Bryan Baker and Savannah Boswell Named All Sports Association Scholastic Award Winners

Bryan Baker is the 2013 All Sports Male Scholastic Award Winner based on his significant achievements on and off the field as a senior at Choctawhatchee High School. He is ranked 8th in his class and is a key contributor to the Big Green Indian basketball and baseball teams.

Baker has lettered on the varsity baseball team all four years of high school and was an honorable mention on the Northwest Daily News All-Area Baseball team the last two years heading into this season. He was recently named one of the Top 100 high school baseball players in Florida and was invited in the fall of 2012 to the Diamond Club Professional Showcase in Lakeland, a program for high school players that prepares “serious players for the success at the next levels of baseball.”Baker recently signed a Letter of Intent to play baseball at the University of North Florida this fall.

In addition to baseball, Baker is an accomplished competitor on the hardwood and has been recruited by a number of schools to play basketball. After receiving the Most Improved Award on the JV team his freshman year, he has lettered on the varsity team his last three years. He received the team’s MVP award last year as a junior. Despite 44 southern high school teams in a Birmingham Southern College basketball camp, Baker and his 6’5” frame came away with as the winner of the camp’s slam dunk contest.

Baker’s large appetite for sports extends back to his father and grandfather, a Choctaw football coach in the 1970’s. At age 10, he won a Marvin Debolt Junior Classic golf tournament and considered a golf career at one point. One of Baker’s keys to success appears to be his level temperament. He is generally considered a quiet, yet compassionate, guy and always maintains a stoic appearance despite the challenges in front of him. Many say that whether he gives up a game-winning homerun or strikes out the side to end a nail-biter, his expression will not change—an inherent characteristic of a successful competitor and a characteristic that coaches know you cannot teach.

Academically, Baker excels. His 4.43 GPA (weighted) ranks him 8th in his senior class. He is enrolled in the international Baccalaureate Program, is a member of the National Beta Club, and is a member the National Honor Society. Principal Cindy Gates offers “Bryan Baker defines the term ‘Student-Athlete.’”

Despite his athletic and academic success, Baker remains humble and offers much of his time supporting various school activities in the local area. He often volunteers time to assist his mother, Cathy, at Kenwood for various school fundraisers and joins his dad to improve local baseball facilities, including those at Choctawhatchee High School. He and his dad have constructed batting tees and nets to assist others in improving their game. He has also spent time with teammates visiting local retirement homes and elementary schools. He recently participated in a Wounded Warrior event in Destin to support our wounded veterans.

His sophomore year was a challenging year. Baker missed several games in December when he was diagnosed with malignant melanoma. He underwent treatments at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston where the melanoma was removed. His grandfather passed away a few months later. Through these difficult times, he never wavered. Since then, multiple visits to the Center each year continue to indicate his cancer is in complete remission.  He is a source of inspiration to those that are fortunate enough to know him.

Bryan Baker is the son of Scott and Cathy Baker, both graduates of Choctawhatchee High School, and the younger brother of Chelsea. The family resides in Ft. Walton Beach.

Savannah Boswell is the 2013 All Sports Association Female Scholastic Award Winner. She is a senior at Niceville High School where she has participated on the varsity soccer team and the varsity track & field team all four years. Boswell has accepted a soccer scholarship from Mississippi State University and will join the Bulldogs team to compete in the SEC following graduation this spring.

Boswell began playing soccer at the age 5 and has never looked back. Her Niceville Eagles team has won the District Championship each of the last two years, reaching the Regional Semi-Finals in the 2010-2011 season and the Regional finals last year. Her most memorable moment of her soccer career to date occurred when the Eagles defeated Pace last February in the semi-finals to advance to the Regional Finals. As a Lady Eagle Soccer standout, she has been recognized with the “Elton Cook Leadership/Sportsmanship Award” as a sophomore and earned the team’s most prestigious honor “The Founders Award” (Team MVP) her junior season.   She has been named a NWF Daily News All-Area Selection in soccer every year of her high school career.

In track & field, Boswell was an FHSAA Regional finalist all three years (so far) and her junior season anchored the team that set the school record in the 4 x 100 relay.  She has captured State of Florida runner-up honors with AAU Track & Field in the Heptathlon and  was also crowned the USA Track& Field Florida Champion in the Heptathlon at the Altamonte Springs  Region 4 Championships, qualifying her for the National Junior Olympics.  She has been named a NWF Daily News All-Area selection in track & field every year of her high school career.

As an accomplished athlete, Boswell has also participated  in volleyball, weightlifting and is a feared running back for the Powder-Puff Football team.

In addition to her athletic prowess, Boswell is recognized as an accomplished pianist. As such, has received the highest rating, Superior, from the National Federation of Music for 10 consecutive years.

In the classroom, Boswell has earned a 3.9 GPA (weighted) while completing 10 Honors level courses and seven Advanced Placement courses. Also, through Dual Enrollment, she has earned college credits and a valuable industry certification in Computer Web Design completing Level V and is an inductee into the Certified Internet Web Hall of Fame.  Displaying the same effort in the classroom as she does on the soccer field, she is qualified as a Florida Medallion Scholar, and Florida Gold Seal Vocational Scholar.  She is a Fellowship of Christian Athletes Leader and a four-year member, as well as an ICC Representative at her school.

As she moves into the next phase of her student-athlete career in Starkville, MS, Boswell offers the following to her coaches: “Thank you for all the things you have taught me. These lessons will continue to be a large part of my journey to the next step in my life.” Eagles Coach Michael Denton’s prognosis? “ I have no doubt she will succeed at the next level.”

Her advice to her teammates whom she’ll miss dearly: “Whatever you do in life moving forward, give it all you’ve got. Just like with soccer, if you’ll leave it out on the field every time you get the opportunity and know you have given it everything you’ve got, then you’ll never have to look back and wonder ‘what if?...’”

Savannah Boswell is the daughter of Steve and Lawnene Boswell of Bluewater Bay in Niceville and the sister of Jimmy Boswell, recipient of the All Sports Amateur Award in 2007.

Congratulations to the 2013 All Sports Scholastic Award Winners!

Enter to win the All Sports Association’s 2013 Mini Cooper giveaway. A Bayswater Limited Edition or 4-door Countryman Edition could be yours with a $100 donation. All proceeds will benefit the Okaloosa and Walton County High School Athletic Departments. Click here for details!