Robin Reynolds — a future Olympic track runner?
David Thompson — a future Major League Baseball player?
Duke Johnson — a future pro football player?
Ieshia Small — a future women’s basketball star?
Only time will tell.
But Friday morning, four of Miami-Dade County’s most talented athletes ever headlined one of those most illustrious groups of Athletes of the Year ever honored by The Miami Herald.
They and several other players and coaches won awards at The Herald’s annual All-Dade Awards breakfast at Jungle Island that was sponsored by Doctors Hospital Center for Orthopedics and Sports Medicine and The Orange Bowl, and attended by a crowd of nearly 1,100.
Thompson, a football and baseball star for four years at Westminster Christian, was named the Class 4A-1A Male Athlete of the Year for the third consecutive season.
Thompson became The Herald’s first three-time Athlete of the Year in the 55-year history of the award.
“It’s pretty surreal to be honest,” Thompson said. “I just thank the Lord, and I feel really blessed.”
Thompson, who earned All-Dade first team honors in football, finished as the county’s third-highest passer this season.
Thompson, a University of Miami signee, did that while putting together a baseball career in which he tied the state record for single-season home runs (19) and became the career leader in home runs (55), surpassing the original record held by Detroit Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder, a Melbourne Eau Gallie High alum.
Another UM signee, Norland running back Duke Johnson, capped a memorable morning for his school.
Johnson, who was unable to attend the ceremony because he is already enrolled at UM, won the Class 8A-5A Boys trophy following a spectacular season in which he led the Vikings to a 15-0 record and a state championship. His coach, Daryle Heidelburg, also won Overall Boys’ Sports Coach of the Year, and Norland won the Class 8A-5A Boys’ Major Sports Trophy.
Johnson, who scored five touchdowns in Norland’s state championship victory, became the school’s third Athlete of the Year joining Zachery Peacock (2005-06) and Jackie Holmes (1966-67). He also won Class 5A-Independents Offensive Player of the Year.
Dr. Krop’s Ieshia Small became only the second Athlete of the Year in Krop’s history joining Brittany Dubins (2009-10). Small, a 6-foot junior guard, led the Lightning girls’ basketball team to the Class 8A state final four and is the highest-rated prospect in the state (No. 13 overall in the nation) by ESPN. She also won Class 8A-5A Basketball Player of the Year.
Reynolds won the Class 4A-1A Girls’ Athlete of the Year for the second time in her career after she won another four state championships in track and field. Reynolds broke the record for most state titles ever won in a career in state history, finishing with 14. Reynolds is the only Athlete of the Year ever for Jackson High. She also won Girls’ Track Athlete of the Year.
“I was a little shocked because I didn’t think I was going to win the big one this time,” said Reynolds, who has signed with the University of Florida. “It’s a great feeling to go from freshman year to now and know that I accomplished all my goals.”
Reynolds, who recently said she will wait until 2016 to attempt to qualify for the Olympics, said she will attempt to qualify for the World Junior Championships in July. The trials for the event are in Indiana with the actual championships to be held in Barcelona.
“It’s great to be remembered by those around you that supported you,” Reynolds said. “Now, I have to make things happen in college.”