1998 All-Anne Arundel County academic/athletic teams

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Boys

Jonathan Eser, Chesapeake

Class: Senior

GPA: 4.33

SAT: 1,450

College: Cornell

Sports: Football, Indoor track, lacrosse

Other activities: National Honor Society; president, Interact Club; Sportsmanship Committee; School Improvement Committee; Varsity Club; Peer Tutoring; Habitat for Humanity; DECA Club; exchange student in Freiburg, Germany.

Profile: A Maryland Distinguished Scholar, National Merit Commended Student and AP Scholar (excellence on AP exams), Eser ran the gamut of high school activities, including three varsity sports (captain in each). He will play lacrosse at Cornell. Winning numerous academic awards while, Eser also found time to get involved in such community activities as neighborhood clean-ups and school beautification. Ranked No. 2 in his class of 400, Eser scored all A's in every course in his high school career, taking mostly AP and honors courses. Eser's counselor at Chesapeake, Raymond W. Johnston, wrote: "This young man is the most outstanding individual I have come across in my 30 years in education. I have never said that before."

Michael Gallant-Gardner, Arundel

Class: Senior

GPA: 4.08

SAT: 1,550

College: University of Maryland

Sports: Cross country, indoor and outdoor track

Other Activities: National Honor Society; editor, Spectrum, school newspaper; VP Key Club; junior assistant Boy Scoutmaster; member "It's Academic" team, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish Youth Group; swimming instructor.

Profile: Gardner had the second highest SAT score among the boys as well as a high grade-point average. A National Merit Scholarship semifinalist, Gardner also earned an "outstanding achievement award in mathematics" from the county public schools and is an Eagle Scout. Gardner is active in his church as a lector and Eucharistic minister, is 13th in a class of 410, and works as a lifeguard. As school paper editor, Gardner has been not only an outstanding writer but also taken on page layout and design. "Michael has excelled as editor. The best words I can use to describe him are quietly efficient," wrote English/ journalism teacher Wanda Trimnal.

Jonathan Higdon, South River

Class: Senior

GPA: 3.80

SAT: 1,280

College: U.S. Naval Academy

Sports: Soccer, indoor track and lacrosse.

Other Activities: National Honor Society; member Physics Olympics and Science Bowl teams, Student Government Association and marching, jazz and concert bands; group leader, South River Leadership Conference; youth soccer coach; peer tutor.

Profile: A standout in three sports, Higdon is ranked sixth in his class of 228 and was a high school Heisman nominee. "His course of study has included the most arduous curriculum we can offer," wrote South River athletic director Jim Haluck. Higdon has excelled in biology, chemistry and pre-engineering honors courses and A.P. physics. His rigorous academic and athletic schedule has not prevented him from participating in Maryland Boys State, American Cancer Society programs, the Maryland Summer Center for the Arts at Goucher College and church musical performances at local nursing homes.

Alex Iliff, Gilman

Class: Senior

GPA: 4.00

SAT: 1,560

College: Princeton

Sports: Cross country, swimming, indoor track and baseball.

Other Activities: Debate Club; newspaper staff; Senior Speech Club; tetrathlon (a four-phase horse-riding event, including stadium jumping, target shooting, swimming and cross country); member Combined Training Association.

Profile: Boasting the highest SAT score on the boys' team, Iliff was inducted into the Cum Laude Society and is a Maryland Distinguished Scholar finalist, an AP Scholar with Honor and a Merit Finalist. He has also won awards in Latin and math. "Alex has intellectual discipline, not just intelligence," wrote college counseling director Ivana Turner. Despite 90 minutes of daily commuting from Arnold to Gilman in Baltimore, Iliff has competed in three varsity sports and won the Greyhounds' Triple Threat Award the last two years. In the grueling tetrathlon, Iliff has displayed remarkable endurance and dedication to training. He will participate in cross country and track at Princeton.

Jason King, Archbishop Spalding

Class: Senior

GPA: 4.43

SAT: 1,510

College: Davidson

Sports: Soccer, indoor track, tennis

Other Activities: Member Student Government, Tri-M Honors Society, Leadership Conference and Public Relations Club; Retreat Leader; first-chair saxophone, Symphonic Band; tutor, Eucharistic minister; youth soccer coach.

Profile: This well-rounded student/athlete has participated in four varsity sports (golf, sophomore and junior years) in high school, while maintaining excellence in the classroom. His academic schedule has been loaded with AP and honors courses gaining him a ranking of 10th in his senior class of 215. King, who plans to play soccer at Davidson, has earned academic awards in AP European History, Spanish, A.P. American History and Database Management in addition to a Merit Star. Spalding requires students to perform 45 hours of community service, but King has gone beyond that, tripling his volunteerism by staffing summer camps. Rich Miranda, assistant soccer coach at Navy who was King's coach with the Top Guns Soccer Club, wrote of the young man: "Jason has outstanding leadership qualities."

Michael Little, Northeast

Class: Senior

GPA: 4.07

SAT: 1,290

College: Johns Hopkins or Maryland

Sports: Football and baseball

Other Activities: National Honor Society; senior class vice president; Student Government Association; math team; youth football coach; church usher; volunteer aide at Providence Center.

Profile: Little has excelled in two major sports and is ranked sixth in his class of 272. An honorable mention Maryland Distinguished Scholar, Little was the Eagles' Scholar Athlete at the Greater Baltimore Chapter National Football Foundation Hall of Dinner this year and has won academic awards in art and science. Twice this past football season, Little fought back from injuries (six weeks with a knee, two weeks with a dislocated shoulder) and returned to help his team. "We knew right away that Michael was special. He has led by example on the field and in the classroom," wrote football coach Steve Sweet. Northeast mathematics department chair, Dr. Brian Kelly, wrote that Little "in cooperative group settings makes other students better also."

John Seitz, Archbishop Spalding

Class: Senior

GPA: 4.51

SAT: 1,200

College: U.S. Military Academy, West Point

Sports: Football and wrestling

Other Activities: Student Government; Young Life Youth Group; volunteer wrestling coach.

Profile: Ranked 11th in his class of 204, Seitz has the highest GPA of any male student/athlete who applied. An All-County wrestler with a 36-8 record at 140 pounds, Seitz also played safety in football. Seitz, who spent the ninth grade at Fork Union Military Academy where he was a member of the Retan Honor Company, reserved for about 30 cadets, gained the respect of his peers and teachers at Spalding upon his 10th-grade transfer. "John has innate intelligence and a strong work ethic," wrote physics teacher Mike Klein.

Gregory Skipper, Glen Burnie

Class: Senior

GPA: 4.39

SAT: 1,260

College: University of Maryland

Sports: Football, indoor and outdoor track.

Other Activities: National Honor Society sergeant-at-arms; Big Red newspaper staff; member, Student Government Association, Quill and Scroll Society, Physics Olympics Team and Foreign Language Exchange Program; student tutor; volunteer American Diabetes Association.

Profile: Headed to College Park to major in mechanical engineering, Skipper, who is ranked No. 2 in his class of 395, is a Wendy's Heisman Scholar Athlete and the football team's representative to the Greater Baltimore Chapter of the National Football Foundation dinner. Skipper played varsity basketball his junior year before turning to track this year. He plans to compete in track and field collegiately. An honorable mention Maryland Distinguished Scholar and member of "Who's Who of American High School Students," Skipper "possesses a positive attitude and strong desire to achieve," said Glen Burnie media specialist Linda Pollack. Skipper has spent considerable time teaching Spanish to special-ed students at Glendale Elementary. "Greg created fun and engaging lessons, no easy task," wrote Aimee M. Novak, special education teacher.

Nathaniel Smith, Glen Burnie

Class: Senior

GPA: 4.02

SAT: 1,420

College: U.S. Military Academy, West Point

Sports: Football, indoor and outdoor track

Other Activities: National Honor Society; member, math team, Physics Olympics, Odyssey of the Mind and Lex Clubs; Habitat for Humanity; Common Ground Ministries.

Profile: Smith, ranked 16th in his class of 395, will take exceptional physics skills to West Point, said Joseph Sean Moore, Glen Burnie A.P. physics instructor. "Nathaniel has demonstrated excellent command of the fundamental laws of physics, as well as their application," wrote Moore. "I have encountered few students with his math abilities and aptitude at using a graphing calculator." Smith is also very active in the Marley Park Church of the Nazarene, making a trip to Cincinnati to help refurbish inner city housing, and taught Bible school on an Indian reservation in Cherokee, N.C.

Eric Verploegen, St. Mary's

Class: Senior

GPA: 4.13

SAT: 1,360

College: Cornell

Sports: Football and wrestling

Other Activities: National Honor Society; editor, yearbook; sports writer, school newspaper, The Crabnet; member Math Club; Habitat for Humanity; Freedoms Foundation of Valley Forge Youth Leadership Conference; University of Maryland Rising Stars High School Leadership Conference.

Profile: Not "an all-star standout athlete" by his own admission, Verploegen was definitely a classroom star. Verploegen, ranked 12th in his class of 134, is a National Merit Scholarship Commended Student, a Parvis Scholar (award for academics, character, leadership and community service), and the Saints' Scholar Athlete at the Greater Baltimore Chapter National Football Foundation Hall of Fame dinner. Wrestling coach Pat Maher gave Verploegen the team's "Most Inspirational Award" and said, "Eric inspires and motivates through his actions."

Girls

Kathleen Brady, Arch. Spalding

Class: Senior

GPA: 4.20

SAT: 1,110

College: Towson University

Sports: Field hockey, basketball, swimming (senior year) and lacrosse

Other Activities: Student Government Association; Drama Club; chorus; Campus Ministry; Fellowship Christian Athletes; Homecoming Committee; SADD; youth coach and referee; volunteer Sarah's House and Seton Parish.

Profile: A leader, Brady was captain and an All-County performer in field hockey and lacrosse, the sports she will play at Towson. In her essay on high school sports, Brady, who played in the National Hockey Festival in Palm Springs, Calif., pointed out that she received a perfect attendance award, attributed it to athletics and wrote, "I felt a responsibility to set an example of good grades and attending practice every day." Academically, Brady also has been outstanding and is listed in the "Who's Who Among American High School Students" and is a National Merit Scholar. Brady has won academic awards in math, Spanish and science. "A solid team leader and gritty competitor, 'Kat' sets high expectations for herself and her teammates," wrote field hockey coach Mary Pat Bozel.

Kelly Dirks, Annapolis

Class: Senior

GPA: 4.35

SAT: 1,240

College: Duke

Sports: Soccer and lacrosse

Other activities: National Honor Society; Student Government Association; blood drive committee; Habitat for Humanity work missions; Calvary United Methodist Church group; youth lacrosse referee; secretary to school athletic director.

Profile: Busy and talented, Dirks, The Sun's girls lacrosse Player of the Year from the Class 4A state champion Panthers, is an Honorable Mention Maryland Distinguished Scholar and A.P. Scholar as well. Involved in her church's Habitat for Humanity, Dirks, who has a lacrosse scholarship to Duke, has been on missions to Connecticut, Mexico, New Mexico and South Carolina. "Kelly is totally, intrinsically motivated," wrote Annapolis assistant lacrosse coach and algebra teacher Sue Chittim. Dirks is looking forward to playing college lacrosse, but in her essay wrote: "I doubt I will be able to recapture the innocence and joy found in high school athletics."

Christina Fedarcyk, St. Mary's

Class: Senior

GPA: 4.50

SAT: 1,330

College: Notre Dame

Sports: Soccer, basketball and lacrosse

Other Activities: National Honor Society; Parvis Scholar; secretary, Junior Civitan Club; member, math club and church youth group; volunteer at Sarah's House, Sunrise Assisted Living, Red Cross Blood Drive and Lighthouse Homeless Shelter.

Profile: This obviously caring young lady boasts the highest GPA among the girls chosen. A Maryland Distinguished Scholar and Archdiocese of Baltimore Distinctive Scholar, Fedarcyk has earned academic awards in Latin, math and science, and is listed in "Who's Who Among American High School Students." "Tina learned early on to prioritize her life and fit the sports and social activities into an 'academics-comes-first' attitude," wrote Jerry Tobin, a CPA and Saints girls' soccer coach. Fedarcyk, who as a junior was a member of three St. Mary's teams (soccer, basketball and lacrosse) ranked No. 1 by The Sun, will attend Notre Dame on a lacrosse scholarship and take pre-med classes.

Julie Iversen, Northeast

Class: Senior

GPA: 4.29

SAT: 1,360

College: University of Maryland

Sports: Volleyball and tennis

Other Activities: President, Student Government Association; vice president, senior class; National Honor Society; captain, "It's Academic" team; member, math, Close-up Clubs and the yearbook staff; chairperson, Homecoming Committee; volunteer, Paca House and Harvest for the Hungry fund-raiser.

Profile: Being involved in school and community comes natural to the top-ranked senior in the Northeast class of 272. Iversen, who has had perfect attendance since sixth grade, is an honorable mention Maryland Distinguished Scholar and Minds-in-Motion Scholar Athlete Award winner all four years of high school. Iversen also has claimed such other academic honors as the Ray Kroc Achievement and the Principal's Leadership Awards. "Julie an extremely capable young woman with a true sense of purpose," wrote counselor Jacqueline L. Neil. "Her interpersonal skills and initiative make her a valuable leader."

Susan MacWilliams, St. Mary's

Class: Senior

GPA: 4.30

SAT: 1,170

College: Holy Cross

Sports: Soccer and lacrosse

Other Activities: National Honor Society; member math team, Council on Student Affairs secretary, homecoming committee; volunteer for homeless and Toys for Tots; peer tutor.

Profile: MacWilliams' brother, Mac was a member of our 1991 team and points out that his sister maintained her academic excellence which has her ranked fourth in her class of 139 and giving constant care to their mother, who had cancer a couple years ago. "When Susan was 16, she took care of my Mom for eight months, and Mom has since recovered," said Mac MacWilliams. The ordeal did not deter Macwilliams' school and community involvement. MacWilliams was named a Parvis Scholar, magna Cum laude on the national Latin exam and received the school's Charles T. Council Award given to outstanding seniors. The only senior to have started every varsity soccer game for four years, she will play soccer and lacrosse at Holy Cross.

Kaye Powell, Annapolis

Class: Senior

GPA: 4.37

SAT: 1,420

College: Lafayette College

Sports: Cross country, indoor and outdoor track

Other Activities: National Honor Society; Student Government Association; president, Leo Club (community service affiliated with Lions Club); leader, Annapolis School Improvement group; co-editor yearbook; volunteer, Salvation Army and Annapolis Lighthouse Shelter; Red Cross certified lifeguard.

Profile: A National Merit Scholarship commended student and Maryland Distinguished Scholar honorable mention, Powell has accepted a $10,000 Marquis Scholar Scholarship from Lafayette, where she will participate in track and field. Ranked No. 2 in her senior class of 316, Powell has been listed in the "Who's Who Among American High School Students" since 1995, and has earned the Maryland Minds-in-Motion Award (3.25 or higher while playing sports) all four years of high school. Despite participating in three varsity sports (also gymnastics in ninth and 10th grades), Powell has been extremely active in school and community activities. "Last summer, Kaye led a workshop in cultural diversity, and her efforts have directly improved the climate at Annapolis," wrote social studies teacher and SGA adviser, Marlene Ramey.

Megan Raley, Southern

Class: Senior

GPA: 4.00

SAT: 1,210

College: Undecided

Sports: Soccer, basketball and lacrosse

Other activities: National Honor Society president; sports editor, yearbook staff; Peer Helper for three years; senior class treasurer; sailing.

Profile: In July 1997, Raley, then a 16-year old lifeguard at West River United Methodist Church Center, helped save a 15-year old Baltimore boy from drowning in a pool. Raley hauled the young boy from 8 feet below water. The act did not surprise her basketball/lacrosse Linda Kilpatrick. "Megan is truly one of the finest young ladies I have coached in my 22 years," said Kilpatrick. Raley was captain in all three sports she played and earned the prestigious Dick Hart Award, a $1,500 Scholarship given to the senior basketball player who exemplifies the intangibles. Raley is a Minds-in-Motion winner all four years, listed in the "Who's Who of American High School Students" and was voted "most involved" by her peers.

Emily Rodriguez, Severn

Class: Senior

GPA: 4.18

SAT: 1,350

College: Stanford

Sports: Soccer and lacrosse

Other Activities: National and Spanish Honor Societies; member Art, French, Key, Wrestling, Oceanic, Sailing and Ultimate Frisbee Clubs; peer counselor; Student Ambassador; prom committee and senior prefect; foreign exchange student to Spain; youth church group.

Profile: This diversified student/athlete who is ranked in the top 10 percent of her class. Rodriguez is a National Hispanic Scholar finalist, Cum Laude Society member and Maryland Distinguished Scholar Honorable Mention and listed in the "Who's Who of American High School Students." She found time to serve as an ornithology research project assistant in North Dakota each summer. "Emily is the epitome of the scholar-athlete. She is spirited, cheerful, ingenuous and relentlessly upbeat and adored all," wrote Norwood Johnston II, college counseling director.

Wendy Slicher, North County

Class: Senior

GPA: 4.14

SAT: 1,580

College: University of Maryland

Sports: Field Hockey and lacrosse

Other Activities: National Honor Society; volunteer coordinator for fund-raising; peer helper; Drama Club.

Profile: Slicher has the highest the SAT score of the 10 boys and 10 girls named to the 16th annual team and is a National Merit Scholar. Ranked 10th in her class of 395, Slicher received a Student Honoree Award at the 37th annual Salute to Excellence banquet of the Golden Plate. Well trained in communication and problem-solving skills, Slicher excelled as a peer helper, offering effective and sound help to students in need. A Korean native adopted by an American family, Slicher revived the Knights' field hockey team was it about to be dropped in 1995. "She recruited me to coach the team and was instrumental in recruiting players, fund-raising and the instructional aspects of the game, because I knew nothing about the sport," said coach Brian Bowles. "She taught me all about field hockey. She is a very gifted young lady." Slicher has also become a "polished and superbly logical" writer, said AP English instructor Barbara Pattillo. Tireless and enthusiastic, Slicher also has given hours to helping the elderly, and abused women and children.

Kelly Voss, Old Mill

Class: Senior

GPA: 4.33

SAT: 1,500

College: Belmont University

Sports: Field hockey, indoor and outdoor track

Other Activities: National Honor Society secretary; Student Government Association; Class of 1998 executive committee; peer helper; Fellowship Christian Athletes; member Amnesty International, math club, Fashion Club, Severn Baptist youth choir and Habitat for Humanity.

Profile: A region champion in the 800 meters and member of the state runner-up 3,200-meter relay team, Voss was named All-County in indoor track and was the field hockey team's unsung hero. She is an honorable mention Maryland Distinguished Scholar, National Merit Commended Student and recipient of the school's Scholar Athlete Achievement Award all four years. She ranks fifth out of 443 seniors. Voss is an AP scholar and Senior Superlative award winner and in one grading period this year had a weighted 4.83 average. She helps the homeless (Happy Helpers) and elderly (Snappy Senior Socials). "The most impressive thing about Kelly is her altruism," wrote English chair Sean Swanson. "She has been active in homeless ministries and children's outreaches for many years."

Pub Date: 6/05/98

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