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Athletics, academics, character recognized

The California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Scholar-Athlete of the Year, award, honors one male and one female athlete based on excellence in athletics, academics and character.

For the first time in school history, a campus students has received this honor. Senior Michelle Smith finished as runner-up in the San Joaquin Valley and was recognized at the Tulare Golf Course on April 26.

“I’m honored to have been recognized by the CIF committee,” Smith said. “I really feel that this honor reflects upon the great teachers and coaches that I’ve had at Fresno Christian.”

Many of Michelle’s teachers are very proud of her well-deserved accomplishments, including George Freeman, her tennis coach.

“I was very excited when Michelle received a $300 scholarship as a CIF runner up,” Freeman said. “To even be nominated for this award is credit to Michelle. All of the candidates excelled at their individual sports and most had 4.0 grade point averages. That is what makes this award so special.”

Whether playing tennis or soccer, Smith’s leadership is evident.

“Michelle leads by example,” Robert Foshee, soccer coach said. “”Out of four years playing soccer, she only missed one game, injured or not. She is the ultimate player, the ideal any coach would want. I wish I had 11 Michelle Smiths on my team.

Michelle’s friends and teammates are also very happy for her.

“With a leader like Michelle on the team you can only go up,” Hillary Kell, ’05, said. “With all the hard work she puts in she definitely deserves this award.”

Smith not only was an inspiration while playing sports but in the classroom as well.

“Michelle works as hard in the classroom as she does on the court or the field,” Jon Endicott, vice principal, and AP English teacher, said. “Her insights and ability to communicate are just as brilliant as her athletic ability.”

For more information concerning the CIF award go to

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