Sophomore basketball player Natasha Dillon and freshman volleyball player Grant Marocchi have been named Irvine Valley's Female and Male Champion of Character Award, respectively for the 2018-19 school year.
The awards are given to the student athletes who display the following values; sportsmanship, respect, caring, fairness, civility, honesty, integrity and responsibility shown through a specific action, ideally directed toward an opponent during competition.
The criteria also includes the action of putting the team and teammates before oneself while acting as a positive role model.
Each college in the Orange Empire Conference names a male and female student-athlete winner.
The inaugural awards were given out following the 2009-10 academic year. Since its inception, the OEC Character Champion Award has been sponsored by Fair-Play Scoreboards.
Dillon's time at Irvine Valley was remarkable.
Entering the college at only 16 years of age, she will graduate at age 18 with an AA and two Certificates of Achievement in Administration of Justice in just four semesters.
Pending her Spring 2019 grades, her grade point average sits at 3.73.
The Tesoro High grad is deeply involved in her Las Flores community, and serves on the AD's Advisory Committee at IVC.
She also helped Irvine Valley win back-to-back Orange Empire Conference titles in women's basketball. The team had a record of 49-11 overall the last two years and made the program's second-ever trip to the state tournament in 2018.
Marocchi will graduate with both an AA and an IGETC Certificate in Business Administration in Spring 2019.
Pending his Spring 2019 grades, his grade point average sits at a perfect 4.0.
The Dana Hills High grad is deeply involved in his coastal community and his church, served a two year mission prior to enrolling at IVC, and serves on the AD's Advisory Committee at IVC.
He signed a National Letter of Intent to play men's volleyball at Long Beach State and will have three years of eligibility there.
Marocchi helped Irvine Valley reach the championship game of the men's volleyball state tournament this spring and led the team to a 15-8 overall record. He was named first team all-Orange Empire Conference and paced the Lasers in blocks on the year with 70 (1.09 average) and added 2.11 kills per set.