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2011-12 Signal Sports Awards Male Athlete of the Year: Tim White, Hart football, T&F

Posted: July 9, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: July 9, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Hart High's Tim White was an All-CIF football player and he was a state runner-up in the triple jump during the track and field season. The Signal named him the 2011-12 Male Athlete of the Year.

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Of all the characteristics that distinguish Hart senior Tim White, his incandescent smile stands out.

He doesn’t flash it all the time. In fact, his demeanor is usually more easygoing than ebullient.

But that smile is there. The Signal’s Male Athlete of the Year flashed it a lot this past school year.

A two-sport athlete at Hart High School, White’s story begins at the end. He finished as the state runner-up in the triple jump, going 51 feet, 5 inches on his second attempt that led the nation at the time.

One round later, Claremont’s Klyvens Delaunay went two inches further to wrestle the state championship away from White. But there was no disappointment in White’s eyes.

Not with everything that had gone on the past month.

He lost his brother Elwood on May 20, one day after White won CIF-Southern Section Division III titles in both the triple jump and high jump. Elwood was shot and killed by a police officer in Oceanside after a brief chase.

White openly admitted that the jump pit wasn’t sanctity for him. He didn’t need sanctity. He kept his brother on his mind, mature enough to bear the emotional brunt and resilient enough to honor his brother with his performances.

From a technique standpoint, those performances became much smoother as the season progressed. Therefore, the marks progressed, too.

White’s raw athletic ability put him ahead of the Foothill League curve in the jumps. Once Hart enlisted Valencia High jumps coach Joey Tureaud for the postseason, he taught White the proper form and the individual accolades started rolling in.

Before the state meet and Southern Section finals, White won Foothill League titles in the long jump, triple jump and high jump, pushing his career total to five. Before the Foothill League finals, White’s weekly scoring binges helped Hart secure a share of its first league title since 2008.

Through it all, White was smiling. Different injuries popped up, but none of them could keep him from enjoying his final few months as a high school athlete.

The first few months of his senior year were spent playing football.

The Indians advanced past the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Northern Division playoffs for the first time since 2007, and they ended Valencia’s 13-game Foothill League winning streak on Oct. 28, thanks in large part to White.

Trailing by a point with less than two minutes to play, White came up huge with a kickoff return to the Hart 43-yard line. A few plays later, White tipped a pass over the middle to himself and turned on the jets to score a 40-yard game-winning touchdown.

He ended the season with more than 1,000 all-purpose yards. One could argue that his best position wasn’t wide receiver or running back, where he filled in when needed, but defensive back, as he was selected to the All-CIF-SS Northern Division Defensive Team.

That’s White in a nutshell. Whatever you ask him to do, he’ll do it. Wherever you ask him to be, he’ll be there.

He’ll process the information you give him and apply it to his craft, taking his considerable raw abilities and sharpening them to the point of reaching his potential. And he’ll do it all with that glowing smile never too far from his face.

Chances are, those working with White will be wearing one, too.

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