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16th Annual Student-Athlete Achievement Awards

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Virginia Beach, VA – Sixteen student athletes from across the state were honored Sunday afternoon as part of the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame Foundation’s 16th annual Student Athlete Achievement Awards.  The reception, held virtually via ZOOM and Facebook Live, featured high school student-athletes from across Virginia that excel academically, athletically, and in their communities.  The event was emceed by WAVY-TV morning and midday anchor, Katie Collett.

The Hall received 115-nominations from August-October 2020, from which the sixteen finalists were chosen by an awards selection committee.  Among the 8-girls and 8-boys, the committee picked two from each group as the Hall of Fame’s Student Athletes of the Year.  This year’s winners are;

  • Caroline Bowe, 12th Grade, Midlothian High School, Midlothian, VA
  • Nina Dao, 12th Grade, Ocean Lakes High School, Virginia Beach, VA
  • Joseph Kagel, 12th Grade, Catholic High School, Virginia Beach, VA
  • Matthew McEwen, 12th Grade, Churchland High School, Portsmouth, VA

In addition to being named the Student Athletes of the Year, this year’s winners are the recipients of a $1,500.00 scholarship award to be used towards furthering their education.

This year’s finalists feature impressive academic achievements, state champion student-athletes who have already committed to further their careers with NCAA scholarships, and others who have featured for their national team programs. With high school athletics put on hold in Virginia because of the pandemic, many of this year’s finalists took that as an opportunity to further their commitment to their communities by creating projects and initiatives to help those in need.

In addition to the scholarship awards provided to the four Student-Athletes of the Year, each remaining finalist will receive a $500 scholarship. The additional funds are the result of a year-end appeal campaign for the Hall of Fame aimed at increasing the scholarships provided for student-athletes.

“Student-athletes have endured so much as a result of the pandemic,” says Virginia Sports Hall of Fame Executive Director, Will Driscoll. “We wanted to make sure we continued this initiative that celebrates their overall accomplishments even if games aren’t being played.”

2020 Student-Athlete Achievement Awards Finalists

Juliana Conza, 12th Grade, Floyd E. Kellam High School, Virginia Beach, VA

Austin Heft, 11th Grade, Ocean Lakes High School, Virginia Beach, VA

Madison Inscoe, 11th Grade, Nansemond Suffolk Academy, Suffolk, VA

Emma Lemley, 12th Grade, Jefferson Forest High School, Forest, VA

Barrett Rowe, 11th Grade, Collegiate School, Richmond, VA

Lexie Vanderloo, 12th Grade, Loudoun County High School, Loudoun, VA

Eric Bazile, 12th Grade, Norview High School, Norfolk, VA

Parker Epperley, 11th Grade, Blacksburg High School, Blacksburg, VA

Lincoln Lubsen, 12th Grade, Walsingham Academy, Williamsburg, VA

Austin Miranda, 12th Grade, Catholic High School, Virginia Beach, VA

Christopher Parham, 12th Grade, Dinwiddie High School, Dinwiddie, VA

David Smythe, 11th Grade, Norfolk Academy, Norfolk, VA

Caroline Bowe
Nina Dao SAAA
Joseph Kagel SAAA
Matthew McEwen SAAA

2020 Student-Athlete Achievement Awards Reception Live Stream

2020 Student-Athletes of the Year

Caroline Bowe – Ranked in the top 5 of her class, Bowe combines career ambition with classroom success and athletic achievement. She is determined to one day receive her MBA and run her own fashion, clothing, and sneaker business. Bowe will get there by continuing to win awards like the West Point Leadership Award and Chesterfield County Core Value Award. Her Track accomplishments are equally as impressive as her achievements in the classroom. She was the Richmond Times-Dispatch Scholar Athlete of the Month and was All-State in the 800m, 1000m, and 4x800m relay races her sophomore year. Bowe also manages to find the time to volunteer at local races and participate in Champions Together (Special Olympics Club).

Nina Dao – A top 2% student at Ocean Lakes High School, Dao has lofty career aspirations of becoming a Dentist, an Oral Surgeon, or a researcher. She was accepted into the Summer Residential Governor School for Medicine in 2020 and also won a Virginian-Pilot Scholastic Achievement award. Her achievements in athletics rival her achievements in the classroom as she won the Track Excellence Recognition Award, the Field Hockey Excellence Recognition Award twice, and won a recreational Virginia Beach Volleyball Championship. Continuing the trend of high achievements and honors, Dao was selected to be one of the two volunteers for Operation Smile Madagascar Medical Mission in 2020.

Joseph Kagel – Looking to pursue a career in Biomedical Engineering, Kagel is on the right path with his impressive 4.4555 GPA. With a “student first” mentality, he is looking to go to an established university to play Football and major in Engineering. Kagel already has Football offers from Johns Hopkins, MIT, and Washington & Lee. Not only is he talented in Football, but he is also a star Lacrosse player for Catholic High School and captains both the Football and Lacrosse teams. Kagel is also known for volunteering with the EquiKids Therapeutic Riding Program and with his local church.

Matthew McEwen – Ranked #2 overall in his class, McEwen is an excellent student in the classroom. He’s won several awards for his academic prowess and currently has a GPA of 4.4. His talents extend past the classroom and into sports as he is an All-State and Regional Player of the Year in Golf, All-District Pitcher in Baseball, and won the team’s Most Competitive Swimmer award for 2020 in Swimming. On top of all these athletic accolades he is also captain of all three teams he competes on. Outside of school he volunteers at various golf camps and coaches Basketball at the YMCA.

2020 Student-Athlete Achievement Awards Finalists

Juliana Conza – Conza is a well-rounded student, winning awards for Latin, Spanish, Fashion Marketing, DECA and more. She currently holds a 4.0125 GPA and plans on pursuing a degree in Kinesiology or Nutrition and Health Sciences when she graduates. As a five sport standout she manages to keep herself quite busy while still finding time for the community. Conza has spent over 100 hours on initiatives associated with Asthma Awareness, 50 hours on Filipino Community Events, over 100 hours with the NHS as a volunteer, and so much more.

Austin Heft – Heft was recently nominated to represent her school for the National Youth Leadership Forum showcasing her natural ability to succeed and lead her peers in the classroom. With a 4.2 GPA, she is looking to attend a top university to run Cross Country and pursue a degree in Engineering. Heft’s performance in Cross Country and Track has earned her the captaincy at Ocean Lakes High School since 2018. She was part of the state winning 4×800 meter relay race for Indoor Track in 2020. Her work in the community has seen her help with the Hooked on Hope fishing event for kids with pediatric cancer in October of 2020 and she plans to continue that into 2021.

Madison Inscoe – As an AP and Honors level student, Inscoe has had a strong academic career culminating in a 4.0 GPA. Her athletic prowess has already earned her a spot on the Auburn University Softball team as she committed to playing there in 2020. She was also a Gatorade Player of the Year Nominee in 2020 for softball. Inscoe’s performance in the classroom and on the field is not to be outdone by her work in the community. She is a member of the Breast Cancer Awareness Club at Nansemond Suffolk Academy and volunteers with the United Way, PetSmart, AskHRgreen, and as a Softball Pitching Coach.

Emma Lemley – A Virginia Junior Academy of Science Award winner and published poet, Lemley is making waves at Jefferson Forest High School. She has already committed her future to Virginia Tech to play Softball in 2021. This comes as no surprise as she was a 2019 Junior Olympic Cup Softball Finalist with the Williamsburg Starz Gold Travel Team and in the same year was Seminole District Player of the Year for Jefferson Forest. Lemley is also known in her community for her volunteer work in both sports and at her local church.

Barrett Rowe – Rowe is an Honor Roll student in the classroom and a five sport star with multiple DI college offers. Some of her more impressive achievements include being selected to the Women’s Professional Lacrosse League Futures, being selected as a Nike Elite 120 Lacrosse player, and being the 2020 Collegiate School’s Iron Cougar Award recipient. Rowe accomplished all of that while managing to earn straight A’s in the classroom and founding the One Love Student Leadership Club at the Collegiate School.

Lexie Vanderloo – With a 4.53 GPA, Vanderloo is a top student at Loudoun County High School. She attends a STEM Magnet School (the Academy of Engineering and Technology) and has already received an A in a Business Management course from Cornell University. As a swimmer she is a national qualifier, Regional Champion in the 200m freestyle, and a seven time school record holder. She is also part of the conference team in Cross Country. Vanderloo finds time to give back to her community and even founded “Lexie Swim Safe” a water safety resource to teach kids how to be safe in the water and prevent drowning.

Eric Bazile – Bazile has proved his academic skills by winning the Model Judiciary Contest, placing 3rd in the Iota Phi Lamda Inc. National Essay Contest, earning the Norfolk Kappa League Academic Achievement Award, and being in both the Spanish and National Honor Societies. His skills extend from the classroom and into athletics as he is a Class 5 Basketball State Champion, a three time Summer, two times Spring, and one time Fall Virginia Beach Filipino Basketball Association League Champion, and is also an Indoor Track District Champion. Bazile doesn’t stop there, he is also known for helping register people to vote, coaches Basketball, and managed a virtual panel with Norfolk leaders on the racial and socioeconomic issues that affect the city.

Parker Epperley – In the Blacksburg County School System, Epperley has been an A-B Honor Roll student since 3rd grade. As a freshman, he won the Regional Livestock Judging Contest at Virginia Tech for his age group, which should come as no surprise as he wants to manage his family’s farm for his career. Playing Football, Baseball, and Basketball, Epperley has had quite the athletic career. He has won several awards in all three of his sports including being EPSN Blacksburg Player of the Game twice as a sophomore in Football. Epperley continues to impress as he has created his own Tilling and Gardening business growing plants in a greenhouse and tilling around 50 gardens in Virginia and West Virginia.

Lincoln Lubsen – Lubsen has managed to achieve either high-honors or first-honors every semester since 8th grade while also being a standout in Baseball and Basketball. He is a two time VISAA DIII State Champion in Baseball and was Second Team All-State as a Sophomore while also qualifying for the State Tournament in Basketball the past four years. Looking to continue playing Baseball in college and beyond, Lubsen has still found time to give back to the community. He was recently a Colonial Baseball Instruction Camp volunteer and has been a frequent volunteer handing out food at FISH in Williamsburg.

Austin Miranda – A George Washington University Book Award winner and President of the Science National Honor Society, Miranda is an all-around excellent student. His excellence doesn’t end in the classroom however, as Miranda is a national level swimmer with TIDE and a 5 year state qualifier in Varsity Swimming. He is also known for helping teach underprivileged students with Horizons Hampton Roads. Miranda can be found working in his local community as an ocean front life guard and is an active member in his church community both as an Altar Server and Peer Minister.

Christopher Parham – A 2020 Semper Fidelis All-American Scholar award recipient, Parham combines talent on the field with knowledge in the classroom. He has earned a Certificate of Distinction as a Principal’s Scholar and won the Tri-Cities Engineering Competition while also being an All-Region Second Team Linebacker for Dinwiddie high School. Parham uses his Varsity Wrestling experience to serve his community as a Youth Wrestling Volunteer for the Dinwiddie County Parks and Recreation Department. He can also be found volunteering for the Dinwiddie County Food Bank during his spare time.

David Wilder Smythe – A remarkable student, Smythe excels in the class room with a perfect 4.0 unweighted GPA. Smythe’s achievements in the classroom are compounded by his athletic achievements. A Varsity Football, Basketball, and Lacrosse player, he is the recipient of many All-Star accolades for his club Lacrosse team. His achievements earned him the 2019 James B. Massey Award given to the Norfolk Academy rising sophomore who, through character and integrity, contributed most significantly to the student body in areas of academics, athletics, and extra-curricular activities.


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