They set their goals early. And not just in sports.
The Lima News Scholar-Athletes of the Year, Ottoville’s Abby Siefker and Lima Central Catholic’s Alex Swick, are well known for their athletic achievements. And they also will both graduate as valedictorians at their school.
For both, that was a goal the day they started high school, if not earlier.
“It’s always been a goal since I was little,” Siefker said.
In Swick’s case there was a bit of competitiveness in the equation, too.
“Definitely,” he said, when asked if it was a goal. “And living up to Adam — I couldn’t have him outshine me,” he said, referring to his older brother, who was also a valedictorian at LCC.
Siefker, who has a 4.00 grade point average, was named the Division IV state Player of the Year in girls basketball this year.
She led Ottoville to the state semifinals and scored more than 1,000 points and had more than 1,000 rebounds in her career. She will play basketball for Bowling Green State University next year.
Swick, who has a 4.32 grade point average, was state runner-up in doubles with his teammate John Kidd as a junior and sophomore and also advanced to the state tournament as a freshman.
He will attend the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business next season.
He expects to try out for the tennis team there, but said, “Academics is what I’m going to go for.”
Siefker and Swick were among 30 students from 18 area high schools who were honored at a ceremony on Ohio State-Lima’s campus on Wednesday night. The Lima News and OSU-Lima are co-sponsors of the event.
This year’s girls scholar-athletes are: Nicole Brown (Wapakoneta), Kianna Collins (Lima Senior), Taylor Dackin (Bath), Brandi Gerschutz (Miller City), Megan Hayzlett (Wapakoneta), Jamie Kuhlman (Shawnee), Britt Lauck (Shawnee), Sydney Meffley (Bath), Sarah Pajka (Lima Central Catholic), Abbie Patton (Perry), Kelley Selhorst (Ottawa-Glandorf), Rachel Turnwald (Ottoville), Kaylyn Verhoff (Kalida), Taylor Willeke (Ada) and Siefker.
This year’s boys scholar-athletes are: Devon Allen (Lima Senior), Curtis Geise (Delphos St. John’s), Collin Grothaus (Columbus Grove), Nathan Hager (Wapakoneta), Sam Huffman (Lima Central Catholic), Joey Hurless (Van Wert), Matthew Kaufman (Ottawa-Glandorf), Dakota Mathias (Elida), Max McAdoo (Allen East), Coleman McCormick (Spencerville), Quentin Poling (Elida), Caleb Siefring (Coldwater), Josh Thomas (Shawnee), Cory Wilder (Shawnee) and Swick.
This is the 19th consecutive year The Lima News has honored the top scholar-athletes from area high schools.
A total of 131 nominations were submitted by 37 schools.
The two overall winners will receive $500 scholarships from The Lima News. All of the other top 30 scholar-athletes can receive scholarship money from OSU-Lima for use on that campus, if they choose to use it.
Fifteen of this year’s 30 scholar-athletes have grade point averages of 4.0 or higher and six others had GPAs between 3.90 and 3.99.