Northeast student-athletes Patrick Martinek and Jayda Griffin were selected to represent the county and state at last week's National Student Leadership Summit in Indianapolis. They were among more than 100 students from 22 states who participated in the three-day program, which was hosted by the National Federation of State High School Associations. They were the only two student-athletes from the state who attended.
"They represented the county well," said Brian Layman, athletic specialist for Anne Arundel County Public Schools, who also attended the summit. "Now they'll go back and share with their groups what they did."
Martinek, a rising senior who plays goalie on the school's boys lacrosse team, was a Capital Gazette and Anne Arundel County Public School Coaches first-team All-County selection this past year. He's also a member of the Captains Club and plays Unified tennis for the Eagles.
"It was a great experience. I got to meet a lot of people and I learned a lot," he said. "We had some great guest speakers and learned about ways to improve our schools and be better leaders."
Griffin is a rising senior who plays field hockey and runs indoor and outdoor track. She was part of the 1,600- and 800-meter relay teams that finished third and fourth, respectively, at the Class 3A Central Region indoor track meet to qualify for the state meet.
"It was a great way for me to connect with people across the U.S. and Canada. Being a military child I am familiar with what it's like to live in different places, so being able to meet new people was a very familiar experience for me," she said.
"In addition, I learned very important lessons on how to grow as a leader and as a person. The experience is definitely one I will not forget. I made new friends and was able to find myself as a person by being inspired by the guest speakers they had attending."
Other than spending time at a local high school with Unified athletes on Tuesday, participants spent the rest of their time attending workshops and listening to guest speakers. The sessions focused on leadership and how important it is for student-athletes to have a voice in their school's or county's athletic policies.
"I was amazed. The kids were phenomenal," Layman said. "If they weren't leaders, they wouldn't have been in that room."
PANTHERS EXCEL: The Annapolis baseball team was recognized by the American Baseball Coaches Association with the ABCA Team Academic Excellence Award. More than 200 high school or college programs were honored with the award, which recognizes teams coached by ABCA members that posted a grade-point average over 3.0 on a 4.0 scale for the 2016-17 academic year. Annapolis is one of two high schools in the state which received the award, joining Gaithersburg High. Johns Hopkins University was also recognized.
"This is a great accomplishment for our program, including winning our first playoff game this season after a school drought of 15 years, maybe more," Panthers coach Gus Kaplanges said. "A heartfelt thank you goes out to all those that supported our players in their academic, community and athletic endeavors."
ELIAS SWITCHES: After coaching the Annapolis girls soccer team for three years, Leo Elias will now coach the boys team. The boys team finished 5-8 last year, while the girls finished 2-12. Elias takes over for Jay Bugenhagen, who coached the Panthers boys team for five years.
COACH NEEDED: Annapolis Area Christian School is accepting applications for a head varsity boys lacrosse coach. Those interested can contact Director of Athletics Jim Domoracki at firstname.lastname@example.org.