Balancing Athletics and Academics: Scholar Athletes


Lauren Janik

Banquet Dinner: Mallory and Liam pose for a photo with Mr. Berkowitz and their awards, March 27, 2023.

          Scholar Athlete, one of the most prestigious awards, is given to two high school seniors per school, per season who show exemplary skill in both academics and sports. Mallory Janik and Liam Young were chosen to receive this award for the spring season to acknowledge their passion and dedication to school and sports. 

          To be eligible to win this award, a student must have at least an overall 3.0 GPA, and be a varsity letter winner.  Being a varsity letter winner means that an athlete played on varsity, and met a standard set by that team, therefore getting a letter on their letterman jacket. Students should also show leadership by being role models for other students, helping others, and putting others first. In each school, the athletic directors and coaches select the winners of this distinguished award.

          To acknowledge our scholars, and many other scholars, the Southern Connecticut Conference (SCC) put together a banquet. This formal event had dinner as well as speeches to highlight each of the athletes’ major accomplishments and qualifications for receiving this honor.

          Young and Janik are both multi-sport student-athletes that work very hard with both school and sports. This award is a way to recognize the hard work that all student-athletes put in by highlighting the very best student-athletes. 

          Mallory, cheerleading and lacrosse captain says, “I felt honored to receive this award because only two kids from each senior class at each school were chosen. It shows me that all of my hard work has truly paid off and that I have had a positive impact on others around me which is very fulfilling.”

          Mallory also won this award during the Winter season this year with her cheerleading abilities, making her a two-time Scholar Athlete.

          Having to play multiple sports throughout the year while maintaining good grades and keeping up in school requires many skills. There are many different strategies and different ways that students can keep up with their schoolwork while working on such a jammed schedule. 

          Liam, a soccer, basketball, and lacrosse captain explains, “I always put school before sports because it is more important to me. I also keep up with my work by doing the work when it is assigned rather than at the last minute because that puts a lot of pressure on me, especially with a full schedule playing sports.”

          This year the previous scholar athletes were Skylar Agresti for soccer and Tighe Duggan for cross country in the fall. In the winter, Joey Cichowski won for wrestling, along with Mallory for cheerleading. 

          When asked about Tighe Duggan, Boys Cross Country coach Mr. Jeffrey Raucci stated, “His academics speak for themselves with his grades, but his leadership is fantastic as well. He does good deeds for the right reasons; to help people, not with the expectation of getting recognized.”