For all the time student-athletes put into honing their crafts on the playing field, there’s no competing for their high schools without taking care of business in the classroom first. The Texas High School Coaches Association has recognized several athletes who thrived at exactly that.
The THSCA recently released its academic all-state selections for baseball, softball, golf, tennis and track and field.
Student-athletes are nominated by their respective head coaches — nominations that are then sent to the THSCA for review. In order to be nominated for academic all-state, a student must be either an athlete, trainer or manager in good standing with his or her team, of good moral character, a high school senior and have an overall GPA of 92 or above.
Across the state’s gamut of springtime sports, there were plenty of local athletes who met that criteria.
That included a healthy turnout for Creekview, which had student-athletes earn academic all-state recognition in all five sports.
The Mustangs totaled 15 academic all-state selections, including one who received the THSCA’s highest academic distinction with a spot on the elite team. That honor went to John Schaller, a pitcher for Creekview’s baseball team.
Nominees are graded out on the award’s criteria and, if they score high enough, are placed on either the elite, first or second teams, or honorable mention.
Joining Schaller from Creekview’s baseball team was Carson Braun, who received academic all-state honorable mention.
On the softball field, Creekview recognized four players with academic all-state commendation: Lauren Orozco was named to the first team, Madison Martin earned a spot on the second team and Hannah Warren and Gabrielle Walls both received honorable mention.
Creekview’s tennis team was represented by Julie Hammons (first team) and Blaize Britton (second team). Mustang golfers Alexa Toy (second team) and Katharine Hall (honorable mention) were also recognized, while the school’s track team garnered academic all-state nods for Nicole Linker (second team), Dalton Ross (honorable mention), Matthew Greer (honorable mention), Lucas Seraine (honorable mention) and Amira Trader (honorable mention).
Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD bunkmates Newman Smith and RL Turner had their share of academic all-state representation as well. That included two elite selections at Turner for tennis players Nicholas Rao and Edward Phillips. Teammate Jose Hernandez was named honorable mention.
Turner softball player Mia Uvaldo was named to the second team and distance runner Elizabeth Stepaniak received honorable mention.
Smith, meanwhile, had five student-athletes from its tennis team recognized. Anies Sefidi made the first team, Thanh Nguyen earned a spot on the second team and Hannah Eubanks, David Sanchez and Jacob Reategui all received honorable mention. Trojan golfer Chase McMahon was named to the all-state second team.
Flower Mound’s tennis team wasn’t without healthy academic all-state representation either. The Jaguars had 10 tennis players recognized, with Lauren Thakur, Akhila Damaria, Audrey Thakur, Mathew Abraham, Lana Kim and Daniel Palma all named to the first team, while Sarisha Malla, Amanda Smith, Bryce McHenry and Neil Kondapalli all nabbed spots on the second team.
Not far behind was the Jaguars’ golf team, which totaled seven academic all-state selections. Fresh off a top-10 finish at the state tournament, Rohit Madireddi was named to the academic all-state first team, joined by teammates Advait Chutke, Allyson Barth, Nathan Kosub and Kiran Paul. Chase Walts and Brooke Dishman both made the second team.
Other Lewisville ISD student-athletes who earned academic all-state honors included Lewisville golfer Ashlee Johnson (second team), Marcus golfer Nolan McCanna (honorable mention), and Hebron softball player Rylee Nicholson (first team).