Former West Hills College Coalinga Student Apefai “Junior” Taifane has been honored as the California Community College Athletic Association’s Male Scholar Athlete of the Year.
The award is the highest honor possible for any CCCAA student-athlete and is based on GPA: students must earn at least a 3.50 GPA. Apefai excelled past that, earning a perfect 4.0 GPA over his first three semesters at WHCC.
“Our CCCAA system includes 26,000 student-athletes each year, and for Apefai to be a selected winner representing West Hills College Coalinga is an extraordinary accomplishment,” said WHCC Associate Dean of Athletics Eric Mendoza. “Apefai is in elite company when it comes to academics, character, leadership, school pride, service to others, and athletic ability. He succeeded with a great support system of WHCC coaches, faculty and staff members in his corner. We look forward to celebrating this great honor with Apefai and his family.”
During his time at WHCC, Apefai played on the WHCC football team, serving as a team captain. He was also a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honors society and served as a residential assistant and tutor at WHCC.
He signed a National Letter of Intent in January to play at Cal Poly next season, after finishing his WHCC coursework last fall and earning his Liberal Arts AA degree, with an emphasis in social and behavioral science.
As a Falcon, Taifane helped the WHCC football team capture the 2016 Golden Coast League Championship. He earned several honors, including being named All-Golden Coast, All-State Region II first team and was a first-team All American. At WHCC, he was also honored with the WHCC Commitment to Excellence Award by his teammates.
Taifane will be honored with the award at the CCCAA’s Celebration of Scholar Athletes Luncheon and Panel at their annual conference on March 28 in Concord.