FHSAA Announces 2018-2019 Student-Athlete Advisory Committee

Gainesville, Fla. (Sept. 12, 2018) - The Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) announced Wednesday the new members of the 2018-2019 Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). This year the FHSAA welcomes 11 new students to the committee, along with five returning members.

The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) was established in 2008 to give students the opportunity to promote a positive image for student-athletes along with sharing their perspective on FHSAA rules, regulations and special initiatives.

This year, the FHSAA received more than 40 applications from students. These members were chosen based on their sports participation, extracurriculars, essay and leadership skills. 

The SAAC committee will meet twice this school year (Oct. 12, 2018 and March 11, 2019) at FHSAA headquarters in Gainesville to discuss their issues and concerns.

The following FHSAA student-athletes represent the 2018-2019 Student-Athlete Advisory Committee:

Sophia Bailey, Robinson High School (Tampa) - Sophia is a returning member of the SAAC this year. Her sports are soccer and girls flag football. She exemplifies her leadership role as captain for her flag football team, a member of the South Tampa YMCA Leaders club, Student Government Association and Ophelia Club, and as a volunteer for the Children's Cancer Center. Sophia's goal for the SAAC is to help minimize the sacrifice student-athletes make when balancing academics and community service.

Jack Barksdale, Episcopal School of Jacksonville - Jack is an upcoming senior this year participating in football and basketball. Jack is a writer for his school's newspaper and serves as an ambassador. Outside of school, Jack’s activities include being an altar server in his church, a youth basketball referee and has been involved in multiple leadership workshops. Jack was selected for the Bank of America Student Leaders program where he was placed in a paid internship where he worked as a camp counselor for underprivileged children. Jack's goal for SAAC is to make Florida a better place for student-athletes by vocalizing his ideas and concerns with other athletes.

Connor Bishop, Citrus High School (Inverness) - Connor will be a junior this year and plays football, baseball, and track. He is heavily involved in Key Club, Superintendent's Advisory Council, Student Government, National Honor Society, and Citrus County Teen Town Hall Leader. In his community, he serves as a volunteer for the Citrus County Historical Society, Citrus County Schools New Teacher Orientation program, the Link Crew and the Citrus Storm baseball program. Connor’s goal for SAAC is to protect and improve Florida's athletic program.

Peyton Burdette, Lecanto High School- Peyton is a returning member of the SAAC this year. She participates in three varsity sports; cross country, track and field, and soccer. She has been class president of her school since the 9th grade as well as President of Florida Youth and Government. Peyton is involved in CASA (Citrus Abuse Shelter Association), Fellowship of Christian Athletes, National Honors Society and Citrus County Blessings. Having a substantial leadership role in her school and community, Peyton's goal for SAAC this year is to be a model for future student-athletes by setting high academic standards and supreme integrity.

Joely Donovan, Lake Mary High School- Joely will be a junior this year and is a varsity player for both her school's lacrosse and soccer team. She also plays for a competitive soccer team in the Elite Club National League (ECNL) and plays for Israel's Women's Lacrosse team. Joely exemplifies what a student-athlete should be and is a member of the Red Cross club, Key Club, an officer for the Spanish Honor Society, Intern for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and is a juror at the Juvenile Court in Seminole County. Her goal for the SAAC is to work on the betterment of athletes all over Florida.

Maizie Egan, Marathon High School- Maizie is an upcoming junior and three-sport athlete. She is involved in her school’s cross country team, track and field and weightlifting. Outside of her busy sports schedule, she manages her time with many activities like the Academic Challenge Team, Interact Rotary Club and National Honor Society. She is also an altar server for the San Pablo Catholic Church and a classroom assistant for Bright Lights Summer Learning Adventures. Maizie’s goal for the SAAC is to be a support system for student-athletes when they become overwhelmed.

Brooke Long, Fernandina Beach High School- Brooke is one of the returning members for SAAC. Brooke has played on the varsity team for both girls' soccer and track and field. Brooke is heavily involved in school leadership serving as her high school's secretary for Interact Club and is an officer for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes club. Outside of school, she is a mentor for Youth Leadership Nassau and is a volunteer for Baptist Medical Center. Brooke's goals for SAAC is to help manage scheduling conflicts and encourage students to get involved in sports.

Renier Martinez, Archimedean Upper Conservatory School (Miami) - Reiner is another returning member this year for the SAAC. He’s a senior and has played varsity basketball and volleyball the past four years. He inspires to be a lawyer someday. He is heavily involved in Student Government, The Teen Court Program, The Debate Team, and the Science Olympiad Team. Renier's goal for the SAAC is to promote student-athletes to participate in extracurricular activities.

Luis Garcia Mazzarri, Lincoln Park Academy (Fort Pierce) - Luis is a returning member of the SAAC this year. He is on the track and field team and swimming and diving. He shows his leadership by being a mentor for younger students on his swim team. Aside from sports, Luis is a leader in his community. He's participated in the St. Lucie County Teenage Republicans Club, National Honor Society, Key Club and the National Society of High School Scholars. Luis's goal for the SAAC is to develop a stronger collaboration between coaches and teachers to reduce stress on student-athletes.

JaNelle Morant, P.K. Yonge (Gainesville) - A Gainesville local, Janelle is a junior and a three-sport athlete participating in basketball, track and field, and cheerleading. JaNelle is part of the Black Student Union, National Honor Society and Students Against Destructive Decisions.  In her community, JaNelle has been a loyal member of 4-H the past ten years and served as an officer for the past four. JaNelle's goal for SAAC is to be a positive role model for student-athletes in Florida.

Brandon Perez, Leonard High School (Greenacres) - Brandon is a junior this year and plays on his school's varsity cross country team and track and field team. He believes in hard work and being a team player. He shows his leadership skills by volunteering at the Okeeheelee Nature Center and the Pine Jog Summer Camp. Brandon's Goal for the SAAC this year is to be a voice for fellow student-athletes in Florida. 

Chris Sanders, The Bolles School (Jacksonville) - Chris is a three-sport athlete participating in football, basketball and track and field. He is very passionate in the sport of football and plays on the 7v7 travel team. Outside of school, Chris volunteers his time to help in football camps and The Friendship Circle where he is a mentor for special needs kids. Chris's goal for SAAC is to be a voice for African American student-athletes.

Maia Smith, Newsome High School (Lithia) - Maia brings a lot to the committee as a three-year varsity girls basketball player and plays for the Archery Club. She is involved in the Speech and Debate team as captain, Mu Alpha Theta Math Honor Society as Treasurer, Rho Kappa Social Studies Honor Society, plays percussion in the Tampa Music School, and is a teacher at the Rivers of Life Ministries. Maia is proud to be a girl who loves academics and sports. Her goal for the SAAC is to promote positive change in the perceptions of student-athletes.

Jordan Vital, Pine Crest School (Fort Lauderdale) - Jordan participates in her school's lacrosse program. She shows excellent leadership skills as she serves as the head student representative for the KIVA Club at her school. Jordan is also involved in the Jack and Jill Club Organization, National Honors Society and the Girl Up Organization. Her goals for the SAAC this year is to promote positive sportsmanlike behavior for student-athletes. 

Parker Weiss, Community School of Naples - Parker is a loyal player to the sport of basketball but has recently picked up football his junior and senior year. Through his leadership role as a student-athlete, he has led by example in a small private school to welcoming athletes to join the football team in hopes to fill the team. He is a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Chess Club. Parker’s goal for the SAAC is to implement a template of former successful student-athletes as an example for new students to reach their success.

Adam Wolcott, DeLand High School - Adam has been a leader for his baseball and swim team. Adam is president of International Baccalaureate Club, a member of National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society and Renaissance. In his community, Adam is a member of School of Government and St. Peters Catholic Church Youth Group. Adams goal for SAAC is to promote academic success by student-athletes.