WATCH REPLAY: 2022 Breakfast of Champions Honorees Recognized During Event at Eastern Florida State College
By Steve Wilson // May 15, 2022
Event held in Student Union on Eastern Florida State Melbourne campus
WATCH: 2022 Breakfast of Champions Honorees Recognized Friday Morning at Eastern Florida State College.
WATCH REPLAY: The Brevard County High School Breakfast of Champions recognition awards ceremony was held Friday, May 13 in the conference center in the Student Union Building on the Melbourne campus of Eastern Florida State College. During the Breakfast of Champions, more than 40 awards were presented to the best of the best student-athletes.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – The Brevard County High School Breakfast of Champions recognition awards ceremony was held Friday, May 13 in the conference center in the Student Union Building on the Melbourne campus of Eastern Florida State College. The event honored the area’s outstanding athletes, coaches, administrators and sports celebrities.
During the Breakfast of Champions, more than 40 awards were presented to the best of the best student-athletes, which can be seen below.
Businesses and individuals helped support these outstanding youth and prep athletes.
This year’s sponsors included Victory Casino, sponsoring the Football Offensive Player of the Year, Tom Wasdin sponsoring Boys and Girls Basketball, Ocean Partners sponsoring the Football Defensive Player of the Year, the Cocoa Beach Hotel Motel Association sponsoring Girls Volleyball and the Space Coast Bowling Proprietors sponsoring Boys and Girls Bowling.
As a sponsor, an invitation will be extended to you and up to four guests to join the festivities for the breakfast. You’ll be seated with the recipient of your award and their family, which is a great chance to meet these talented athletes and get to know them on a personal level.
For information about the Brevard County Breakfast of Champions call 321-323-4460 or e-mail Contact@SpaceCoastDaily.com. Both the Breakfast of Champions and the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame events was streamed live on Space Coast Daily TV and archived on SpaceCoastDaily.com
The 2020–2021 Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame induction event, and the Brevard County High School Breakfast of Champions recognition awards, was sponsored by Health First, Eastern Florida State College, Erdman Automotive, All Points, Clear Choice Health Care, Savings Safari and Friday Night Locker Room.
FOR INFORMATION, call 321-323-4460 or 321-615-8111 or e-mail Contact@SpaceCoastDaily.com.
2022 Breakfast of Champions Honorees
Boys’ Bowling sponsored by the Space Coast Bowling Proprietors: Nicholas Fisher – Heritage High School
Nick just completed his third year of high school bowling. He is a two-time district champion, having won in 2019 and 2021. Nick was also the conference champion this past year. He is a two-time, Top 10 finisher in State competition, finishing as runner up in 2020 and placing 9th in 2021. Nick’s highest game this year was a 298 and his highest three-game series was an 800.
Girls’ Bowling sponsored by the Space Coast Bowling Proprietors:
Kaitlyn Knight – Space Coast Jr/Sr High School
Kaitlyn, a junior, was the captain and team leader this year for the Vipers. She finished the season with a 190 average and a high game of 238. Kaitlyn placed third in the district and 2nd place in Cape Coast Conference. She hit her stride at the FHSAA state tournament, placing 3rd overall. Under Kaitlyn’s leadership, the Vipers had an outstanding season. They were district champions, Cape Coast Conference runner-up and placed 6th overall at state. Kaitlyn was Team MVP for the 2020 and 2021 seasons. She is a member of the All-Cape Coast Conference Team, All Space Coast Team, was named Girls Bowler of the Year and now has been selected the Breakfast of Champions Girls Bowler of the Year.
Boys’ Diving: Tyler Jones – Satellite High School
Tyler is a senior at Satellite and has had an amazing high school athletic career. He is a three-time Cape Coast Conference champion and two-time district champion. Tyler is also a two-time regional runner-up. This past year he placed 5th at the FHSAA Boys Diving Meet. This is the 3rd consecutive year that Tyler has been named Breakfast of Champions Boys Diver of the Year. He was also selected Satellite High School Most Valuable Diver. Tyler plans to attend the University of Florida and major in Aerospace Engineering or Chemical Engineering.
Girls’ Diving: Elle Jacobsen – Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy
Elle is a senior at Holy Trinity. She was the district and regional champion and was also runner-up at the FHSAA State Meet. Elle has been a state finalist both in the state of Illinois and here in Florida. She was awarded MVP each year and is the Holy Trinity pool record holder. Elle has been an AAU Qualifier for the last five years.
Boys’ Swimming: Elliott Weisel – Rockledge High School
Elliott is a junior at Rockledge and is a repeat Breakfast of Champions Swimmer of the Year. He won the 500 Free at the State meet for the second year in a row and won the 200 Free at State this year. Elliott holds the school records in the 200 Medley Relay, 50 Free, 100 Free, 200 Free and 500 Free.He qualified for All-American Consideration in the 100, 200 & 500 Freestyle. Elliott just earned qualifying times for USA Swimming US Open and placed 2nd at the NCSA Championships. Elliott has verbally committed to swim for the University of Indiana in the fall of 2023.
Girls’ Swimming: Sarah Gonzalez – Rockledge High School
Sarah is a senior at Rockledge. She was undefeated in the 100 breaststrokes and 200 Individual Medley during the dual meet season. Sarah was the only swimmer to finish in the top 8 in the 4 events at State – placing 5th in the 100 Breast, 8th in the 50 Free, 8th in the 200 Medley Relay and 7th in the 400 Free Relay. She was also a 4-year state qualifier. Sarah was selected Space Coast Swimmer of the Year in 2020 and 2021. She is also a USA Swimming Futures qualifier and is NCSA swimming qualified. She will continue her swimming with a full scholarship at Indian River State College.
Volleyball: Jordyn Patrick – Merritt Island High School
Jordyn, a senior for the Mustangs, had a banner year and career at Merritt Island. She finished her career with 1,825 assists, 170 Aces, and 392 digs. Jordyn was named to the FACA All-State Volleyball team and All-State Academic team in 2019, 2020 and 2021. She was selected All Cape Coast Conference in 2019, 2020 and 2021. Jordyn has been a valuable member of the undefeated district and conference champion Mustangs for the past four years. She was a member of the 2018 state champion team and 2021 state runner-up team. Jordyn was also selected as the 2021 Volleyball Player of the Year. Jordyn has committed to continue her athletic and academic career at Wallace State in Hanceville, Alabama.
Boys’ Soccer: Christian Guirgis – Edgewood Jr./Sr. High School
Christian, a senior and a four-year player on the Edgewood varsity soccer team, had another outstanding season for the Red Wolves. He scored 32 goals and had 12 assists. His career total is now 88 goals and 42 assists. Christian is a two-time member of the All-Cape Coast Conference team. He was selected Offensive MVP twice and MVP once. Christian won the Golden Boot twice and was selected Boys Soccer Player of the Year. He is also an ECNL National Selection All-star.
Christian will be attending Yale University, studying Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology with the intention of going to medical school,
Girls’ Soccer: Bree Ehmer – West Shore JR/SR High School
Bree had another outstanding season for the Wildcats. She was named Team MVP, won the Golden Boot, received the Team Leadership Award and was named All-Cape Coast Conference. She has scored 106 goals in her high school career, 49 this past season. Bree has recorded 28 assists and has a total of 240 points while playing for the West Shore. She plays for the 17U Space Coast United, ECNL-RL & 18/19U Elite ECNL. Bree is a two-time Breakfast of Champions Girls Soccer Player of the Year and has verbally committed to Catawba College.
Coach of the Year: Jim Crane – Satellite High School
Coach Crane’s boys’ tennis team has been the state runner-up the last two years. His #1 player Max Lindstrom won the Class 2A singles title this year. His #1 doubles team of Lindstrom and Amadeus Alcock won the Class 2A doubles this year.
Boys’ Basketball sponsored by Wasdin & Associates Inc.: Oliver Pasque – Satellite High School
Oliver, a senior at Satellite, was a four-year player for the Scorps. His senior season, he averaged 20 points per game, 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Oliver shot 51% from the field and an incredible 48% from beyond the arc. He also shot 91% from the free-throw line. Oliver finished the 2019/2020 season averaging 16 points per game, 3 rebounds and 2 assists. His career totals at Satellite saw him finishing with 1,452 points. For his efforts, Oliver was a unanimous All Cape Coast Conference selection, the second time he was selected to that team. He was also named to the DeLand High School Holiday Tournament All-Star Team. Oliver will be continuing his academic and athletic career at Eastern Florida State College.
Girls’ Basketball sponsored by Wasdin & Associates Inc.: Emma Risch – Palm Bay Magnet High School
Emma, only a junior, continues to excel on the basketball court. This past season saw her averaging 20.5 points per game, 6.9 rebounds, 4 assists and 3.1 steals. Her high school career numbers are off the charts – 2,208 points, 704 rebounds, 370 assists and 308 steals.
Among her many accolades are 2020/2021 Breakfast of Champions Girls Basketball Player of the Year, 3-time FACA District Player of the Year, 2-time FACA Player of the Year, Composite national ranking #33 and Prep Girls Hoops #1 Player in Florida Class of 2023. Emma was a member of the 2-time state champion and one-time state runner-up teams. She is a member of the National Honor Society and carries a 4.28 GPA which is currently ranked 6th in her class. Although she is only a junior, Emma has received well over 20 Division 1 scholarship opportunities and has accepted a full-ride basketball scholarship to the University of Notre Dame.
Boys’ Cross Country: Michael Toppi – Viera High School
Michael, a senior at Viera, was dominant in cross country this past season. He came in 1st place at the Cape Coast Conference, District and Regional meets. Michael came in 2nd at the FHSAA state meet with a time of 15:17.60 and helped lead his Hawks cross country team to a state title. On December 4, 2021, at the Garmin Running Lane Cross Country Championships in Huntsville, Alabama, Michael set a new Florida State 5K record with an astounding time of 4:41.45. He was named one of the Top 10 Senior Boys 2021 All-flrunners.com Cross Country Team on 12/18/2021- Milesplit. Michael recently broke the Brevard County record in the 3200 meters, with a time of 8:59.85. He will be running cross country at Florida State University and plans to major in Criminology.
Girls’ Cross Country: Madison Carr – Astronaut High School
Madison, only a freshman, burst onto the scene with an amazing season. This was her first year running cross country and it really paid off. She was the Cape Coast Conference champion, Class 2A District 4 champion, the Class 2A Region 2 champion, and the Class 2A State runner-up at the FHSAA State Meet. For her efforts, Madison was named All Cape Coast Conference, All Florida Runners.com Cross Country, Freshman Girls Runner of the Year, and Cross Country Girls Runner of the Year. She ended the season with a personal best time of 18:22.20.
Boys’ Golf: Jon Wang – Edgewood JR/SR High School
Jon, a senior at Edgewood, is now a two-time Breakfast of Champions Golfer of the Year. He was a valuable member of the Cape Coast Conference Team Champions from Edgewood. Jon won the district and placed second in the conference. He has a Top 200 AJGA ranking in the class of 2022 and has two AJGA Top 10 finishes and is a 2021 AJGA Rolex Scholastic Junior All American and 35th Florida State Academic Champion and Team Florida. Jon will be attending Georgia Tech, with a computer science major, crypto, and quantum computing.
Girls’ Golf: Hannah Hall – Edgewood Jr./Sr. High School
Hannah Hall, an eighth-grade student at Edgewood, did not let her youth get in the way of her game. She finished the Cape Coast Conference tournament in a 3-way tie but ended up coming in 2nd place on a scorecard playoff. She recorded a 73 at the FHSAA Class 1A State Individual Qualifier at Districts and a 77 at the Mark Bostick Golf Course in Gainesville. Hannah finished the season with a 36.33 scoring average in nine, 9-hole matches. Her accolades are many, including 2022 Florida Junior Tour Champion (Jacksonville Beach Open), 2022 Hurricane Jr. Golf Tour Champion (White Heron Jr. Open), 4-Time Qualifier – US Kids World Championships at Pinehurst, 2021 Girls Golfer of the Year and Hannah is also a 2-Time All Space Coast 1st Team member.
Community Sports Award: Florida Tech Men’s Basketball Team
The Florida Tech Men’s Basketball Team has been working with children with autism since 2015. Coach Billy Mims and the Panthers partnered with the Parker Foundation for Child Development seven years ago and have been a strong influence over these years. They meet periodically and play basketball with the children. The importance of inclusion for all cannot be overstated. One of the focuses of the Parker Foundation is inclusion.
Boys’ Scholar-Athlete: Brett Boss – West Shore Jr./Sr. High School
Brett, a senior at West Shore, is the true definition of a student/athlete. He ran cross country and track for four years. During his high school career, he was selected cross country captain of the JV team and track captain of the varsity team. Brett’s best 5K time in cross country was 19:53.
In the classroom, Brett excelled at the highest level. He is one of the Wildcat’s class valedictorians with a weighted GPA of 4.6 and an unweighted GPA of 4.0. He will receive an AP Diploma of Distinction and Academic Diploma of Distinction. Brett plans to attend the University of Florida and major in Industrial Engineering, eventually getting a job in the aerospace industry or the defense department.
Girls’ Scholar-Athlete: Riley Jaszczak – Titusville High School
Riley, a senior at Titusville, has had an amazing high school career, both on the athletic field and in the classroom. She ran varsity cross country all four years, played soccer all four years, and ran track all four years. Running cross country this past year, she placed 5th at the Cape Coast Conference and 18th at the State Meet. Riley was selected co-captain her junior and senior years. She was also selected All-Cape Coast Conference for four years along with receiving the 110% Award all four years.
While playing soccer, Riley received the Iron Terrier Award. She was selected to the Space Coast Team two years and the All-Cape Coast Conference Team four years. Running track her junior year, Riley finished 9th in the State Meet in the 1600 meter. She also placed 3rd in the Cape Coast Conference. Riley was selected Top Dawg twice, was named co-captain her junior and senior year and was named to the All-Cape Coast Conference Team twice.
Riley carries a 4.5 GPA and will attend the University of Central Florida to pursue a degree in the Pre-Veterinary program. She will also be running cross-country and track for UCF.
Baseball: Trey Wheeler -Melbourne High School
Trey, a senior at Melbourne, was a standout on one of the top baseball teams in central Florida. Coming into the season, he was Perfect Game – Rawlings Pre-Season 2nd Team All-Region and Perfect Game – Rawlings Preseason All-American Honorable Mention. In 2021, Trey was a Perfect Game – 2021 Preseason Underclass All-Region 2nd Team selection, 2021 Area Code Baseball Games Participant – New York Yankees, and 2021 Florida Diamond Club East Team Participant.
This year, on the mound, Trey was 3-1 with 60 strikeouts and 8 walks. He also batted .383 with 17 RBI’s and had a .559 On Base Percentage. Trey, a 2021 All-Cape Coast Conference selection, carries a 3.9 unweighted GPA and a 4.6 weighted GPA. He signed a baseball scholarship to attend the University of South Carolina.
Softball: Jasmine “Jazz” Francik – Melbourne High School
For the second consecutive year, Jazz has been selected as Breakfast of Champions Softball Player of the Year. Through mid-season, she was 13-1-1 with a 0.24 ERA. Jazzy had recorded 177 strikeouts, had 12 shutouts and 3 no-hitters. Her career numbers show her with 454 strikeouts and a 0.40 ERA and 5 no-hitters. Jazz has received many awards and accolades, among them are 2nd Team All American in 2021, 1st Team All-State in 2021, 1st Team All Cape Coast Conference in 2021, receiving the most votes, 2021 Breakfast of Champions Softball Player of the Year, State of Florida Gatorade Player of the Year candidate, Melbourne High School MVP and 1st Team 2020 All Cape Coast Conference.
Jazz not only excels on the field; buy she excels in the classroom as well. She carries a 3.97 unweighted GPA and a 4.56 weighted GPA. Her future not only includes softball, but possibly engineering.
Boys’ Tennis: Max Lindstrom – Satellite High School
Max is a senior at Satellite and a repeat Breakfast of Champions winner. Over his high school career, he has been district champion twice and doubles champion three times. This year Max won the Class 2A State Championship in singles and doubles. He also played line 1 for the Scorps State Finalist Team this year and last year. Max has been dominant on the court for Satellite. This year his singles record was 17-0 counting playoffs. His doubles record was 15-1 counting playoffs. Max has only lost two regular season singles matches in his entire career at Satellite and one regular season doubles match. His future plans are to attend Swarthmore College. His major is undecided.
Girls’ Tennis: Maya Boysen – Satellite High School
Maya, a 9th grade student, was undefeated on the Space Coast this year with a perfect 8-0 record. She was the District 2A line #1 singles and doubles champion. She was also a regional semi-final winner – line 1 singles and line 1 doubles. In the past 12 months Maya has won the Daytona Beach Level 6 Tournament and the Winter Park Level 6 Tournament.
Beach Volleyball: Macie Sinclair – Merritt Island High School
Macie, a senior at Merritt Island, continues to excel at Beach Volleyball. She played the #1 line for the Mustangs in 2021 and 2022. She participated in the Beach State Tournament in 2019, 2021 and 2022 and was also a member of the 2018 State Championship Team. Macie is the first player to be offered a beach volleyball scholarship to St. Johns River State.
Athletic Director of the Year: Ajay Ulmer – Heritage High School
Coach Ulmer just completed his 26th year in education and athletics. He coached high school football for 18 years at Melbourne High School, Chiefland High School and Heritage High School before becoming the Athletic Director at Heritage. Coach Ulmer is in his 4th year as Athletic Director for the Panthers. His son, Trey, is currently a junior at Heritage and plays football and baseball.
Wrestling: Carlos Gerardino – Palm Bay Magnet High School
Carlos, a senior at Palm Bay, was a dominant wrestler throughout his high school career. His record this past year was 46-2 and he finished his career with a 152-27 record. Carlos is a 2-time Conference Champion, 3-time State Qualifier, and placed in the State Meet twice, finishing 4th and this past year finishing as state runner-up. Carlos also excelled on the football field and was named to the 1st Team All-Friday Night Locker Room/Space Coast Daily defensive unit. Carlos will attend Southeastern University in Lakeland, major in business administration, and play football and wrestle.
Boys’ Lacrosse: Dylan Gibson – Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy
Dylan, a junior at Holy Trinity is a multi-sport athlete for the Tigers, having participated in lacrosse, soccer, football and track and field. This year, Dylan played in 17 games, scored 45 goals and had 30 assists. Over the past three seasons, he has scored 153 goals, and recorded 59 assists. Dylan is a four-year varsity starter in lacrosse and was the 2021 leading scorer in Brevard County. He is a two-time Maverick Showtime Invitee and a member of the ECD All American Showcase 2023 All-Tournament Team. He was also US Club Lacrosse Player Who Impressed – NAL Tournament. Dylan’s travel lacrosse clubs are the DC Lacrosse 2023 Black, out of Bethesda, Maryland and Dukes Lacrosse Club, from Vero Beach, FL.
Girls’ Lacrosse: Maeve Chamberlin – Satellite High School
Maeve, a junior at Satellite, scored 90 goals this year. She also recorded 37 assists for the 17-3 Scorps. She finished the season with 127 points and averaged over 6.5 points per game.
Boys’ Track & Field: Rios Prude, Jr. – Rockledge High School
Rios, a junior at Rockledge, had a stellar season for the Raiders. He helped Rockledge dominate at the Cape Coast Conference Track & Field Championship, winning the 100 meter, the 200 meter and 400 meter races. In district competition, he won the 200 and 400, was on the 4×400 1st place team, and placed 4th in the High Jump.
Girls’ Track & Field: Victoria Joyce – Rockledge High School
Victoria, a student at Rockledge, helped lead her team to the Cape Coast Conference Championship, placing first in the 400, first in the triple jump, was a member of the winning 4×400 and came in second in the 200. In district competition, she placed first in the 400, first in the triple jump, was a member of the winning 4×400 team, and came in second in the 200. Victoria is the top ranked triple jumper in the state.
Administrator of the Year: Jud Kaminski – Palm Bay Magnet High School
Kaminski has served as the Principal of Palm Bay Magnet High School since January 2016. He has been employed by the district for 26 years. Kaminski began his career as a science teacher at Melbourne High and Bayside High, then served as an Assistant Principal at Stone Middle, Eau Gallie High, and Delaura Middle before becoming the Principal at Palm Bay Magnet High School. He is a lifelong Brevard County resident and has the luxury of serving as the principal of the school from which he graduated. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville in 1994 and his Master of Science degree from Nova Southeastern University in 2005.
Boys’ Surfing sponsored by Ocean Partners Hospitality: Logan Radd – Home School
Logan Radd, a 9th grade home-schooled student, is a natural riding the waves. He won 3 East Coast titles this past season for Eastern Surf Association, winning the Under-16, Under-18, and Open All Ages Short Board. The contest was held in Nags Head, North Carolina.
Logan is currently surfing the USA Prime series and was recently named to the USA Junior National Team. He is also currently surfing the QS (qualifying series). Logan won the Regional Champs in Open, and Under-18 and Iron Man Event. At Eastern’s he won the highest scoring wave of the event at 9.66 and Iron Man of that event as well. As far as hobbies go, Logan loves fishing.
Girls’ Surfer of the Year sponsored by Ocean Partners Hospitality: Kylie Pulcini – Home School
Kylie, a home schooled student continues to make a name for herself in the surfing world. Some of her many accomplishments include the ESA SE Regional Girls U12 Champ,and placed 2nd in U14. Kylie ranked equal 7th in the Nation for Under 12 Girls. She is a member of the USA Olympic Developmental Team. At Easterns she placed 2nd in Under 12, 3rd in Under 14 and 3rd in Women’s Pro NKF.
Offensive Football Player of the Year sponsored by Victory Casino Lines: L. J. Turner – Heritage High School
L.J., a senior running back for the Panthers, had an outstanding season for Coach Mark Ainsley. He led the entire state of Florida with 2,183 yards rushing. L.J. did this averaging 11.37 yards per carry. He scored 20 touchdowns, five 2-point conversions and ran for over 100 yards in 11 games.
L. J. was selected to the Friday Night Locker Room/Space Coast Daily All Star Team, the All-Space Coast Team and was a Central Florida All-Star. He was also named the 2021 Class 6A Player of the Year. L.J. will attend Catawba University on a full scholarship.
Defensive Football Player of the Year sponsored by Ocean Partners Hospitality: Gavin Rowell – Melbourne High School
Gavin, a senior for the Bulldogs, had a stellar football season. He finished the season with 146 tackles, 34 for a loss, 15 sacks and 36 quarterback hurries.Gavin was named All Cape Coast Conference for the second straight year. He was named 3rd Team All-State, was named to the East/West All-Star Game, and was selected to the Friday Night Locker Room/Space Coast Daily All-Star Team. Gavin will play football and possibly track in college but is undecided where he will attend.
Lifetime Achievement Award: Coach Larry Gilreath
Coach Gilreath began his coaching career in the early 1970s at Parkway Junior High School in Titusville coaching football and track. After a couple of years, the basketball job came open. Coach led Parkway basketball team to the Brevard County Championship in 1974. In 1977, his good friend, the late Kirk Stewart, asked him to join him on the staff at Titusville High School.
The following year when Coach Stewart took a position at, what is now, Eastern Florida State College, Coach Gilreath was elevated to the head varsity basketball coach of the Terriers. After a five-year stint as an assistant coach at Eastern Florida with Coach Stewart, Gilreath returned to the high school ranks and was the Titusville Terriers’ head coach for 15 years. He most recently was an assistant coach with the Astronaut War Eagles.
Courage Award Recipient: James Gibson – Titusville High School
As the end of 8th grade approached, James headed to school for his sports physical so he could start summer practice with the Titusville High School Basketball team. In the 8th grade he had come into his own as a basketball player and won the MR. BASKETBALL AWARD. James had big dreams of going on to play in college. A few days after the sports physical, where he also received a EKG from Who We Play For, a call was received from the school’s athletic trainer. There was an abnormal reading on his EKG and James needed to see a cardiologist. It was determined that James had Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM).
When you hear the tragic news of young athletes dying on the court or field it is most likely from an undetected heart condition. Most do not know anything about this until it’s too late. Sudden Cardiac Arrest is the number 1 killer of students on high school campuses. That day James‘ life was saved but his basketball dreams were over. With HCM, James had to stop all high intensity competitive sports.
James learned that Golf would be acceptable for him to play. So, after a long summer of test and doctors’ appointments James began his freshman year as a manager for the basketball team and decided to give golf a try. It was completely new to him, but he loved sports and being a part of a team, so he was up for the challenge.
In golf he was able to experience the camaraderie and connection of being on a team. He continued to improve over the next few years and was excited about his senior season.
Not all the days were good. James was frustrated, angry and didn’t want to be known as the “kid with the heart condition” Some days being manager for the basketball team was so hard because he just wanted to get out there and play. Golf was hard and boring at times and definitely not something that came natural to him.
Just 12 days before James’s senior year was to start he went into Sudden Cardiac Arrest. James coded for several minutes and almost died. It is truly a miracle that he survived, as the rate of survival for a Sudden Cardiac Arrest outside of a hospital is 0.1%.
James spent the next 12 days in the Cardiac Intensive Care unit at Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando. He missed the first day of his senior year, but returned 2 weeks later with an external defibrillator called a Life Vest. He was also cleared to play Golf and was able to finish his senior year. The Life Vest was uncomfortable and affected his golf swing, but James was committed to his team and was grateful to just be on the course.
His senior year on the golf course, James was the Terriers #1 player and was named Team MVP.
At the end of golf season James underwent surgery and had a permanent ICD (internal cardiac defibrillator/pacemaker) placed in. There was a small hope that with this device James may be able to play basketball. James committed himself to the team again as a manager with a “spot” on the team if the doctors allowed it. James told the coach he only wanted one minute of playing time for his senior year. The coach said, “We can do better than that.” He went to almost every practice and worked to get in shape to be ready for the team.
Unfortunately, the doctors did not clear him and James did not get to play. But he showed up until the end and was without a doubt part of the team.
Boys Athlete of the Year: Brady Denaburg – Merritt island High School
Brady, a senior for the Mustangs, was a 3-year letterman in football, soccer and baseball. In football, Brady helped lead his team to the state title game. He was the quarterback and kicker. Brady threw for over 3,000 yards, 30 TD’s and rushed for 277 yards. He was 19-26 on field goals with a longest of 57 yards. In soccer, Brady tied for the team lead in goals scored with 10. On the baseball field, Brady helped lead his team to another winning season. He not only excelled on the athletic field, but in the classroom as well. Brady carries an unweighted 3.8GPA and a 4.2 weighted GPA.
Girls’ Athlete of the Year: Paige Jaszczak – Titusville High School
Paige, a senior, participated in four years of cross country, soccer, and track for the Terriers. Her junior year at Titusville, she was named Female Athlete of the Year. In cross country, Paige was on the All-Cape Coast Conference Team all four years. She placed 1st at the Wickham Park Jamboree, was 2nd at the Cape Coast Conference meet and qualified for the State Meet her junior and senior seasons, finishing 8th her senior season.
In soccer, Paige was a member of the All-Cape Coast Conference Team for three years and the Space Coast Team for two years. She received the Hustle Award and 110% Award. Paige played the most minutes on her team during her junior season, except for the goalie.
On the track, Paige qualified for the State Meet during her junior season. She placed 8th in the State in the 1600 meter and could have competed in the 3200 meter, having finished 3rd in regionals, but was unable to run due to illness.
Paige finished 2nd in the Cape Coast Conference, was named Top Dawg twice and was co-captain her junior and senior season. She was also selected to be on the All-Cape Coast Conference Team twice.
Paige excels, not only on the athletic field, but in the classroom as well. She carries a 4.0 unweighted GPA and a 4.6 weighted GPA. Paige will be attending the University of Central Florida pursuing a degree in the medical sciences and will be running for the UCF cross country and track teams.