Thursday, April 30, 2009

Palmetto standouts

Two of Palmetto’s standout student-athletes made their college choices officials Thursday morning.
Soccer player Bobby Stephenson and quarterback Ethan Gilbert signed, with Stephenson choosing Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona and Gilbert going to Methodist University in Fayetteville, N.C.
Stephenson, The Herald’s All-Area Player of the Year in boys soccer, scored 27 goals in leading the Tigers to district and regional championships. He also helped Palmetto become the first Manatee County area public school to reach the state final four.
Gilbert threw for 17 touchdowns and more than 1,700 yards for Palmetto, which on a district football title for the first time in nearly a decade.
Stephenson and Gilbert have grade-point averages better than 4.0.
“They are two models of the program,” said Raymond Woodie, Palmetto’s athletic director and football coach.
Stephenson and Gilbert ARE good models for high school sports. Stephenson, armed with a 4.2 GPA, hopes to one day work for NASA.
"He's a great character kid," said John Haworth, an assistant soccer coach at Embry-Riddle. "We think he has a great future of front of him."
Gilbert is a study of perseverance. Playing behind Bryan Smith for two seasons, Gilbert soaked up all the information he could, got better and led Palmetto to a district title for a first time in a roughly a decade.
Gilbert formed great relationships with receivers such as Trey Yarn and Damian Copeland, giving Palmetto one of the area's best air attacks.
Stephenson and Gilbert have solid futures in front of them and are solid representatives of Manatee County athletics.
We can only hope there are more them coming down the pike.

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