A perfect blend of academics and athletics came together on Monday morning when the Dade Schools Athletic Foundation (DSAF) hosted the Annual Miami-Dade County Public Schools Scholar-Athlete Luncheon.
The event was held at the DoubleTree Convention Center Miami Airport Hotel and designed to honor and recognize some of Miami-Dade County’s top athletes who also maintain high GPAs and other achievements off the field as well.
Many student-athletes brought home hardware and leading the way were Catarina Vale from TERRA and Varela’s Randall Elkind. Vale was the female winner of the William R. Nash/Dade Schools Athletic Foundation Award while Elkind won the male award.
“It’s a real honor to receive this,” said Vale who is a three-sport athlete (swimming, water polo, basketball) with a 5.25 grade point average and a Miami Herald Silver Knight nominee in General Scholarship “It’s been a great four years at TERRA and I”m really happy that it ends on this kind of note.”
“I’m extremely grateful to a lot of people but most importantly my parents, coaches and administrators who have had such an influence on my life over the last four years,” said Elkind who is also a three-sport athlete (swimming, volleyball, badminton) with a 4.9 GPA and is an AP Scholar with Distinction. “It’s an honor just to be nominated for an award like this, let alone win it.”
Following his fourth consecutive state title last December, Miami Central head football coach Roland Smith was the Dade Schools Athletic Foundation Coach of the Year.
“I’m flattered, honored and grateful but I don’t coach for individual awards,” said Smith. “It’s always a team effort at Miami Central between a great administration, good kids and a great coaching staff. Every year we always try to represent Miami-Dade County to the best of our ability and this year was no different.”
Holmes Braddock served as the MC on Monday and keynote guest speakers were University of Miami head football coach Marc Richt and Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho.
Also recognized was outgoing GMAC president Cheryl Golden who was informed that beginning next year, the Coach of the Year Award will be named in her honor.
Other Student/Athlete winners included:
• Orange Bowl Gold: Female, Sierra Labra, Hialeah Gardens; Male, Sebastian Alderete, Miami Springs.
• Orange Bowl Silver Winner: Female, Jacqueline Beaz, Braddock; Male, Konrad Danzer, Miami Beach
• Orange Bowl Bronze Winner: Female, Deborah Vainstein, Krop; Male, Fabian Puig, Coral Park
• First Tee Miami Achievement Award: Female, Lauren Bailey Eustace, Coral Reef; Male, Richard Lozano, Miami Beach.
• Kiwanis Club of Miami: Female Karina Abadia, Reagan; Male, Kemuel Jackson Nelson, Edison
• Herff Jones of Miami Scholarship: Female, Beth Cohen, Miami Beach; Male, Ryan Gonzalez, Braddock
• DIBIA Dreams Award: Female, Jocelyn Velez, Coral Park, Cara Mullery,MAST, Dianne Petit-Bois, North Miami Beach; Male, Carlos Bello, Goleman, Jason Harris, Killian, Rolando Garcia, South Miami.
• Lauren’s Kids Scholarship Award: Female, Daniella Trujillo, Westland Hialeah; Male, Royer Baez, Homestead