From left, Danielle Jefferies and Derek Wood showed off their plaques after they were honored as Immanuel High School's Female and Male Athlete of the Year at the school's athletic awards ceremony on May 23. Wood attended the event after practice for the May 25 City-County All-Star baseball game.

Immanuel High School's Blue & White Excellence Award winners for 2018-19 is highlighted its Female and Male Athletes of the Year — volleyball standout Danielle Jefferies and baseball standout Derek Wood.

Jefferies and Wood received their awards and the latest team of standout seniors was revealed at a special awards ceremony on May 23 in the IHS main gym. They were joined on the prestigious Blue & White Excellence team by tennis player Grace Goertzen, golfer Nikki McArron, soccer player/swimmer Rebecca Deaver, soccer player Regan Ott, track and field sprinter Tamsen Taves and baseball pitcher JT Friesen.

Jefferies developed into a dominating player in her four-year career with the Eagles, capped by earning Central Sequoia League Offensive Player of the Year honors while leading the squad to a second place finish in the Central Section Division 4 playoffs last November. She recently received a full scholarship to play volleyball at Division 1 school Cal State Fullerton.

"I was very privileged to coach Danielle for her senior year," said IHS coach Debbie Linman. "She is one of the best overall athletes I have coached in about 20 years. She rises to the challenge, always winning more reps and always asking how to be better."

Linman described how Jefferies powerful hitting game — which peaked during a postseason run that carried the team into the section finals — would excite the bench coaches with her accuracy and direct hits. The coach also praised Jefferies academic prowess that includes a 4.0 grade point average.

"With all the traveling and hours on the court, she made sure her education took priority," she said.

The Eagles had a run of success during Jefferies' career, winning section titles in her sophomore and junior years including a Southern California Regional title and runner-up state finish in 2016. Jefferies also has been named a CIF Scholar Athlete.

"She has made us very proud," said Josh Franco, athletic director, as he announced her award.

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