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Brandon News

County honors best of scholar athletes

The Tampa Tribune
Published:   |   Updated: March 20, 2013 at 08:06 PM
TAMPA -

The room included aspiring doctors, potential lawmakers and future business owners.

Among them were some of the most successful senior athletes in Hillsborough County. There was the starting center on an undefeated and nationally ranked state championship football team, the top girls basketball player in the state, as chosen by Gatorade, and the national runner-up for the High School Football Rudy Award.

Amazingly, they were all the same people.

On Wednesday night at Jefferson High, Hillsborough County Public Schools honored the top male and female athlete from each county high school with a $500 scholarship check, sponsored by Chick-Fil-A and Bright House Sports Network.

The student-athletes were chosen by their respective schools.

"We have some stellar student-athletes," Hillsborough County Athletic Director Lanness Robinson said. "They obviously put being a student first."

Armwood senior Kyle Wilcox, who became a finalist for the Rudy Award for his inspirational story of overcoming the breakup of his family to become a standout student-athlete, helped the school's football team reach the Class 4A state championship game this past season. Wilcox will play football for the University of Pennsylvania in the fall and is Armwood's valedictorian. He said Wednesday's award gives him mor than five scholarships for college expenses.

"It's pretty incredible," said Wilcox, who owns a 6.5 grade-point average and scored a 1250 on his SAT. "Last year at this time, I had no clue what I would for college. I feel like I'm really blessed."

Other standout athletes to receive scholarships included Durant cross country and track athlete Grace Van De Grift and Sickles basketball star Amber Henson, who will play for Duke University.

nwilliams@tampatrib.com

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