Student-athletes recognized as role models

By Johnny Jackson

Thirty-nine Clayton County high school student-athletes have been honored for their participation in the "2005-06 Clayton County Public Schools Athletic and Academic Excellence Poster Campaign."

Participants underwent a rigorous screening process in which their scholastic achievements and abilities were accessed.

A few students were chosen to represent each high school in the county based on their academic and athletic accomplishments.

They will be featured on posters that will hang in the halls of their schools as images of role models in the classroom and on the playing field.

"They were absolutely exemplary," said Don Stout, Clayton County Coordinator of Athletics. "The students are wonderful representatives for their schools and the school system as a whole."

Kurt Wilson is a 17-year-old senior at Riverdale High School, who has a 3.88 grade point average.

Wilson boasts about his ability to play any position on the baseball diamond.

"I like the feeling of playing baseball," the second baseman said.

"I'm intrigued," he said about his part in the poster campaign. "I'm pleased. It's a major milestone in my high school career."

His career thus far is made possible, in part, through his mother Barbara Wilson.

"I have high standards," she said. "I really take time out to nurture and assist him daily.

"I am proud of his achievements, and I sincerely hope he goes far. I hope he remembers his roots and stays grounded."

The self-described "soccer mom" and perfectionist is also responsible for helping develop Wilson's first hero, namely his brother Kevin.

His brother is a 22-year-old senior at Duke University majoring in psychology. His mother said he earned a full scholarship to play defensive tackle for Duke. And Kurt is eager to follow suit.

Wilson said he hopes to attend either Duke University, the University of North Carolina, or Georgia Tech. He hopes to continue playing baseball in college where he want to major in mechanical engineering.

There are many more like Wilson:

Forest Park High School

Cordaryl Kendrick, baseball; Jessica Franklin, basketball; Kwan Ho Mok, soccer; Shanise Finch, softball; Mary Rose Macaranas, swimming.

Jonesboro High School

Damien Swearing, cross country; Heather Lowry, softball; Kyle and Courtney Black, wrestling.

Morrow High School

Chris Chaney, track & field; Maima Chea and Lakita Atkinson, cheerleading; and Nikitris Deloach, tennis.

North Clayton High School

Nakeita Stewart, basketball; Jamal Davis, swimming; Morgan Burnett, track and field; Nicole Shockley, track and field; and Ashley White, volleyball.

Riverdale High School

Kurt Wilson, baseball; Vandaral Shackleford, football; and Gloria Fisher, swimming.

Lovejoy High School

Jazmine McDaniel and Danielle Robinson, softball; Chelsea Kirk, volleyball; Dekesha Weston, basketball; Chris Hail, football; Michael Valentino, soccer; and Olaseni Ajao, basketball.

Mount Zion High School

Horacio Ocampo, soccer; Patricia Herron, soccer; Reggie Scott, swimming; Cherrell Lawson, track and field; and Brianna Deas, volleyball.

Mundy's Mill High School

Chris Walton, track and field; Keianna Shipp, softball; Lenice Boyd, tennis; Victoria Cooper, soccer; Shanice Clark, volleyball; and Christian Hunnicutt, track and field.