NORWALK -- Derick Edwards and Katie Schmidt were honored for their excellence in athletics and their commitment to the classroom as both were recent recipients of Norwalk High's "Career Athlete" award.
Edwards, who played both football and lacrosse for four years at Norwalk, indoor track (300 dash and 50 dash) for two years and basketball for one, was deemed a "role model" by the school's athletic director, Wayne Mones, for what he accomplished.
Edwards earned a 3.6 grade point average and signed a National Letter of Intent to play lacrosse at Division-I University of Pennsylvania next spring.
"Derick is an outstanding role model in that he has been able to combine excellence in academics and athletics," Mones said. "That specifically led to his acceptance to an Ivy League school."
On the gridiron last fall, Edwards was named to the all-FCIAC Central team at wide receiver after he helped lead Norwalk (9-2 record) back to the state playoffs for the first time in 13 years. Edwards was a threat not only in the passing game, but also at cornerback and on kick returns with his game-breaking speed. He utilized that same skill set in lacrosse as a midfielder and helped the Bears (9-9) qualify for both the FCIAC playoffs and the state tournament.
"My biggest asset is probably my speed in most of my sports," he said. "With lacrosse, I did a lot of offseason work. For football, I lifted a lot in the winters and summers to get better."
Edwards plans to study in the College of Arts and Sciences at Penn.
While Edwards had his share of accomplishments, Schmidt established herself as one of the top three-sport female athletes in the area.
"In the history of Norwalk High School, she would have to be rated among the top tier of female athletes," Mones said.
Schmidt played basketball, field hockey and softball at Norwalk for four years and attributes her success to her hard work and the lessons she learned from her coaches.
"It's definitely an accomplishment for me. It just shows that I had to work hard to get it," she said. "It wasn't just handed to me."
Schmidt, a shortstop, will play softball this summer with the Connecticut Tradition 18u travel team before attending Central Connecticut State University, where she will be a part of the school's Division I softball program next spring.
"My goals are pretty much to get a spot starting and hold it as a freshman--just try my hardest," Schmidt said.
As a senior, Schmidt was named to the all-FCIAC first team as Norwalk's softball program (15-9) reached the semifinals of the FCIAC playoffs and the second round of the state tournament. She received the same honor as a midfielder on the school's field hockey team, which made its first-ever appearance in the state title game (1-0 loss to Cheshire). She also played significant minutes at guard for the school's basketball team (16-7).
Schmidt, who earned a 2.7 grade point average, will study business marketing at Central Connecticut State.
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