Whether it’s in the classroom, in the community, on the field or court, or on a project, Laguna Blanca’s Frances Carlson is a person who takes charge.
The Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table is honoring Carlson as the recipient of the Phil Womble Ethics in Sports Award for Laguna Blanca.
The award is named after longtime sports super fan Phil Womble. The SBART Hall of Famer lived life to the fullest despite having cerebral palsy. He died at age 80 in 2017.
The award is presented to a high school junior student athlete who demonstrates the highest standards of ethics and sportsmanship. The award recognizes “accountability, respect of teammates, opponents, and officials, honesty, positive attitude, reliability, loyalty, sportsmanship, others above self, and team above personal interest.”
Carlson was recognized in a virtual ceremony that included award sponsor Dave Pintard and Laguna Blanca Athletic Director Jason Donnelly.
“I’m so impressed at all you do,” said Carlson said of the Athletic Round Table. “I didn’t know Mr. Womble personally, but from what I heard and what I read, he was an incredible person. I’m so honored to be receiving this award in his name.”
Donnelly, who is also the indoor volleyball coach, said Carlson represents all that is the Phil Womble Award.
“She is a tenacious competitor who is universally respected by her teammates and coaches,” he said. “She is of the highest character, and does everything with a huge smile on her face. She is extremely respectful to everyone, and constantly puts others’ needs before her own.”
Carlson plays indoor volleyball, beach volleyball and soccer for Laguna Blanca. She got called up to the varsity volleyball team as a sophomore, and helped the Owls go 18-5 and win the Frontier League title with a 10-0 record.
She was an honorable mention choice on the all-league team.
Donnelly said Carlson worked her way into the playing rotation on an experienced team and made an impact.
“As her confidence and ability in the volleyball world grew, her teammates loved seeing her do well,” he said. “That’s a sign of a really high-character kid, when even people she might be playing in front of are rooting for her to do well, because all Frances wants to do is help the team in anyway she can.”
The daughter of Ashley Tidey and Tom Carlson is a standout in the classroom, carrying a 4.23 grade point average. Her course load includes Advanced Placement classes in English, U.S. history and Latin.
Writing is one of her passions, and she has been honored for her work. She is a Santa Barbara Literary Society inductee, a Scholastic Writing Gold Key member, and a national-level silver medal award winner.
She’s also into journalism, serving as the creative director and contributing author for Laguna Blanca’s school magazine, The Fourth Estate.
Carlson is a champion in community service, giving more than 300 hours of her time.
She is part of Laguna Blanca’s Sock Club, which takes on projects addressing at-risk communities in Santa Barbara.
She also volunteers at local homeless shelters and has participated in the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Seminar, which stresses the values of volunteerism, integrity, excellence, diversity and community partnership to make a positive difference in the world.
Carlson served as junior executive on Laguna Blanca’s popular TedX program.
“Frances is a can-do person and player,” said Laguna Blanca soccer coach Kevin Shertzer. “Whatever is asked of her, she tries the best of her ability to accomplish it. Nothing stops her.”