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Starring in one sport just wasn’t enough for St. Augustine’s Tariq Thompson and Cathedral Catholic’s Megan Faraimo.
 
The two were chosen the 2016-17 Athletes of the Year Saturday before a packed house of 350 at the 11th Annual Prep Athletes Awards Gala held at the San Diego Hall of Champions.
 
Thompson, a senior who will be attending San Diego State where he is penciled in as a safety, was selected over two other multi-sport standouts, Mo Mirer of Cathedral Catholic (football and lacrosse) and La Jolla’s Daniel McColl (football, basketball and volleyball).
 
Faraimo, who is only a junior but has already committed to UCLA for softball, got the edge over state and section record-setting basketball player Destiny Littleton of The Bishop’s School who is already enrolled at the University of Texas and Carlsbad’s Alana Snow, who starred in volleyball, basketball, track and softball and will be attending UCLA where she will play softball.
 
Also honored were the Coaches of the Year, Cathedral Catholic’s Sean Doyle for football and Granite Hills’ Patty Tibbitts for tennis, as well as the All-Academic Athletes of the Year, Mar Vista’s Gabriel Preciado and Steele Canyon’s Shelby Wray.
 
ATHLETES OF THE YEAR
Tariq Thompson
St. Augustine
 
The 6-foot, 190-pounder was just the kind of player a coach needs on teams that often overflow with talent.
 
Thompson was one of the section’s top defensive backs where he finished with 53 tackles and three interceptions. He also played wide receiver, finishing with 39 receptions for 626 yards and eight touchdowns.
 
In the winter he became a key member of the section Open Division champion St. Augustine basketball team, coming off the bench to take on the opponents’ best player and shut them down much as he did in football.
 
“For me, finishing off the basketball season like we did—beating the No. 2 team in the nation (Chatsworth Sierra Canyon)—was the highlight,” said Thompson. “I knew my role and defense was definitely first.”
 
Megan Faraimo
Cathedral Catholic
 
Championships were the only thing that Faraimo knew, first helping the volleyball team to the state Division II title and then pitching the softball team to the section Open Division crown.
 
She led the volleyball team with 199 kills before changing uniforms and posting a 27-1 record on the mound for the softball team.
 
“I like softball best,” said Faraimo. “I have a passion for sports. I really like competition and when I get in a bind, I take a deep breath. The thing is, sports are so much fun.”
 
In the Open Division title game, she hurled 10 shutout innings, fanning 17, in a 3-0 victory.
 
COACHES OF THE YEAR
Sean Doyle
Cathedral Catholic
 
Guiding the Dons to a 15-0 record that included capturing the state Division I-AA title, Doyle said that rallying from a 21-0 halftime deficit against Helix early in the year turned around the season.
 
Doyle’s Dons downed Stockton St. Mary’s for the title, 38-35, twice coming from 14 points behind, giving him 177 wins in his 21 years at Cathedral..
 
Patty Tibbitts
Granite Hills
 
A fixture at Granite Hills High for more than 30 years, Tibbitts led the Eagles to their first-ever section title, capturing the Division III crown.
 
Facing the toughest teams she could schedule, the Eagles went 0-4 in the preseason, caught fire in league, going 9-1, before charging through the playoffs with a 4-0 record.