GILROY, Calif. - There was no surprise when it came to announcing the winner of the 2016-2017 Togo’s Student-Athlete of the Year Award for Gavilan College, presented by Togo’s Eatery on 1st Street in Gilroy. In fact since the inception of the award, there may not have been a winner with the credentials that Erica Chapa had. The sophomore out of Hollister (San Benito H.S.) was the setter for the volleyball team and a member of the beach volleyball team as well.
In order to win the award, there are four different criteria’s that the Rams Athletic Department take into account: academic achievement, leadership, athletic contributions and involvement in the community.
In the classroom, Chapa complemented all 29 units that she attempted,with a grade point average of 3.38 this past year. She received Scholar-Athlete honors as well as being named to the Dean’s list. She graduated in May after earning her AA-T degree in Psychology.
However, it was on the court where Erica shined the brightest. As one of the co-captains of the volleyball team, she lead the program to heights it had never seen before. The team finished with a record of 23-7, going undefeated in Coast Conference South play winning the schools 4th league title.The Rams would go on to win a spot in the CCCAA State Championship Tournament finishing the year ranked 6th in the state. From the beginning of the season the honors for Chapa began to roll in. She was named to the All Tournament Teams at The Solano College Classic and the San Joaquin Delta Tournament. She was a 2016 1st team All Coast
Conference Selection, who would then be named Most Valuable Player of the Coast Conference South. It didn’t’t stop there. She was a 2016 CCCWVCA 1st Team All-NorCal Selection, 2016 CCCWVCA All-State 1st Team Selection, and with because of her performance at theStateChampionship Tournament she was also named
2016 CCCAA State Tournament All Tournament Selection. Last but not least, Chapa was named 2016 AVCA All-American. She is the first player in the history of Gavilan Volleyball to be given this honor and the first Ram to be named All-American since 2007. Chapa also found success on the sand this past season. Along with her partner she had the most match wins by any Rams this past year. Some highlights include wins over Division 1 Cal State Bakersfield second ranked duo, and qualifying for the 2017 NorCal Championships.
As an active member in the community, Chapa has been involved in coaching both indoor and beach volleyball to young people from within our area for the past three years. She has coached players ranging from 14-17 years old offering individual lessons and serving as an assistant coach for Crush Volleyball Club and Rush Volleyball Club.
As a result of her hard work and determination, Chapa will continue her education at Cal State Monterey Bay competing for the Otters in volleyball on an athletic scholarship.
Dean of Kinesiology & Athletics, Ron Hannon had the following to say about Chapa, “On behalf of the Rams Athletic Department, we’d like to congratulate Erica on her accomplishments and wish her the best of luck as she moves forward with her studies and athletic career at CSUMB. We are extremely proud of her accomplishments on and off the court. But we’re even more excited about the terrific person that she has evolved into while being at Gavilan. She has an unbelievably exciting future in front of her."
(Courtesy Gavilan College Athletics)