Brian McCallum: Busy athletes win academic awards

Brian McCallum: Busy athletes win academic awards

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Brian McCallum: Busy athletes win academic awards

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Each spring, the Cape Coast Conference honors one male and one female high school athlete for the outstanding academic careers they’ve had while also playing multiple sports and staying active in community service. These seniors receive the David St. John Memorial Scholarship.

One thing that is always obvious is these students’ apparent mastery of time management. Cocoa Beach’s Boone Lewis, this year’s boys winner, brought it up himself last week when he was recognized at the conference awards gathering.

He pointed out that his parents, who were in attendance, always made him study and do homework as soon as he got home each day. This goes on all year, from his time as a wide receiver in football season, to his basketball season and then track and field in the spring.

“It really helps to just have a routine,” he said Thursday. “Go to practice, then go home and hit the books. It’s a habit. I just come home and get done.”

Trust somebody who was a wait-till-the-last-night-of-the-weekend kind of guy, getting it out of the way early is a good plan.

Karyln Prisco, this year’s female winner, couldn’t be a procrastinator if she tried. It would drive her nuts.

“I get really bored, really easily,” she said. “I’m never not busy. My mom sometimes has to ask me to slow down.”

Prisco is another year-round athlete, from swimming to soccer to track and field. In fact, she has lettered in all three sports each of her four years at Rockledge High while also working part-time.

Both are All-Space Coast athletes: Lewis as a wide receiver and Prisco as a soccer goalkeeper, which earned her a spot on next year’s Florida Tech team.

After graduating as one of Rockledge’s salutatorians with a 4.4 grade point average, Prisco will head just a bit south to study pre-med at FIT. Her community service has been working as a counselor at kids’ camps, volunteering as a math tutor at elementary schools and working at field days.

“I think kids need a good mentor,” she said. “Growing up, I didn’t have an older sister to look up to.”

Her plan is to take that service attitude — “I like the idea of helping” — and joining the Peace Corps after college. She wants to see the world while helping people.

Lewis’ community service is mostly through his church. He is a vacation bible school counselor and has served food for His Place Ministries.

Lewis’ 4.5 GPA has gotten him to Johns Hopkins, where he will study biomedical engineering. It’s taken lots of work, but while looking through his yearbooks recently, he was satisfied with the path he chose for himself, hard work and all.

“It was definitely worth it,” he said. “It’s made me who I am.”

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