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Athletes honored for work in classroom

Teen movies often portray high school as a place where the jocks perform athletic feats and are cheered by the masses while the brains study for tests wearing pocket protectors and get tormented by the jocks.
In reality, Southern Nevada’s playing fields often are home to both team captains and valedictorians. Sometimes, it’s even the same person.
That is the type of commitment shown by those selected as Southern Nevada’s Top 10 Student-Athletes of the Year by the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association.
The NIAA, along with Farmers Insurance Group and Lifetouch, honors Southern Nevada’s elite student-athletes with $1,500 scholarships.
The 10 athletes — five boys and five girls — will be honored at a banquet May 28.
Following are the 2008-09 student-athletes of the year, listed alphabetically:

A three-sport athlete, Figgins earned seven letters in volleyball, basketball and track. Figgins was the team Most Valuable Player in volleyball and was an All-Southwest League pick in basketball. She also participated in several volunteer clean-up projects and projects for the underprivileged. Figgins posted an unweighted 3.425 GPA (4.225 weighted) and ranked 40th in a class of 423.

Boulder City
Forrester proved to be an all-around athlete, earning varsity letters in six sports. She lettered in basketball for four years and volleyball for three. She also participated in soccer, softball, track and swimming. Forrester earned all-league or all-state honors in volleyball, basketball and softball and won the high jump at the state track meet as a junior. The Class 3A state basketball MVP posted an unweighted 3.977 GPA (4.777 weighted) and ranked eighth in a class of 144.

Green Valley
Holloway was a two-sport athlete and class valedictorian. Captain of the football team, he earned second-team All-Southeast League honors at wide receiver. He earned two letters in football and three in basketball. He also was a member of the choir and several school clubs. He posted a 4.0 unweighted GPA (4.8 weighted) and ranked first in a class of 598.

Sierra Vista
A two-sport athlete, Homeyer earned five varsity letters in football and volleyball. He was the team captain in football and volleyball as a senior. He helped the Mountain Lions win two Southwest League volleyball titles. Homeyer posted an unweighted 3.732 GPA (4.532 weighted) and ranked 22nd in a class of 734.

Huang earned a total of four varsity letters in football and baseball. He also was a member of the U.S. Chess Federation and worked with students at the Talented Bilingual Education Academy, organizing chess classes and tournaments at the school. He posted a 3.9 unweighted GPA (4.7 weighted) and ranked 11th in a class of 574.

Jordan was born with cerebral palsy but hasn’t let that stop her from participating in high school athletics. Jordan has been a member of the Coronado swimming team for four years, and she won a gold medal, two silver medals and one bronze medal in the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing. She set a Paralympic record in the 50-meter freestyle. She also has excelled in the classroom, posting an unweighted 3.872 GPA (4.672 weighted). Jordan ranked 32nd in a class of 621.

A standout distance runner, Leedy earned six letters in cross country and track. She placed second at the Class 4A state cross country meet as a senior and was the Review-Journal 4A Girls Cross Country Athlete of the Year. In track, Leedy was third in the 3,200 meters as a junior. She posted an unweighted 4.0 GPA  (4.775 weighted) and ranked fifth in a class of 472.

Pahrump Valley
A standout thrower in track, Rencher won the 3A state shot put title as a junior and was third in the discus. She also participated in volleyball. Rencher donated considerable time to worthy causes, planning cancer fundraisers and participating in several other community service activities. Rencher posted an unweighted 3.978 GPA (4.391 weighted) and ranked seventh in a class of 292.

Boulder City
A three-sport athlete, Smith earned seven varsity letters in football, basketball and track. He was first team All-Southern League in basketball, leading the Eagles to a 3A state title as a senior. Smith also was a first-team All-Southern League running back and second-team defensive back. He placed third at state in both hurdle races as a junior. He posted an unweighted 4.0 GPA (4.7 weighted) and ranked 11th in a class of 144.

Moapa Valley
Weiss earned 11 varsity letters in four sports. He was the 3A state MVP in football after leading the Pirates to a second consecutive state championship. He was a first-team all-state pick at running back and cornerback. He rushed for a school-record 1,815 yards and 23 touchdowns as a senior. Weiss also was a second-team All-Southern League pick in basketball. He posted an unweighted 3.729 GPA (4.229 weighted) and ranked 20th in a class of 153.

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