Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Eric Chao, King
Weighted/unweighted GPA: 8.50/3.83
Standardized test score: 2350 SAT (perfect 800 on math and reading, 750 on writing)
College: Washington University in St. Louis
Proudest academic accomplishment: The valedictorian in King’s International Baccalaureate program, Chao finished his senior year ranked second academically out of 11,787 Hillsborough County students. During his high school career, he won 11 individual awards in regional and state math competitions, and was named a National Merit Scholarship semifinalist in 2012.
Proudest athletic accomplishment: “Being able to achieve what I have accomplished while training rigorously for my sport …and have it all culminate my senior year,” Chao said. A year-round member of the Tampa Metro YMCA club team, he repeated as Class 2A, District 8 champion and was a state qualifier in the 100-yard butterfly for King. He also helped lead the Lions to a district runnerup team finish.
Did you know? Chao plans to ultimately enroll in Washington University’s acclaimed Olin Business School and somewhat follow in the path of his older sister. Sherry Chao earned an economics degree at Harvard and now works for Goldman Sachs. …Chao has played violin for roughly a decade, and once attended the prestigious Patel Conservatory in downtown Tampa. …Among his extensive list of volunteer efforts was a holiday stint at Lowry Park Zoo in which Chao and other Key Club members dressed up as Christmas characters. He also has helped clean the Hillsborough River, served at Metropolitan Ministries and participated in Relay for Life activities.
Lars Benner, Newsome
Weighted/unweighted GPA: 6.56/4.0
Standardized test score: 1410 SAT (two parts)
Sports: Cross country, basketball, track
Notable: Two-time top 13-finisher at Class 4A cross country meet. …Silver medalist in 3,200 meters at 4A state track meet in May. …Graduated in top 1 percent of senior class, making the principal’s honor roll 15 times. …Newsome’s Science Student of the Year. …Semifinalist (among top 175 of 4,000 submissions) for Ayn Rand The Fountainhead Essay Contest. …Meals on Wheels volunteer.
College: University of Tampa
Dylan Jurski, Robinson
Weighted/unweighted GPA: 5.72/3.85
Standardized test score: 1830 SAT (two parts)
Sports: Cross country, track
Notable: Member of 4x800-meter relay team that won Class 2A, District 9 title and medaled (eighth place) at 2A state track meet. …No. 3 runner on cross country team that placed eighth at 2A state meet. …Two-time honor cadet, given to ROTC member with highest GPA. …Latin Honor Society member and winner of various Latin region and state competitions. …Four-year member of band wind ensemble.
College: University of Florida
Kevin Norstrem, Brandon
Weighted/unweighted GPA: 5.707/3.6274
Standardized test score: 1680 SAT (three parts)
Notable: One of only three Florida wrestlers to win five individual state championships (won a state title as an eighth-grader at Tampa Bay Christian). …Career wrestling record of 279-4. …Ranked 12th academically in a graduating class of 456. …Southeast Region winner of Dave Schultz High School Excellence Award (recognizing excellence in wrestling, scholastic achievement, character, citizenship and community service).
College: Virginia Tech
Nick Rodriguez, Plant City
Weighted/unweighted GPA: 6.08/3.84
Standardized test scores: 1200 SAT (two parts), 27 ACT
Sports: Football, baseball
Notable: Football offensive MVP as senior (1,553 passing yards). ….361 batting average, team-best nine doubles as senior. …Ranked 11th academically in graduating class of 415. …AP Scholar. …Hillsborough County Board of County Commission 2013 YEA! Award winner for leadership (April 2013). …St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital “Kids are Heroes” Award winner (March 2013). …Formed “Team ToMarrow,” which helps register potential donors and raise funds for the National Bone Marrow registry.
College: University of Florida
Will Worth, Newsome
Weighted/unweighted GPA: 5.7/3.98
Standardized test score: 1370 SAT (two parts)
Notable: First-team Class 7A all-state pick as a senior. …Selected Tampa Bay Times Offensive Player of the Year for Hillsborough County. …Collected nearly 2,600 total yards and led team in tackles (104) . …National Football Foundation Academic Scholar-Athlete of the Year. …Member of at least four national honor societies. …Student body vice-president.
College: U.S. Naval Academy
Armwood: Reece Dial, Nick Feely; Plant City: Dylan Parm; Robinson: Aaron Root; Spoto: Christopher Cioffi; Wharton: Cesar Maeday
Note: Each school in the county was asked to nominate two boys and two girls. Some schools did not send in nominations.