With hundreds of girls basketball players hitting the court every year on the Central Coast, being named the All-Area MVP even once is quite a task.
Earning the honor twice? That's almost unheard of.
But Erin Jenkins accomplished that feat, one of only three players to do so since 2000.
“I also received a few other scholarships to go to Tiffin,” including a 2020 President Scholarship, worth $13,000, because of her academic marks at Santa Maria, said Baez.
Jenkins was named the Times' All-Area MVP in 2017 and 2018, after her junior and senior years at Cabrillo High. Aly Beebe (2010 and '11) and Meghan Gnekow (2001 and '02) are the only other players to do that this century. Both Beebe (St. Joseph) and Gnekow (Santa Ynez) went on to sign with Pac-12 schools, Beebe joining Stanford and Gnekow playing for USC.
Jenkins played the past two seasons at Northwest Nazarene in Idaho, where she grew up.
The former Conquistadore is the first nominee for Player of the Decade in girls basketball. The list of nominees from Northern Santa Barbara and South San Luis Obispo counties is put together by the sports staff at the Santa Maria Times, Lompoc Record and Santa Ynez Valley News, which has queried area coaches for their input while also researching league awards, individual statistics and team achievements.
Jenkins was voted the All-Area MVP twice by the sports staffs at the Times, Record and SYV News. She was named her league's MVP three times. She earned All-CIF honors as a senior.
As a young coach, Reck took over the Santa Ynez girls basketball program in 1976. The ENTIRE program.
“I was the girls varsity and junior varsity coach,” Reck told the Times’ Joe Bailey before being inducted into Santa Barbara's Court of Champions in 2016.
The 5-foot-10 guard was an all-around standout for the Conquistadores, playing under former head coach Jared McCune and then-assistant, now-current head coach Travis Jenkins, Erin's father.
Erin Jenkins could shoot, drive, pass and defend at a high level. During her senior season, she averaged 20.3 points, 8.6 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 3.3 steals per game.
"I honestly wanted this award because I felt I worked really hard for it," Jenkins said after winning her second straight All-Area MVP award in 2018. "I don’t mean to brag – but I feel like I put a lot of effort into this season and this is a big accomplishment for me because we lost two key players.”
Jenkins led the Conqs to another Los Padres League title and the championship game in the CIF Southern Section Division 3AA playoffs in her senior season without key contributors Britney McCune and Kiki Dial. Cabrillo lost to Downey Warren 47-42 in overtime of the CIF-SS title game, losing out on a chance for its first-ever girls basketball title.
Jenkins started 24 of 27 games this past season at Northwest Nazarene. She averaged 23 minutes a game and shot 48 percent from the field, averaging 11 points and 3.8 rebounds per game as a sophomore.
Tuitele wrote that he worked late five to six nights a week, living pretty much a subsistence existence, “However, by the grace of God, I had just enough to pay off my college tuition and housing rent for two years straight,” Tuitele wrote.
During her four years on the Cabrillo varsity, Jenkins helped the Conqs win 94 times, with Cabrillo losing only 17 games. The Conqs won at least a share of the Los Padres League title all four years. Cabrillo went 28-0 in league over Jenkins' final two seasons and 51-7 overall in that span. During her career, Cabrillo went 54-2 in league games, with the only two losses coming to Lompoc in her freshman and sophomore seasons.
Before Jenkins arrived, Cabrillo went 13-13 in the 2013-14 season and 9-17 the year before that.
Jenkins scored 1,779 total points during her Cabrillo career, which spanned 111 games. For her career, she averaged 16.2 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.7 steals and 2.3 assists per game.
“With my role on this team, I really feel like I just try to motivate everyone to the best of their abilities. My role on the court is I run the ball,” Jenkins said in 2017.
The rest of the nominees will be released. Readers can then vote for the Player of the Decade.
Though it's been 3 1/2 years since his passing, there are still signs of Ryan Teixeira's life all over the Central Coast.
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