Putting the student in student-athlete
Sports fans want to hear about the best athletes. However, the athletes who really put smiles on our faces are the ones that excel in the classroom and(italics) on the field of play.
Give credit to all the high school athletes in northern Hillsborough County who make the rest of us feel inadequate with their grades and athletic abilities.
First up is Gaither senior volleyball player Laura Ackart, who has a 6.04 weighted grade-point average. Last year, the outside hitter led the Cowboys with 119 digs and was tied for third with 70 kills and 21 aces.
Ackart wants to stay in Florida for college, and plans to be an elementary school teacher.
Next is junior golfer Alex Milan from Steinbrenner. She has a 5.16 weighted GPA and is a member of the math, Spanish and National Honor societies.
While at Sickles last year, Milan helped the Gryphons reach the Class 2A, Region 4 tournament. She qualified for the state tournament by shooting an 8-under 64 to win the region crown.
We move to football next, where Shane McEwen, a Wharton senior running back, is the star. McEwen does not know his exact GPA, but believes it is around 3.25 while taking all honors classes.
McEwen, who gained 1,087 yards and scored seven touchdowns as a starter for the Wildcats last year, runs the 40-yard dash in just under 4.4 seconds. He does not know what career to pursue yet.
Next up is Trey Went, a senior swimmer for Sickles. He has a 4.80 weighted GPA, and wants to be an environmental engineer. Went swims in the 50- and 500-yard freestyle events with a best time in the 50 at 22.3 seconds.
Last but not least are Ashley Vassell and Nick Swain, seniors for Wharton’s cross county teams.
Vassell’s weighted GPA is 5.50. She has aspirations of attending an Ivy League university and becoming a computer engineer. Her personal record in the 5K (five kilometers or 3.1 miles) is 20:32.
Swain has a 5.10 weighted GPA, and is looking at several colleges in the Sunshine State. His PR is 16:42 in the 5K, and he wants to major in mass media studies.
For these and all the other good students out there, keep up the hard work.