At the end of the night, it was a student who never competed who drew the loudest and longest applause.
Ronald de los Reyes — a senior with special needs from Glendale High — won the high school spirit award, drawing a standing ovation from the administrators, guests and student-athletes in the crowd.
"I wanted this victory," said Reyes, who served as a motivator on sidelines of football, soccer and basketball games and was the selected as the most spirited Nitro by his classmates. "I am so very happy. I love Glendale High."
No other Nitro might adore the school more than Reyes.
"He's always 100% spirited," Glendale High assistant principal Rene Valdes said. "He truly loves Glendale High. He loves wearing his jersey. We'll never have another Ronald who can match his enthusiasm and love for a school."
CV senior Pavle Atanackovic, who was the All-Area Boys' Soccer Player of the Year, won the High School Male Athlete of the Year award. Atanackovic led the CV squad to its first Division IV championship this past season. His coach, Grant Clark, was named the Coach of the Year for a Male Team sport.
"It's nice to be recognized for things on the field, but it's more important to be recognized for things we do off the field," Clark said. "Pavle is a great player. He deserves the recognition that he gets for the work he does on the field and off the field."
Hoover's Kariz Alberto, an All-Pacific League second-team selection, was awarded the High School Female Athlete of the Year.
"It means a lot," Alberto said. "I didn't expect it to happen. We worked hard and tried our best this year."
The CV baseball team, which won the Pacific League title for the first time since 2008, was selected as the High School Male Team of the Year.