When deciding on a student-athlete to nominate for the month of November, JTA Athletic Director Richard Rowland kept returning to two of his own 8th Grade students. “There was no real way to put one above the other. They both have great grades, they’re both phenomenal athletes on the field, they’re both great people that are fun to have in the classroom. You can’t look at their resumes and say, ‘well she got a B two weeks ago so I’ll pick the other.’”
8th Graders Izzy Torres and Abby Stover are not only phenoms on the soccer pitch, but they are also excellent students as well. Because of that, Rowland felt it necessary to recognize them both, “Thankfully Rick (Skeeters) allowed us to have a two for one deal for our fall North Hardin athletes this month because I really don’t think that I could have fairly picked one over the other.”
According to Rowland, who is also their 8th Grade Social Studies Teacher, both Stover and Torres are phenomenal students, role-models, and athletes. “They are both constant bright spots in the classroom for their teachers, in the hallways with their peers, on the soccer field with their teammates. Their positivity and supportive nature is contagious.” Rowland went on to say that, “Izzy and Abby always have a great attitude and a bright smile to bring to the classroom every day, and really in everything they do.”
Stover’s 7th Grade Math Teacher, Donnie Baker, has nothing but good things to say about her. “She is a wonderful and kind young lady. She is dedicated to not only her soccer team but just as much to her academics.” Baker was also complimentary of Stover’s positivity and great attitude. “She always has a smile on her face. It was a pleasure to have her in class.”
Torres’s 6th Grade Language Arts Teacher, Michelle Patrick, was also extremely complimentary. Mrs. Patrick says Torres “demonstrates an impressive level of maturity both in and out of the classroom. She is kind and helpful, willing to assist other students in being prepared for class, getting them caught up on what's being covered in class, or simply helping them understand class content.” Patrick went on to elaborate further by saying “Even in being so consistently reliable, she does not fail to bring an element of fun to those around her. She is spirited and lively, lighthearted, and a pleasure to know.”
Fellow JTA 8th Grader and teammate on the NHHS Soccer team, Jerica Johnson asserts that both Stover and Torres are role models on the team. About Torres, Johnson said “Having Izzy as a teammate is awesome, she makes you laugh and smile and makes sure you know you belong on the field, she is full of positive energy. Izzy is a responsible kid, knows how to keep kids in check and when to have fun.”
About Stover, Johnson said “Having Abby as a teammate is a really good feeling because you know she will be there for you. She brings a great amount of happiness to the team.” Continuing Johnson said, “Having Abby in and out of the classroom is good because she is always a big help and a shoulder to lean on. Abby is very smart and has a great sense of humor.”
Their soccer coaches apparently agreed with Rowland in their assessment of their on-field ability as both received an end of season award at the team's banquet. Stover was the recipient of the team’s JV Defensive award, and Torres received the Team’s Warrior award. Both of these awards have their roots on the defensive end of the soccer pitch, and both Stover and Torres are known for their talent in that particular arena.
This year both Stover and Torres were asked to assist in the Low-Incidence room with teacher Samantha Daniel on school-wide club days to provide her students with a different form of interaction: soccer. “Izzy and Abby have great attitudes and exhibit kindness to all. Izzy and Abby came into our room as peer buddies to our class and left as friends.” Mrs. Daniel continued by saying, “The girls are positive role models who jumped right in to help guide our students in social interactions.”
Stover’s and Torres’s resumes read like a who's-who of J. T. Alton. Both have been two-time nominees for the Trojan Award, the highest end-of-the-year award an Alton student can receive. Both have been active participants in the school’s Beta Club all three years of their attendance at Alton. Both have been two-time students of the month, except Stover, who this past September marks her third time ringing that bell. No fear, Torres is bound for that honor soon enough, and she has her own one-up: a Perfect Attendance award from both her 6th and 7th Grade years. All of this while maintaining excellent marks, both Stover and Torres have been on the school’s All-A Honor Roll their sixth and seventh-grade years, and are on target to make it there again this year.
Rowland said that both of these young Lady Trojans are bound for a great amount of success. “In today’s world, it’s refreshing to see students that demonstrate their level of dedication and that type of constant positivity towards their studies in the building and their sport on the field. And it’s that type of dedication that will take them places.”