Only 24 high school athletes from Florida are named to the FHSAA Academic All-State Team each year, and this year, two are from West Shore.
Aalekhya Tenali, a volleyball and tennis player, and Jacob Smithe, a cross country/track runner, both made the list, which includes nine valedictorians. They will all be recognized at a banquet in Gainesville on June 10.
Tenali was thankful to be nominated from amongst her classmates.
“I felt honored to have been chosen, especially at a school where there were so many quality people,” said Tenali, holder of a 4.0 grade point average.
She earned letters in tennis and volleyball each of her four years while also serving on the student government and participating in a number of clubs. She accumulated more than 250 hours of community service, including with hospice volunteering and tutoring. Tenali is undecided on which college she will attend.
Smithe, who has a 4.0 GPA, is an Advanced Placement Scholar and a National Merit Commended Scholar. He earned four cross country letters and three in track and field. He logged more than 100 hours of community service.
“I’m pretty excited about it,” said Smithe, “just because I didn’t really expect to get it. I just signed up because I was nominated by my school.”
Smithe will attend the University of Chicago as a pre-med and biology student.
To be eligible, athletes must be a graduating senior, have a GPA of at least 3.5 and have earned letters in more than one sport as both a junior and senior.
More than 240 student-athletes from the 685 FHSAA schools applied.