Orcutt and Walker Named Ronald N. Davis Scholar-Athlete of the Year

GAINESVILLE, FL (6/12/17) – Monday night at the 23rd Annual Florida Dairy Farmers Academic All-State Awards Banquet, Daniel Orcutt and Alison Walker were named the 2017 FHSAA Ronald N. Davis Male and Female Scholar-Athletes of the Year, respectively. These two student-athletes and the rest of the 2017 Florida Dairy Farmers Academic All-State Team were honored at the event.

Both Walker and Orcutt excelled in multiple sports, while also maintaining remarkable 4.0 GPAs and serving their communities. 

“The hardworking men and women of Florida’s dairy industry are honored to recognize the significant accomplishments of Alison and Daniel,” Florida Dairy Farmers CEO Michele Cooper said. “They’ve shown throughout their high school careers a work ethic and drive that is second to none and we’re happy to help them take the next step toward their amazing futures.”

Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Daniel Orcutt

Daniel Orcutt, Fort Walton Beach – Orcutt is a four-year, three-sport athlete graduating Summa Cum Laude. He is the 2016 Wendy’s High School Heisman National Winner. He has represented his class in student government as class treasurer during his junior and senior years. He is a member of Fort Walton Beach’s 2017 Viking Hall of Fame, an honor only 12 seniors receive. He plans on studying chemical engineering while swimming for the University of Kentucky in Lexington.

Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Alison Walker

Alison Walker, Pine School (Hobe Sound) – With a 4.0 unweighted GPA and 13 varsity letters, Walker has a decorated high school career. She is a recipient of the Pine School Academic Achievement Award for highest grade point average and has been on the headmaster’s honor roll every semester. Alison played volleyball, soccer, lacrosse and track and field. This year she was team captain for both the volleyball and lacrosse teams. She is the founder and president of the Pine School’s chapter of Mu Alpha Theta, a mathematics honor society. She strives to study mathematics at the University of Miami in Coral Gables.

About the Florida Dairy Farmers Academic All-State Team

12 male and female student-athletes each from across Florida were honored for their exemplary achievements at the banquet. The recognition of the Florida Dairy Farmers Academic All-State Team is part of the organization’s ongoing mission of building leaders through teamwork, sportsmanship and citizenship. These athletes exemplify all of the values the FHSAA upholds.

The group will be awarded a total of $50,000 in scholarships – a $10,000 increase from previous years. Each of the 24 Florida Dairy Farmers Academic All-State Team members will receive a $1,700 scholarship from the FHSAA, with Orcutt and Walker receiving an additional $4,600 for a total of a $6,300 scholarship.

To be eligible for selection to the Academic All-State Team, a student-athlete must be a graduating senior, have a cumulative unweighted GPA of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale and have earned a varsity letter in at least two different sports during each of his or her junior and senior years. Members were selected based on academic record, athletic participation, non-athletic activities, community service and an essay. The members distinguished themselves from 128 qualified nominees attending 700-plus FHSAA member high schools.

The FHSAA is the governing body for high school athletics in Florida, but its mission goes far beyond athletics. To the FHSAA, a student-athlete is most importantly a student first. The Academic All-State Awards Banquet embodies the organization’s commitment to recognizing student-athletes who have shown outstanding dedication not only to athletic excellence but also to academic achievement and service to the community.

 

2017 Florida Dairy Farmers Female Academic All-State Team

Alexandra Thomasson, Lecanto – Thomasson was a nine-time varsity athlete and valedictorian of her senior class. Some of her accolades include Best Female Jumper, All-County Team Volleyball and AP Scholar. Thomasson is an avid student of the arts as well. She has been a member of the Lecanto School of Art as an advisory council member and senior representative. She plans to continue her study of art as a double major in art and biology at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Thomasson is also an academic tutor for the National Honor Society.

Amanda Ban, Marathon – Amanda Ban is a varsity soccer, softball and weightlifting athlete. She added soccer captain to her list of leadership duties this year as the student body president and previously the class president in ninth and 11th grade. She is the president of the Student Athletic Leadership Team, the treasurer of Mu Alpha Theta and a three-year member of National Honor Society. As junior class president, Amanda set a school record in money raised during one fundraiser. She will double major in Actuarial and Environmental Science at Florida State University in Tallahassee.

Emily Boehlein, St. Francis (Gainesville) – Emily Boehlein of St. Francis Catholic Academy is the valedictorian of her class. A four-year varsity volleyball player, Emily helped secure the 3A FHSAA State Championship title this year. Having played varsity basketball since her freshman year, she was a member of the 2017 North Florida Basketball Conference Girls All-Tournament Team. Emily participates in choir, drama and pep band outside of her athletic activities. In her minimal free time she acted as a lab assistant and field researcher at the University of Florida and has submitted a scientific journal for publication. She will further her education at Southeastern University in Lakeland.

Kristyn Kramer, John Carroll (Fort Pierce) – Kristyn Kramer has received an academic excellence award for Advanced Placement Environmental Science. She is a 13-time varsity letterman having played lacrosse, soccer, cross country and swimming. She is the new member director for Anchor Club, the index editor for the yearbook and the senior class secretary in student government. Kristyn is an aspiring veterinarian who plans on continuing her education at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

Madelyn Bell, Winter Park – Maddy Bell was a four-year lacrosse and swim team member. Maddy was co-captain of each team her senior year. She was Orlando Family Magazine’s 2017 Spring Sports Star Athlete for lacrosse and the 2016 Metro Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year for swimming. Maddy represented Florida as a two-year goalie on the Brine National Tournament Team. She plays the cello for the Park Philharmonic Orchestra and the Chamber Concert Orchestra. Maddy selflessly serves her community by volunteering with Habitat for Humanity in Maitland/Winter Park, leading the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life as a captain and acting as a team leader and organizer for BASE Camp for the Children’s Cancer Foundation. Bell will be attending the United States Naval Academy to study engineering in the fall.

Marcella Bolenbaugh, St. John Neumann (Naples) – She has represented her class in student government every year, holding the positions of freshman class vice president, sophomore class secretary, junior class vice president and senior class representative. Marcella is a three-sport athlete participating in volleyball, basketball and softball. She is the Wendy’s High School Heisman 2016 winner for St. John Neumann. She will be continuing her education at the University of Florida studying microbiology and cell science.

Natalie Baumgarten, Lincoln Park (Fort Pierce) – Natalie Baumgarten was a three-sport, four-year varsity athlete with an unweighted 4.0 GPA. Baumgarten was captain of the cross country and track and field teams. She is a three-time district champion in the 4x800m relay. Natalie has a passion for theatre and is a member of the International Thespian Society as well as a cast member of a large group musical for the Thespian Festival. She regularly volunteered her free time to the church and assisted in various acts of kindness like laying sod, feeding the homeless and singing Christmas carols at a local nursing home.

Natalie Chapman, Northside Christian (St. Pete) – Chapman is a two-time FHSAA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee member, an Advanced Placement Scholar with Honor award recipient and valedictorian of her graduating class. She played basketball, golf, cross country, and track and field. Natalie was a district champion in the 300m hurdle, 100m hurdle and the 4x400m relay in 2016. Off the track, Natalie is heavily involved in her student government as student body president. She will be attending the University of Florida to study political science. She is a member of Northside Christian’s student-athlete advisory committee, speech and debate club, rock climbing club and National Honor Society.

Nina Staviski, Gulf Breeze – Nina Staviski is an aspiring petroleum engineer who is planning to attend the University of Texas in Austin. She ranked five of 456 in her senior class. Nina has lettered four times in lacrosse and wrestling and twice in weightlifting. She represented her peers as class president every year of high school and received the Principals Award for her leadership this year. Nina previously took home first place in the Latin Region Competition in the Derivatives event and the Olympics.

Sofia Caro, Pine Crest (Fort Lauderdale) – Sofia Caro is a varsity football player, weightlifter and lacrosse player at Pine Crest School. She is an AP Scholar with Distinction with a 4.0 unweighted GPA that will be attending Yale University in New Haven, Conn. Sofia was the FHSAA girls weightlifting state runner-up in the 139-pound weight class this year. Her successes don’t stop there. She was an Under Armor South Team member, a three-year first Team All-District member, a first Team All-Region member and a First Team All-League member for lacrosse in 2016 alone. She sang the national anthem at various sporting events over the last four years and performed with the jazz band and chorus.

Kristi Byun, Indian Rocks Christian (Largo) – As a four-time gold honor roll member carrying a 4.0 unweighted GPA, Kristi Byun is the valedictorian of her class. She maintained this academic excellence while earning 11 varsity letters. Kristi participated in cross country, soccer, and track and field. She was a cast member in the Sound of Music and a piano accompanist to choir last year. A three year member of the National Honor Society Executive Board and student government treasurer, Kristi gives back to the student body through her time and peer tutoring. She has participated in service projects in Puerto Rico, Guatemala, and Honduras. She has a selfless spirit having volunteered with a homeless empowerment program and Suncoast Hospice for several consecutive years. Kristi hopes to study economics at Boston College.

2017 FHSAA Male Academic All-State Team

Alex Quinones, Southeast (Bradenton) – Quinones was one of 10 student-athletes chosen by Southeast’s Athletic Director to represent the school on a district leadership committee known as the Positive Coach Alliance. Alex is a four-year varsity baseball player and a two-time captain. He was named captain of the swimming team as only a second-year member. Alex is prominent in Southeast’s television production club as lead camera engineer and as a Skills USA – TV club member. They placed second in the state in both 2015 and 2016 for broadcast news. Alex will be studying biomedical engineering at Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tenn.

Christian Cropp, Benjamin School (Palm Beach Gardens) – Christian Cropp has earned four letters in his high school career as a varsity lacrosse and golf player. His senior year was a captain in both sports. He plans on attending Yale University in New Haven, Conn. to study economics. He was the student body president as well. He served on the Benjamin School honor council and aided in the recommendation of disciplinary actions for honor code violations.

David Mahan, Bishop Verot (Fort Myers) – David Mahan is a six-time varsity letterman who is the salutatorian of his graduating class. David was honored as a National Merit Commended Scholar in 2016 and graduated Summa Cum Laude. He was awarded both the Rotary South Sam Sirianni Scholar Athlete Award and the Bishop Verot Football Scholar Athlete award in 2016. Off the field, David participated in Model UN, National Honor Society, student ambassadors, and student government as the National Honor Society liaison. David has held fundraisers to purchase water filters from a Guatemalan based company to provide 300 filters and counting to families in need. He is currently assisting in research for an alternative nutrition source for the malnutrition center. David plans on furthering this dedication to others through studying microbiology on a pre-medicine track at the University of Florida in Gainesville or the University of Miami in Coral Gables. 

Jack Fining, Charlotte (Punta Gorda) – The 2016 FACA 6A Academic Player of the Year, Jack Fining lettered in football, weightlifting and track and field for his sophomore, junior and senior years. He represented Charlotte High School at Florida Gulf Coast University’s Invitational Mathematics Competition for three years. Jack is a two-time All-Area First Team offensive lineman and was a key player on the 2015 and 2016 Charlotte district championship teams. He will be attending the University of Florida in Gainesville to pursue a career in computer science/engineering.

Logan Locascio, Gainesville – Logan Locascio is the valedictorian of his graduating class with a 4.0 unweighted GPA. Logan lettered in country, track and field, and water polo. Some of his accolades include Scholar Athlete of the Year (Track and Field), Bonnie Tilson Leadership Award (Cross Country) and AP Scholar with Honor. He is also active within the Gainesville community, as he worked his way up from vice president to president of the March of Dimes club and raised over $2,200 individually for research, care and education to help fight premature births. Logan wishes to pursue a career in medicine at either the University of Florida in Gainesville or Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tenn.

Luke Bryan, Spruce Creek (Port Orange) – Bryan is an eight-time varsity letter recipient in both cross country and track. Luke was the executive vice president of student government, having previously served as a class representative. He was a part of the International Baccalaureate mentor program where he assisted underclassmen with time management tactics and ways to stay focused. Luke served as a volunteer soccer, tennis and track coach. While still uncertain where he will attend in the fall, Luke is an aspiring doctor on the pre-med track.

Matthew DeSantis, St. John Neumann (Naples) – Matthew DeSantis participated in soccer, swimming and diving and track and field earning nine varsity letters. He was the leading goal scorer for St. John Neumann in the ’15-’16 season and an All-Area Team selection for soccer. He was recognized for his character and leadership potential his junior year with the Holy Cross Book Award. As a member of the Make-A-Wish Youth Leadership Committee Executive Board, Matthew contributed to a fundraising total of $75,000 last year with an increased goal of $100,000 for this year. Their dual fundraising-leadership approach has been implemented around the country. Matthew will be relocating to Annapolis, Md. to attend the U.S. Naval Academy.

Ryan Savoldy, Fivay (Hudson) – With aspirations to attend Duke University in Durham, N.C., as a bio medical engineer major, Ryan Savoldy is an eight-time varsity athlete with a 4.0 unweighted GPA. He has been recognized as an Advanced Placement Scholar with Distinction and is a four-year honor roll recipient. Ryan was a Wendy’s National High School Heisman State Finalist as a soccer and tennis player. A member of the Florida High School Athletic Association’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, Ryan has acted as an advocate for the more than 240,000 FHSAA student-athletes. Ryan was recognized by his school this year as an outstanding senior.

Scott Etchechury, Barron Collier (Naples)  – Accepted into Boston College’s Honors Program in Boston, Mass., Scott Etchechury is planning on studying political science. He is a three-time Barron Collier Academic Excellence award recipient and an Advance Placement Honors Scholar. He achieved this academic excellence while participating in varsity lacrosse and cross country. He is very active within his school. Scott has been treasurer, secretary and senator within student government and was the president of National Honor Society, Model United Nations and Mock Trial his senior year.

Vinson Rafael, MAST Academy (Miami) – Vinson Rafael is an Advance Placement scholar-athlete with plans to attend the University of Florida. Vinson will pursue a degree in civil engineering. He participated in basketball and cross country to earn seven varsity letters throughout his high school career. As a member of Mu Alpha Theta (math honor society) and National Honor Society, Vinson is dedicated to academic success. He is a 2016 recipient of the University of California Berkeley Book award and received a letter of commendation from the National Merit Scholarship Program.

Zachary Moser, Rutherford (Panama City) – Zachary Moser is the varsity tennis and swim captain at Rutherford High School. He will attend the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. in the fall studying ocean engineering. Zachary is a four-time Academic Honor Roll with Distinction member and a National Merit Commended Scholar. He is the treasurer of Coding Club and the Engineering Experience club president. As the Mu Alpha Theta Statistics Team Captain and a four-year member of the National Honor Society.

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ABOUT THE FHSAA

The Florida High School Athletic Association supervises and regulates interscholastic athletic programs for high school students at member public, private and charter schools. The organization also recognizes and honors academic achievement among student-athletes at almost 800 middle, junior and senior high schools statewide. Headquartered in Gainesville, it is the official governing body for interscholastic athletics in Florida.

 

ABOUT FLORIDA DAIRY FARMERS

Florida Dairy Farmers (FDF) is Florida’s milk promotion organization, representing more than 100 dairy farming families who work every day to provide a steady supply of wholesome milk. FDF’s sponsorship of the Academic All-State Team compliments the organization’s long history of supporting Florida’s student athletes. In its 25th year of sponsoring the Florida Dairy Farmers High School Sports Awards program, FDF also honors the state’s top athletes and coaches in all 30 FHSAA sanctioned sports.