The people have spoken. And the people want Jimmy Gardner

The Lompoc defensive back had one of the largest voting pushes in the history of the SMT Player of the Week award, landing over 600 votes last week to win the award for Week Eight. 

Gardner edged out Santa Ynez linebacker Travis Vreeland, who had a serious voting surge as well.

Gardner tallied 638 total votes across our three websites after he helped lift Lompoc to a close win over Santa Ynez with a touchdown catch and an interception as the Braves won 17-7.

Vreeland finished with 462 votes on our three sites after he had 25 tackles in that loss to Lompoc a little over a week ago.

Gardner had a well-balanced voting turnout, though his home site of lompocrecord.com had 327 total votes, the highest total for one player on one site this year. 

Gardner received 165 votes on santamariatimes.com and even edged out Vreeland on syvnews.com with 146 votes.

Vreeland had 206 votes on santamariatimes.com; 141 on lompocrecord.com and 115 on syvnews.com.

Somehow, this is the first time this season that a Lompoc Brave has won the weekly honor.

Though, that may not be too much of a surprise. The Braves do have their sights set on one thing: A CIF title.

Strangely enough, Gardner's victory here also coincides with teammate Toa Taua's win at the Round Table Athlete of the Week luncheon, his first win of his senior season.

Joe Bailey is the sports editor at Lee Central Coast Newspapers. Contact him with tips and story ideas at jbailey@leecentralcoastnews.com or (805) 739-2239. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/jbaileysmsports

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