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Plano senior Jason Hawkins, pictured right in previous action, lifted the Wildcats to a come-from-behind 3-2 win over South Grand Prairie thanks to a walk-off home run in the bottom of the seventh inning on Friday.

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 was especially the case for Prosper Rock Hill’s track and field team, who included three student-athletes who earned the THSCA’s highest academic distinction with a spot on the elite team — honors that belonged to seniors Mikaela Woodard, Lukas Morehead and Colten Van Voorhis. 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. 

Nearly half of the Blue Hawks’ academic all-state selections on the track earned elite status, with the aforementioned trio complemented by Rebeca Betanzo (second team), Alexis Svoboda (second team), Peyton Lehmann (honorable mention) and Blake Barnes (second team) as other Rock Hill athletes recognized.

The Blue Hawks had representation on the tennis court as well, with Athy Kalamkar (first team), Zach Schryver (first team), Josh Stephen (first team), Maegan Royster (second team) and Aidan Brooks (honorable mention) named academic all-state.

Prosper, meanwhile, totaled 24 academic all-state selections. Eight came from the track with Matthew Wright earning an elite nod, while Jay Evanson and Aidan Rader were named to the first team, Cameron Chadick cracked the second team, and Abishai Aryee, Taylor Pinkney, Emma Gray and Logan Osby all received honorable mention.

The Lady Eagles’ regional finalist softball team had five student-athletes recognized, including an elite selection for Jessica Malan. Jessica Miller landed on the second team, and Josey Dodgson, Sydney Reid and Abbey Beasley were all honorable mentions. 

Prosper golfers to named academic all-state were Chandler Browning (first team), Allison Schnagl (second team), Breanna Moore (second team), Taylor Drobny (honorable mention) and Megan Benyak (honorable mention), while Clay Kindiger (first team), Paige Benzick (second team), Blake McEwan (honorable mention) and Blake Paradis (honorable mention) were all named from the Eagles’ baseball team. On the tennis courts, Lauren Hallauer and Brooke Hallauer both received honorable mentions.

Celina’s Sage Murray capped her high school career as an academic all-state second-team pick, building off her selection as a volleyball player in the fall with academic accolades in the spring as a contributor for the Lady Bobcats’ softball and track teams.

Lovejoy had six student-athletes named from its track team as well — Audrey Bensmiller earned an elite selection, Amelia Carothers and Madison Du Bois landed on the first team, Ashlyn Carty was a second-team pick and Claire Johnson and Scarlett Terwege were honorable mentions.

Allen’s academic all-state cast came from the softball field, with Alexis Telford named to the second team and Alyson Smith, Skylar Brandon, Lauren Thompson and Mackenzie Duckworth all picking up honorable mentions.

Plano ISD had healthy representation across all a trio of springtime sports, including 13 academic all-state selections from Plano East. Nine came from the Panthers’ track team, with Jada Li (first team), Landry Warner (first team), Kyle Thomas (second team), Rohan Springer (second team), Johnathan Ha (second team), Evan Adame (second team), Manish Mallik (second team), Kathryn Kviz (second team) and Ibukun Alausa (honorable mention) all recognized. On the baseball field, East had Colton Shaw (second team), Jake Jennings (second team), Patrick Wheelis (honorable mention) and Jack LuBow (honorable mention) garner academic all-state honors.

Plano, meanwhile, had 12 total student-athletes recognized across three sports. On the baseball field, Ben Dunstone (elite), Matthew Sherman (first team), Jason Hawkins (second team), Logan Anderson (second team) and Ashton Cason (honorable mention) were all named academic all-state, while Emma Smith, Sophia Thomas, Taylor Kittrell and Natalie Cox all received second-team honors as members of the Wildcats’ track team. Softball players recognized were Sadie Weiner on the second team and Elizabeth Guevara and Mackenzie Ridley as honorable mentions.

Plano West landed six on the academic all-state list, including four track athletes — Griffyn Young (elite), Sam Sargrizan (second team), Jesse Velez (honorable mention) and Lauren Ostrowski (honorable mention) — and two baseball players — Chase Spencer (honorable mention) and Daniel Class (honorable mention).

For continued news and coverage on the local sports scene, follow Matt Welch on Twitter.

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