most decorated athletes and teams in school history. Emceed by Athletic Director Nick Fernandez, the evening saw so many of the Royal Lions who poured their food, sweat and tears into their sports earn one final distinction.

Although the night is a celebration of the athletic program and all its teams, it remains the capstone celebration for the graduating class. This year’s seniors, the Class of 2021, were robbed of the “normal” athletic experiences so many have enjoyed throughout the year. It’s a credit to their resiliency and flexibility that this group remained highly competitive and successful.

Special Awards

Sportsmanship award is an award that goes to students’ athletes with high character, great virtues and ethical behavior. They understand the importance of respect during competitive events with fair play and integrity. These students’ athletes both demonstrated sportsmanship and much more during their seasons.

This year’s Female Sportsmanship Award went to senior volleyball star Adriana Medina, who helped lead the ILS Girls Volleyball program to back-to-back district championships during her career. Medina led the team in aces (18) and assists (107), and is third on the team in digs (26). For her three-year ILS career, Medina has registered 98 aces, 202 digs and 736 assists.

This year’s Male Sportsmanship Award went to senior Yohance Forde. A veteran of both the ILS Swim team and the ILS Boys Volleyball team, Forde provided leadership and life to his teams. He won the 50-meter freestyle district championship as a senior and qualified for the State Championship meet. He also played a pivotal role on the Boys Volleyball team.

Leadership award isn’t something all students can win. You have to be special to be a leader and both of these athletes are exactly that. Special. As a leader you can’t do the same things your teammates do. You need to lead by example in and out of the classroom. This award acknowledges and celebrates exemplary leadership that has a significant and positive impact on the student body and their teams.

This year’s Female Leadership award winner was senior Sofia Peñas. As captain of the cheerleading team, Peñas helped lead the squad to the school’s first-ever State Championship in a team sport as a junior. Then, during her senior year, Peñas helped make history again as captain of the back-to-back State Champion Cheer team. The team took it a step further still, winning ILS’s first-ever National Championship as well.

This year’s Male Leadership award winner was senior baseball player Dominic Sorondo. As a four-year member of the ILS varsity baseball team, Sorondo provided leadership and a steady hand for his team throughout his career. As a catcher, Sorondo proved to be like a coach on the field, helping the pitching staff succeed. The ILS baseball improved each year Sorondo was on the team. His production and leadership helped land Sorondo the opportunity to play baseball at the college level, as he recently signed a national letter of intent to play at Middle Georgia State University.

Athlete of the year is an award that is pretty self-explanatory. They are the top athletes not only in one sport but often times in many sports. They positivity impact all the sports they participate in and often times get to showcase their talents at the next level.

Senior Sabrina Sousa won the Female Athlete of the Year for her efforts as part of the ILS Girls Soccer program. Sousa was an anchor for the team’s defense and sported a do-it-all approach in all other facets of the game. A four-year letterman, Sousa played 60 games at the varsity level for ILS Girls soccer. Although primarily a defender throughout her career, Sousa did score eight goals and registered seven assists. She earned a spot on the All-Dade first team for cheer play as a senior.

Senior Emilio Ramirez won the Male Athlete of the Year award for his play as part of the ILS Boys Basketball team. He led the team in scoring with a 20.4 points-per-game average and was second in scoring in the district. Ramirez led the Royal Lions to the District Championship game. He was the catalyst for the boys basketball program and demonstrated his leadership in the team’s district and regional runs. Ramirez averaged 4.5 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game in the regular season, in addition to 27.3 points per match in the Royal Lions’ district playoff run. He earned an All-Dade third team distinction this year.

Being a top Scholar Athlete is one of the hardest things to do in high school. Not only do you excel on the field or in the gym but more importantly you excel in the classroom. You find a way to balance the rigorous training and challenges of your studies. Both of these scholar athletes are outstanding young adults that don’t have to be told what to do. To be the scholar athlete you need to understand the importance of education and sport.

Senior Isabela Juara earned the distinction as the Female Scholar Athlete of the Year. Juara, who took part in AP Classes and honor societies like Mu Alpha Theta, was an integral part of both the ILS Girls Cross Country team and the ILS Girls Track and Field team. She helped propel the girls cross country team to the district runner-up status and as a senior, ran her personal best time of 22:42 at the regional meet. She was also part of the girls 4-x-800 relay team that qualified for regionals in track.

Senior Sebastian Giugovaz capped off his successful senior year by earning the Male Scholar Athlete of the Year. Giugovaz excelled as both a soccer player and track and field runner, in addition to excelling within the classroom across the board. As an honors and AP student, Giugovaz never let his athletic responsibilities affect his classroom performance. As an athlete, Giugovaz represented ILS well at the State Track and Field Championships as a senior, and was a defensive anchor on the Boys Soccer team that won the District Championship his junior year. He was also a key contributor as a sophomore on the Boys Soccer team that won the Regional Championship and competed in the State Championship game in 2019.

Student Athletes also earned distinctions for being four-year varsity competitors. Those seniors were:

  • Baseball – Sebastian Paz, Dominic Sorondo
  • Basketball – Camila Corvalan, Emilio Ramirez, Ana Sol
  • Cheerleading – Camila Casique-Rotundo, Maria Castro, Monserrate Vivas, Ana Victoria Salazar
  • Cross Country – Noah Coronado, Isabella Juara
  • Dance – Jade Saavedra, Sofia Sonntag
  • Football – Yaniel Rodriguez
  • Golf – Emilian Chediak, Emily Fernandez, Veronica Eulate-Gimenez
  • Soccer – Erika Austin, Sabrina Sousa
  • Softball – Ariana Emirzian, Maia Medina
  • Swimming – Pedro Beron Vera, Ava Chandler
  • Tennis – Andres Marquez
  • Track and Field – Max Betancourt, Noah Coronado, Yohance Forde, Isabella Juara, Gabriel Xirinachs

National Champs: ILS Cheerleading

The most successful squad at ILS this season was the Cheerleading team. The Lady Royal Lions cheer team took home their second consecutive State Championship, becoming the first team in school history to do so. They also made history by winning a National Championship, becoming the first cheerleading program in South Florida to do so!

State Qualifiers

Track and Field saw senior Sebastian Giugovaz compete in the State Championship for the 400-meter dash. The ILS tennis team sent sophomore Isabella Rojas to States as a singles competitor and as a doubles competitor with her partner junior Mariana Naranjo. ILS Swimming hard three athletes qualify for the State Championships, seniors Yohance Forde and Pedro Beron Vera, as well as sophomore Pablo Lopez.

The ILS Sailing team has qualified for the National Championship after their recent impressive showing at the SAISA Mallory Qualifier. ILS Sailing beat every single team from Florida and other southeastern states, finishing second overall to a team from the Antilles.

District Champions

District Runners-Up & Regional Qualifiers

  • ILS Golf – junior Peter Hellebrand
  • ILS Girls Cross-Country
  • ILS Boys Varsity Basketball
  • ILS Girls Tennis
  • ILS Track and Field (10 different events)