The Irvine Valley College athletics department honored 98 scholar athletes and an end of the school year luncheon on Thursday afternoon.
The 98 scholar athletes honored was a department record. It was 16 more than the 2011-12 school year and an impressive 35 more scholar athletes than two years ago.
Many other honors were also handed out to Irvine Valley student-athletes.
The Irvine Valley women's volleyball team, women's tennis team, women's sand volleyball team, women's badminton team and baseball team all had team grade point averages above 3.00. The women's volleyball team was the highest on campus with a GPA of 3.43.
Women's golf coach Ben Burnett and men's basketball coach Jerry Hernandez were named as Irvine Valley's Coaches of the Year.
Burnett guided the women's golf team to an undefeated season and a state championship last fall. It was the program's second state title in the last three seasons. The women's golf squad also won the Orange Empire Conference title and the Southern California Regional title. Burnett was named as the conference's coach of the year for women's golf.
Hernandez helped the men's basketball team to third place finish in the tough Orange Empire Conference and another trip to the Southern California Regional Playoffs. The men's basketball team has reached the playoffs in 14 of Hernandez's 18 years in charge.
Receiving the Irvine Valley athlete of the year awards were also those associated with the women's golf and men's basketball teams.
Sophomore Kate Cho was named Irvine Valley's Female Athlete of the Year. She was a big part of why Irvine Valley won the golf state title last fall. She was named co-player of the year in the Orange Empire Conference and picked as an all-state player.
Sophomore forward Zach Mills was picked as IVC's Male Athlete of the Year. Mills was named first team all-Orange Empire Conference after leading the Lasers in several statistical categories. He averaged 14.6 and 8.2 rebounds per game.
The Exchange Club of Irvine Scholar Athletes of the year were sophomore women's golfer Sally Kim and sophomore men's tennis player Rafael Da Luz.
Kim, who was Irvine Valley's female athlete of the year in 2012, was part of Irvine Valley's state championship women's golf team. She was named co-player of the year in the Orange Empire Conference and received all-state honors.
Da Luz was part of one of Irvine Valley's best men's tennis teams ever. The Lasers finished second in the conference and were one spot away from making the Southern California Regional Playoffs. Da Luz played No. 1 singles for the Lasers, was named an all-conference player and reached the state individual tournament.
The two were picked because of their achievement in competition and in the classroom.
Irvine Valley's Community Ambassador Award winners were sophomore women's volleyball player Alex Goodman and sophomore men's basketball player Michael Bolden.
The ambassador scholarships are presented to student-athletes who are chosen for their positive image in competition, in the their educational pursuits and community service.
Speaking of community service, sophomore women's volleyball player Avae Masaniai and sophomore men's soccer player Josh Popke were picked as Irvine Valley's Character Champion honorees.
The award is given to the student athletes who display the values of sportsmanship, respect, caring, fairness, civility, honesty, integrity and responsibility shown through a specific action, ideally directed toward an opponent during competition.
Popke was also recently selected as the overall Orange Empire Conference Character Champion winner on the men's side.
And lastly, Bob Urell, who is a business professor at IVC, and Chris Hogstedt, who is the director of the health and wellness center at the college, were awarded the Anna L. McFarlin Sport-For-All Service Award.
It is given annually to members of the Irvine Valley College community who have provided meritorious service to the college's student-athletes.