Male Scholastic Award Winner
Navarre native Nick Brahms of Navarre High School is the All Sports Association’s selection for the 2017 Male Scholastic Award. Nick is an offensive guard for the Raiders and was heavily recruited with 42 offers from D-I schools, including Louisville, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Miami and Vanderbilt. Last July, he chose to continue his football career on the plains by committing to play on the offensive line for the Auburn Tigers. A 4-star guard prospect, he is considered a top-ten offensive guard nationally and one of the top-ranked arrivals
in Auburn’s 2017 class which was generally considered to be the eighth-best in the country. Brahms was instrumental in the Raiders’ impressive 2015 season when they went undefeated and earned the District championship. He was named 1st team All-Area and 2nd team All-State. He was also a member of the varsity weightlifting team that finished as District and Regional champs. Following his junior season, the 6’4, 285-lb Brahms participated in the New Orleans Nike Opening Regional last spring where he ran a 5.22 40-yd dash and 4.8 second 20-yard shuttle run. This qualified him to participate last July in The Opening, the premier annual Nike-sponsored summer camp and showcase held in Beaverton, Oregon with many of the nation’s top recruits. Brahms verbally committed to the Tigers during ESPN U’s broadcast of The Opening. “I will be taking my talents to Auburn University,” said Brahms as he revealed his Auburn Tiger undershirt. “War Eagle.”
Unfortunately, Nick suffered a season-ending leg injury in an August practice and was unable to participate his senior season with the Raiders. He suffered a broken right fibula and torn ligaments that connect the fibula and tibia. Nick did not let his injury stop him from coming
to practice every day and serving as a team leader. With his encouragement, the Raiders were able to complete a 9-1 regular season and a deep run into the state playoffs where they won three games before falling to Lake Gibson High (Lakeland) in December. He is ahead of schedule in recovery from the injury and is carefully evaluating whether he might be able to participate in spring practice for Auburn, where he has enrolled early and will study aviation management.
Nick is a true scholar-athlete. He is a team player, dedicated to year-round training, while maintaining a challenging academic load. Academically, he is ranked No. 4 in his class of 545 and was enrolled exclusively in honor classes in achieving his goal of early graduation. Before departing for Auburn, he was dual-enrolled at Navarre and Pensacola State College, where he completed 40 (of 60) hours towards an associate degree and was a member of Phi Theta Kappa. At Navarre, he was a member of the National Honor Society and received the Raider football team’s highest academic award for his first three years. His volunteer spirit is apparent to those who know him and demonstrated through his 150+ hours of community service, including weekly “Raider Role Model” interactions with fourth graders, Relay for Life fundraising, and beach clean-ups. He often tutored fellow teammates in math and science.
His dedication to football began in third grade. He was always serious about his classwork and committed himself to attacking football as hard as he attacked his academics. Nick consistently strived to work harder than anyone to perfect his technique and expand his skill set. Last month, he was invited to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl awards banquet where he received the Felix “Doc” Blanchard Award, an award given to a member of the East team that exhibits excellence in the classroom as well as on the field.
2017 Female Scholastic Award Winner
Congratulations to Sydney Dawson on being named the 2017 Female Scholastic Award
Winner by the All Sports Association. A senior backstroke and freestyle swimmer for the Niceville Eagles, Sydney holds county records in five separate events and was named the All Sports/Northwest Florida Daily News Swimmer of the year for the second straight year. On November 4th, Sydney capped an incredible high school career as a key anchor-leg contributor to her 200 medley relay squad that was awarded gold and crowned 2016 Florida Class 3A State Champions in Stuart, Florida.
Sydney, a state finalist in all four of her high school years, and her teammates Tatum Hackler, Stefanie Markwardt and Peyton Baranowski, swam a 1:52.10 at Districts and then a 1:48.48 at Regionals. However, they smashed those marks in the state finals when they posted a 1:47.17 to edge Creekside High from south Jacksonville. Sydney also posted a fifth-place finish in the 200 free and eighth-place in the 100 free. Overall, she has earned 13 state medals and currently holds Okaloosa County records in 200 free, 500 free, 200 free relay, 200 medley relay and 400 medley relay.
At age 7, Sydney qualified for her first Southeastern Championship meet and she never looked back—except for a short stint competing in cross country. After being named MVP in 6th grade for the Ruckel Rams, Sydney decided to recommit to swimming because running made her “sweat too much.” She routinely dedicates at least 20 hrs/week to training, combining swim training with some dry land training to improve her core strength and agility. In addition to being named Niceville High’s swimming MVP, her dedication to her sport has earned her several District Championships and qualified her for the NCSA Junior Nationals.
With the demands of training and traveling to compete with clubs and high school teams, Sydney has also managed to balance her athletic accomplishments with notable classroom success. A member of the National Honor Society, she has maintained at least a 4.0 GPA in all AP, AICE and Honors courses and was named an Anne T. Mitchell Scholar. She will graduate Summa Cum Laude this spring with a 4.68 GPA. Days after capturing her state title, Sydney committed to continue her swimming career at the University of Alabama where she will attend Honors College and plans to study pre-med or engineering. “Roll Tide!” Heading to Tuscaloosa, she is excited to swim in the University’s new aquatics facility and proudly offers “I totally fell in love with the Alabama campus.”
Sydney loves swimming because it challenges her and gives her “lots of time to think.” Swimming has taught her to embrace pain and power through it. She has participated in clinics with Olympians Rowdy Gaines and Ryan Lochte, but offers that two of her primary inspirations have been Olympian Katy Ledecky because “she’s an insanely talented athlete who just keeps getting better” as well as her brother, Nick, because “he balances everything in his life and he knows what’s important.”
Those that know Sydney are aware of some of the secrets to her continued success. Before swimming, she prepares by taking in some Blink-182, Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Clash. But her primary weapon may be the fuel she gets from her mom’s French toast, which she highly regards. In the off-season, Sydney plans to do her favorite thing she does every off-season: swim. “There is no off-season in swimming,” notes Dawson. Sydney is the daughter of Samantha and Greg Dawson and has one older brother, Nick. The family resides in Rocky Bayou and have long supported youth sports. The All Sports Association congratulates Sydney and the entire Dawson family for the manner in which Sydney continues to excel in the classroom and in the pool.