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East County Wednesday, May. 5, 2010 7 years ago

Ranch honors scholar athletes

by: Jen Blanco Sports Editor

LAKEWOOD RANCH — As a middle school student, Lakewood Ranch senior Corey Hanewich watched her older sister, Ashley, stay up well into the night studying and working on homework.

It was while she was sleeping and her sister was studying that Hanewich realized the motivation it takes to be successful both athletically and academically. That realization has paid off for the three-sport athlete, who will be heading to Stanford this fall on a softball scholarship.

“Watching my sister helped me realize what I had to do,” Hanewich said. “It was a lot of motivation and determination on my part. I always wanted to go to Stanford, and that was always in the back of my mind pushing me to work hard.”

Hanewich, who has a 4.3 grade-point average, was one of 294 students athletes recognized for having a 3.0 grade-point average or above during Lakewood’s Scholar Athletic Awards Ceremony April 29.

In recognition of their achievements, the students received a T-shirt, a scholar athlete patch for their letterman’s jacket and a beach towel.

“It’s your job for any team that you’re on to go the extra mile as a player and hold your teammates accountable both on and off the field,” guest speaker Ken Dorsey said. “At some point, an athletic career will be over, but no one can take away an education that you get. You have the (ability) to use athletics to be the person you want to become.”

Additionally, the school presented four awards to the male and female scholar athletes of the year and to the two teams with the highest cumulative grade point average. Katherine Somodi (4.62) was named this year’s Female Scholar Athlete of the Year, while Alec Bacon (4.55) was name the Male Scholar Athlete of the Year.

“It’s really cool, and it’s interesting to be the first one,” said Somodi, who plans to study biochemistry at the University of Florida. “To get this honor is really cool, and I’m really excited.”

The Lakewood girls tennis team (4.231) was recognized as the top team with fewer than 20 athletes, while the girls soccer team (3.974), which was named the top girls soccer team in the state academically, was recognized as the top team with more than 20 athletes.

Of the 22 sports offered at Lakewood, all 22 qualified for the Florida High School Athletic Association’s all-academic team, which requires that a team have an average non-weighted grade-point average of 3.0 or above. Boys swimming finished No. 1 in the state, while boys soccer, girls weightlifting and football finished No. 2 for their respective sport.

“When you take 22 sports and have them all carry a 3.0 non-weighted grade point average … that to me is absolutely amazing — to be that good both academically and athletically,” Lakewood Athletic Director Shawn Trent said.

Additionally of the 22 sports, Lakewood has had 11 county champions and three county runners-up; six district champions and six district runners-up; five regional champions and one regional runner-up; four teams finish in the top 10 in the state; and two state runners-up so far this season with baseball, softball and track and field still under way.

“It’s unbelievable to me,” Trent said. “The fact that they’re exceptional not only on the field but in the classroom — it’s almost like the best of both worlds.”

Contact Jen Blanco at [email protected].

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