Horace Langford Jr. / Pahrump Valley Times - Sydney Sladek is seen doing what she does best — play soccer. Sladek broke three state scoring records this year, single game, single season and career.
The NIAA made its announcement for the top 10 student athletes in Southern Nevada and Northern Nevada. Two Nye County students won the prestigious award for Southern Nevada, Sydney Sladek from Pahrump Valley High School and Morgan Manley from Round Mountain High School.
Each year the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association honors the top high school student athletes in Nevada. Ten students from the North and ten from the South. According to the NIAA, the students must exemplify total school and community involvement and special consideration in the selection process is given to student-athletes who participated in multiple sports, other school and student government activities, and community service projects while at the same time maintained a high academic status within their school.
The NIAA says all the students are seniors and they receive a special commemorative award, a $1,500 (one-time) scholarship (courtesy of the Farmers Insurance Group), a souvenir portrait (courtesy of Lifetouch Photography), a Top Ten souvenir newspaper edition (courtesy of the Las Vegas Review-Journal and the Reno Gazette-Journal) and a NIAA Courtesy Card.
Sladek is a two-sport athlete who helped her team win the 2012 state soccer championship and was last year’s state champion in the 800-meter run. In addition to the NIAA award, this year she received a full athletic scholarship to the University of Southern California and the Gatorade 2013-14 Nevada girls soccer player of the year.
Manley is a three-sport athlete who plays volleyball, basketball and track. In basketball she had 259 points her senior year and in her career she has 538 points in 53 games played. In track, she is in competition with Ashley Gray of Tonopah for the shot put state championship and the discus. Manley is in second to Gray in both categories and it will come down to who has the best day during the state finals.
Manley said her favorite sport is track, but she also loves basketball. She will be playing basketball for Feather River College in Quincy, Calif. in the fall. She will also try to throw the shot and discus for them.
Manley was surprised that she got the award. She will graduate with a 3.8 GPA and hopes to study to be physical trainer in college. One of the components of the award was community service. Manley said she spent hours helping others in Round Mountain.
“I spent 15 hours picking up trash at the high school and along the highway. I also tutored other high school students in math because we often are short teachers. I also helped out our local church with their annual Thanksgiving dinner for those who could not afford one. I helped package the food for them and that was my favorite thing to do,” she said.