By Fred Altieri
Centaur Blue and White were the colors flying high over City Hall on Monday night as Culver City High student/athletes were honored not once but twice by local officials.
Parents, family and friends packed the chamber to witness the ceremony. Members of the Centaur girls basketball team and their coaches were recognized for having won their league and CIF division championships while one of their classmates was recognized for having attained scouting's highest level.
Appropriately, Culver City Mayor Jeff Cooper and the city council members asked Culver High athletic director Tom Salter to open and lead the regular session in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. They then began the proceedings by presenting an official commendation to Mirando Myers, a Culver High junior who also plays in three of the school's athletic programs, for earning the Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest achievement in Girl Scouting.
The certificate stamped with the city's official seal and given out to each of the Culver High girls basketball team members read: "The City Council of the City of Culver City hereby awards this Certificate of Recognition to --. On behalf of the City Council of the City of Culver City, I want to congratulate you on winning the 2014 Ocean League Championship with a perfect 10-0 record and your subsequent victory at the California Interscholastic Federation Southern Section Division 2AA Championship. Your CIF Championship was Culver City's first in any team sport since 1982 and demonstrates that your sportsmanship, hours of practice and competitive play have certainly paid off. You are an outstanding example to Culver City's youth and a source of pride to the community." It was signed by the mayor and dated March 24, 2014.
The 2013-14 basketball team members honored were players: Alexis Aquino, Alexis Arancibia, Gwen Machado, Kailey Tooke, Kate Suyetsugu, Katie Lin, Kelli Tademaru, Kelsey Ueda, Lindsey Tanita, Megan Yoon, Michelle Curry and coaches: Julian Anderson, Mark Kitabayashi and Tom Nakayama.
After each of the girls were congratulated and given their certificates, Senior Kelsey Ueda spoke on behalf of the players as she thanked the community, parents, friends and school officials for their support. It was a fitting way for Ueda to end her high school athletic career while head coach Julian Anderson was equally proud of her and her teammates.
"Winning the title was a little surreal," he said. "I'm happy for everyone and probably more ecstatic for others, especially seniors like Kelsey Ueda who stuck with the program for four years. She's actually my first four-year player. That's huge because she's had a lot of patience and she's put in the time and effort and work. I'm very proud and happy for her and everybody as they've sacrificed their time and effort to be a part of something special."
Miranda Myers, having earned the Girls Scouts' highest award, is now playing in her second year for Culver High's varsity softball team. She is also a member of the school's junior varsity volleyball and basketball teams. Earning the Gold Award is a rare achievement and demonstrates an extraordinary long-term dedication and commitment to the organization's standards and values.
Reflecting amongst her noted attributes, Myers demonstrated civic responsibility, the courage to investigate and recognize value in others, to lead and build projects, to work collaboratively and take action, actively seek partnerships to achieve greater community participation and to educate, inspire and share experiences with others.