Three area athletes lauded for academics

The Florida High School Athletic Association announced the 2005 academic all-state team.

By Times Staff
Published April 14, 2005

Twenty-four student-athletes were honored from more than 370 nominees. To be eligible, a student must be a graduating senior, have a cumulative unweighted grade point average of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale and have earned a varsity letter in at least two sports during each of his or her junior and senior years.

Each honoree will receive a $500 award and commemorative medallion. Two scholar athletes of the year - one boy and one girl - will be announced at the 11th annual FHSAA academic all-state awards banquet June17 at the Wyndham Westshore in Tampa. The scholar athletes of the year will receive an additional $2,500 each.

The local winners are:

Clay Bavinger, Plant City: He has a 4.0 GPA and ranks first in a senior class of 431. Bavinger earned four varsity letters in tennis, basketball letters his junior and senior years and golf his final three years. He plans to attend Stanford University and study pre-medicine.

Kelly Betts, Plant: She has a 4.0 GPA and is 19th in a senior class of 474. Betts earned varsity letters in golf and softball all four years. She plans to attend Northwestern University and study pre-medicine and business.

Matt Eicholtz, Cambridge: He has a 4.0 GPA and is first in a senior class of 53. Eicholtz earned varsity letters in soccer four years, track and field his sophomore year and football his junior and senior years. He plans to attend Massachusetts Institute of Technology and study mechanical engineering.