The original purpose of the Bulldog Award was to recognize an athlete that made coaching enjoyable at practice and during competitions. The award was suggested when Ramona High School was not winning many games and was the smallest school in the North County’s Avocado League East. Almost all of its opponents had twice the enrollment of RHS. The award’s purpose has not changed. It is voted on by the coaches at RHS and those with the most votes receive the Bulldog Awards. To be nominated is an honor and a tribute to the athlete’s attitude, dedication and sportsmanship.
By BILL TAMBURRINO
Luke Papps has earned varsity letters in football, volleyball and track and has been named Ramona High School’s 2012 Male Bulldog of the year.
Coaches say Papps works hard, overachieves, is versatile, and is a pleasure to coach.
Papps played four years of football and earned two varsity letters on the gridiron. He was the varsity Offensive Lineman of the Year twice and team captain his senior year.
“Luke may be small in size but he has the biggest heart of any player that I have ever coached. He is the ultimate team player and his character is at the top of the chart,” said Coach Damon Baldwin who has sent a plethora of linemen to college, has coached in college, and has several former players who have played and are playing in the NFL.
Baldwin also coached Papps in varsity track.
“He was a sprinter and a shot putter. And he did both well. How many times do you see an athlete hurry from the shot put ring to run in a 4x100 relay? If that is not versatile, I don’t know what is,” Baldwin said.
Jeff Klauda was Papps’ varsity volleyball coach. “He is the ultimate team player,” said Klauda.
Papps said that his mom, Juana, and his dad, Gary, “have given me emotional and financial support. They have always been there.”
Papps has a brother, Adrian, and a sister, Olivia, a student at RHS. He would advise Olivia and incoming freshmen to “find something you like and work hard. The rest will take care of itself.”
Papps maintained a 3.2 grade point average and will attend the University of South Dakota in the fall where he intends on majoring in criminal justice and playing sports.
The best aspect of playing sports at RHS, Papps said, was “the thrill of playing under the lights.”
And the most important lesson he learned was “work hard and never quit.”
“Luke Papps is what coaching high school sports is all about,” said Baldwin.