Athletes score high in sports and academics

    Erika Stinchcomb is a scholar and an athlete. She is a three-sport athlete in an era of specialization. She can lead or follow. She always strives for perfection.

According to all of her coaches, and she has had three in cross country, three in soccer and two in track, “She is a pleasure to coach.”

   Erika has been admitted to Ohio State University because she has accumulated a 4.32 grade point average. She is on the waiting list for and is hoping to get into prestigious Williams College in Massachusetts. Her plan is to major in neuroscience  and then go to a medical school and become a physician or possibly a surgeon.

The 2010 Bulldog of the Year in track, Erika earned four varsity letters in track. She was the top sprinter on the varsity track team her frosh and sophomore years and the captain of the track team her junior and senior years.

   Erika earned four varsity letters in soccer. She made All Valley League honorable as a freshman and was first team all Valley League as a senior. She was the Defensive Player of the Year and a team captain as a senior. She has earned three varsity letters in cross country. She has made the San Diego Union-Tribune’s All Academic Team in soccer, cross country and track. She hopes to play soccer in college.

   The honor student has learned much from competing in athletics.

   “I love being a part of a team,” she said. “I have learned how to lead and follow from athletics. I have learned respect and sportsmanship. I have grown more than in skill. I have learned about people and life from athletics.”

Erika’s best experience in athletics at RHS was, “making CIF for soccer my senior year.”

   Erika’s parents are David and Anita Stinchcomb. “My mom has never let me think, ‘I can’t,’ about anything. Attitude is everything. I can be quite pessimistic at times and I have learned that that kind of an attitude can really affect you.”

   Max Hughes, the 2010 Male Scholar Athlete of the Year, is a throwback to the good ol’ days. He is a three-sport athlete who earned 11 varsity letters.In his junior and senior years at Ramona High, he made the San Diego Union-Tribune’s All Academic Team for cross country, wrestling and track.

   “I started wrestling in the seventh grade and let’s just say that I did not set the mat on fire,” he said. “I improved in eighth grade and decided to run cross country my freshman year to get in shape for wrestling. I found out that I liked cross country, so after wrestling in went out for track. I enjoyed all three sports.”

   Max is modest when it comes to listing his honors and achievements in athletics. He does admit to winning “a couple of handfuls of medals in wrestling, track and cross country and being named as an inspirational runner in cross country.” Eleven varsity letters is more than a handful of letters.

   Max liked his time in the classroom, too. He earned a 4.22 grade point average in college preparatory, honors and advanced placement courses. He plans to major in computer science at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego and is leaning toward a career in  computer/software design.

   The best lesson that Max learned from participating in sports is, “You reap what you sow. If you work hard, it will pay off.

   “Playing sports also helps you become personally accountable. You meet people. Athletics helps you become a well-rounded individual. Those who play for the glory don’t last very long.”

   Max said that the best experience he has had in athletics is the friendships that he has made in the three sports.

   His advice to incoming student-athletes is simple and direct: “Listen to your coaches.”

   Max would like to run cross country and track in college, but the Point Loma Nazarene track programs may be canceled and they might not let freshmen participate next season.

   Max’s parents, Candy and Mike, have done more than their share, he said. “My mom went to every race and match. My dad is the snack man. He supports the entire team and he filmed my wrestling matches.

   Kayla Lawler is one of very few scholar athletes to letter in four varsity sports.

   She practices what she preaches. When asked to give advice to incoming scholar-athletes Kayla replied, “Try everything. Focus on one thing at a time. And have fun.” She has done all of the above.

   Kayla has earned a 4.44 grade point average (GPA) overall, but her last semester was her best. She had all A’s for a 4.85 GPA.  She is the salutatorian for Ramona High School’s Class of 2010.

   She will be attending Fresno State University on an academic scholarship. She will major in mechanical engineering and wants to pursue a master’s degree and work for an engineering company that focuses on the environment.

   Kayla has made the San Diego Union-Tribune’s All Academic Team in basketball, volleyball, track and water polo. She has also lettered in all of those sports.

   She earned five varsity letters in the past two years. She was a member of the CIF championship volleyball team and earned all CIF honors.

   Kayla will represent the community of Ramona as Miss Ramona 2010.

   Despite all of her individual honors and awards, she states her best experience was “volleyball winning the CIF championship my senior year.”

   Kayla has been busy. “It has been a great four years and a large part of that has been because of sports. Without sports I wouldn’t have made the friends I have and school would have dragged on. I want to thank all of my coaches for allowing me to have all of the great experiences I have had.”

   Kayla is also thankful for her parents, Kelly and Jeff Lawler. “My parents have had an unreal amount of patience. They have driven me everywhere, even at the last minute, and given up the last few summers to taxi me around. They have given me a passion for sports. They encouraged me and coached me early on and kept up the support and encouragement as I got older.”

   An ambassador for the entire community of Ramona, Kayla has proven that a female scholar-athlete can compete, dominate and maintain her femininity.

   
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