SBART Scholar Athlete from Bishop
Award sponsor Marc Gamberdella presents the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table Scholar-Athlete of Year Award for Bishop Diego to Luke Williams, lower right, in a virtual ceremony. Also attending is Bishop Diego tennis coach Natlee Hapeman. (Screen shot by Barry Punzal / Noozhawk Sports)

Bishop Diego’s Luke Williams is making a difference at his school and in his community.

At Bishop, he is an award-winning three-sport athlete, carries at 4.83 grade-point average, is the head ambassador in the Cardinal Ambassador program, and is a member of the campus ministry team.

Off campus, he’s logged more than 900 hours of community service.

He’s achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, the highest honor attainable in the Boys Scouts of America program, and has been presented the Chi-Rho Award, the most prestigious honor for a scout of the Catholic faith.

Luke Williams

Luke Williams carries a 4.83 GPA and is a standout three-sport athlete at Bishop Diego.

The Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table is honoring Williams as the 2020-21 Scholar-Athlete of Year for Bishop Diego.

Award sponsor Marc Gamberdella recognized Williams in a virtual ceremony that included Bishop tennis coach Natalee Hapeman.

“Luke is my No. 1 singles and a force to be reckoned with,” Hapeman said.

A three-star recruit, Williams has played three years of varsity tennis for the Cardinals. He earned all-league first-team honors, and was named Bishop’s MVP in 2019.

Williams also is a three-year standout in soccer and track & field.

He was a starting defender on the 2019 soccer team that won the Frontier League title and advanced to the CIF-SS semifinals. He earned first-team all-league honors and was named the sophomore MVP.

In his junior season, he was a honorable mention choice in the tougher Tri-Valley League, and helped the team make the playoffs.

He runs the 400, 800 and relays for the track team, and earned all-league honorable mention honors in 2019.

In the classroom, Williams takes Advanced Placement courses in government, physics, calculus and English Literature, as well as advanced multimedia and campus ministry. He’s also taken eight SBCC courses.

His academic honors include Dartmouth Alumni Book Club Award winner, Congressional Youth Award silver and bronze certificates, Bishop’s Scholar of Service Award for the Class of 2021, and National Honor Society and California Scholarship Federation membership from sophomore to senior year.

“He exemplifies the title of student athlete,” said Hapeman.

SBART Scholar Athlete of the Year: Williams from Dream Cast Media Group on Vimeo.

Williams was selected to the National Youth Advisory, and serves as a junior board member for teen mental health.

He’s done outreach community work for several years at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Montecito, including food bank, altar serving, Christmas support, back-to-school support through Campo del Sol, clothing and sports equipment drives.

In addition, he’s won first place for a film he submitted in an anti-drug film contest in Santa Barbara County, and received a Youth Rotary Leadership Award.

The son of Rhys Williams and Jamie Ruffing has received acceptance to Stanford, and is being recruited for tennis by the U.S. Air Force and Coast Guard academies, as well as several Division 3 universities.

He wants to pursue a major in either geological sciences or astronautics/aeronautics.

“Maybe space operations, if I choose to attend the United States Air Force Academy,” he said.

Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

— Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.