Senior athletes committed and strong

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Over the next few weeks, hundreds of seniors at Shelby County high schools will wrap up a four years journey and begin the next chapter in their lives following graduation.

A number of those young adults have invested a good majority of their time in high school to more that just a diploma. Leaving with Shelby County&8217;s class of 2006 goes a number of achieving and talented athletes.

Many of these seniors&8217; careers will expand past their high school years, earning them scholarships and the chance to continue to develop as an athlete and as a person.

The dedication and commitment that these young adults have for both their sport and their studies oftentimes goes largely unnoticed.

Seven hours of classroom time is usually followed by two to four hours of lifting weights, going through drills, watching tape and gaining endurance. The list of these extra-curricular commitments is endless for most Shelby County athletes.

Take Pelham&8217;s Ian Flaniken, for example.

Flaniken has above a 4.0 average in the classroom and scored a perfect 1600 on the SAT last year. He&8217;s also a devoted musician and the editor of PHS&8217; school newspaper.

Flaniken&8217;s list of activities already outweighs that of many of the students&8217; that he attends class with.

Tag on the fact that Flaniken is won of they key contributors on a very successful Pelham boy&8217;s varsity tennis team and your looking at a kid who has achieved something remarkable.

Flaniken&8217;s success story is similar to a number of students in our county who have devoted their time to the field and the books – and achieved great things in both.

Trying to list all the seniors who have worked diligently over the past four years would be impossible in a 350-word column – or a 2000 word column for that matter.

Their achievements on and off the field are a testament to not only their personal will power, but also the ability of educators, coaches and parents to support these kids in their endeavors