Scholar-athlete of the Year: Izzy Ordorica, Chamberlain
Izzy Ordorica has a catalog of hits from her four years as a starter on Chamberlain High School’s softball team.
There were hard line drives that fell into gaps for doubles and mighty blasts that sailed over fences for homers. They all came through meticulous preparation as a student of the game.
But even the impressive stats she racked up on the field — from her .442 batting average to her perfect fielding percentage — do not compare to the ones she compiled in the classroom.
Ordorica, the Tampa Bay Times’ female scholar-athlete of the year, hit the books with just as much determination as she did a softball. She finished her high school career with a 4.0 grade-point average (6.8 weighted). In fact, she has had all A’s her entire life.
“I think the lowest grade I might have had is an A-minus all the way through elementary school,” she said.
Ordorica did this while taking 13 advanced-placement classes, as well as numerous dual-enrollment and honors courses.
“There is a lot of preparation that goes into being both a good student and softball player,” she said. “You have to put in the work and a lot of studying with each one. Both are rewarding.”
Most weeknights, Ordorica went to a three-hour softball practice, then did homework until well past midnight.
The work paid off this year with Ordorica being named a captain on the softball team and helping the Chiefs reach the state semifinals for the first time in her career. She also finished fourth in her class academically and graduated from the school’s Advanced Placement Honors Program.
As far as college, Ordorica wanted to go to a school that was not only competitive in softball, but had an outstanding and well-deserved reputation for academics. She decided on UCLA, where she’ll major in pre-medicine and play for the 11-time national champion Bruins.
“UCLA had the best fit with everything,” Ordorica said. “I want to become a cardiologist, and I get to play for the all-time winningest college softball program.”
Her strive for perfection — on the field and in the classroom — remains the same.
“I’ve had all A’s so far. I’m not going to stop now,” she said.
More on Ordorica
Weighted/unweighted GPA: 4.0/6.8
Standardized test score: 27 ACT; 2000 SAT
Sports: Cross country, softball
College: UCLA (to play softball)
Proudest academic accomplishment: “I would say earning all of the honor awards in my core advancement placement subjects as a senior.” She was selected as a top overall student in mathematics and won AP awards for calculus, literature, social studies and environmental science.
Proudest athletic accomplishment: “To be recruited by UCLA for softball was so huge for me. That was my dream school since I was 10 years old.”
Did you know? Ordorica had open-heart surgery before she was 2 years old. …She founded Champ Camp, a mentoring softball program to help empower young West Tampa girls. …She volunteers with two-time Olympic softball champion Michele Smith to raise funds for children in need of cardiac-related medical treatment.
Note: All nominations were submitted by athletic directors or coaches.
Angel Deng, East Lake, 3.57 unweighted/4.35 weighted GPA: As the Eagles’ top tennis player, Deng led the program to two conference championships and a district team title; she was also a state doubles champion and singles runnerup. The four-star college recruit scored 28 on her ACT, took numerous honors and AP courses, and will attend Cornell on athletic and academic scholarships.
Jenna Dykstra, Clearwater Central Catholic, 3.84/4.48: The outside hitter was a key player in the Marauders’ run to the state volleyball tournament. She took numerous AP courses, made the honor roll every semester of high school and received the U.S. President’s Award for Educational Excellence. Dykstra, who scored 29 on the ACT, will study optometry at the University of Florida.
Lauren Evans, Academy at the Lakes, 3.73: The school’s athlete of the year batted .708 as a senior and was selected to the British national softball team a second straight year; she also played volleyball. All of Evans’ core courses were in honors, and she scored 24 on her ACT. She will play softball at USF.
Madison Glennie, Countryside, 4.0/4.57: The Times’ Pinellas County Golfer of the Year tied for second at state as a senior. She received top academic awards in foreign language, English and math, and scored 33 on the ACT and 2000 on the SAT. She will attend Drake on a golf scholarship.
Hallie Grimes, Land O’Lakes, 3.83/4.34: Grimes, named to the conference all-academic team all four years, scored 25 on the ACT and 1740 on the SAT. The state medalist in the 400 meters all four seasons and cheerleader All-American will attend North Florida on a track scholarship.
Kellyanne Hurst, Plant City, 4.0/6.88: She was named the Alvin A. Casey outstanding high school senior golfer of the year for Hillsborough County and was the school district’s scholar-athlete award winner. The all-conference golfer the past two seasons was appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy, where she will play golf.
Baylee Lewandowski, River Ridge, 3.95/4.64: The class salutatorian, who took numerous AP and honors courses, scored 32 on the ACT and 2190 on the SAT. She was an all-conference pick in soccer, swimming and track, and will attend Cornell or Washington University in St. Louis.
Emily McMullen, Canterbury, 4.0/4.65: She took 13 AP courses, had a perfect score on the ACT (36) and scored 2240 on the SAT. The National Merit Scholar and Presidential Scholar semifinalist was a member of the swim team and played basketball and softball. She will attend Wake Forest University.
Madison Morlan, Gulf, 3.87/4.69: The summa cum laude graduate an International Baccalaureate student scored 32 on her ACT. She was all-conference in softball, and played soccer and volleyball. She will attend Auburn on a National Merit Scholarship.
Kylie Paul, Wharton, 4.0/6.44: Wharton’s female scholar-athlete of the year scored 29 on the ACT and 1990 on the SAT. She was a first-team all-conference selection in tennis the past two seasons, and won DeBartolo and PTSA scholarships. She will attend the University of Florida.
Rachel Preble, Countryside, 3.95/4.65: The two-time soccer MVP scored 27 on the ACT and 1790 on the SAT. She received PTSA and Dunedin Kiwanis Foundation scholarships. She also was editor of the yearbook, and a member of the national and Spanish honor societies. She will play soccer at the University of Maine.
Sarah Raymond, Palm Harbor University, 3.98/4.64: The three-time all-conference selection in cross country also led her soccer team to the state semifinals as a senior. Raymond, who scored 2040 on her SAT, will play soccer at the University of Tampa.
Christina Tournant, Osceola, 4.0/4.8: The class valedictorian scored 2130 on the SAT and Level 5 on AP Calculus AB and Physics B exams. The state qualifier in swimming the past three years set school records in four events; she also set the school record in 300 hurdles in track. She will swim for MIT.
Boca Ciega: Angie Reinhart, Alexis Stevens; Brandon: Alyssa Abramson, Savannah Diaz; Clearwater Central Catholic: Suzanne O’Connor; East Lake: Catherine Wegner; Gulf: Eliza Gazda; Hernando Christian: Nicole Klukowski; Land O’Lakes: Kassidy Wallace; Newsome: Lucy Garner; Northside Christian: Gabrielle Greenleaf, Deandra Tsaffaras; Osceola: Madison Russell; Plant: Angela Baird, Kyauna King; Plant City: Ericka Lott; Seminole: Chelsea Miller, Emily Repka; Wharton: Mary Ferguson