Maywood, IL...Cristian Aguirre said that he has to work pretty hard to do well in the classroom while competing on the Proviso East High School football and volleyball teams.
"You just have to know how to manage your time between sports, class, and homework," said Cristian, 17, and a Proviso East senior.
That hard work led Cristian, a kicker on the football team and a member of the East volleyball team, to be the school’s nominee for the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) All-State Academic Team. Every IHSA member school was invited to nominate one female student and one male student. Nominees needed to possess a minimum 3.50 grade point average on a 4.0 scale after their seventh semester, have participated in at least two IHSA-sponsored sports or activities during each of the last two years, and demonstrated outstanding citizenship, according to the IHSA website.
While he was not ultimately selected to the All-State Team, Cristian has maintained a 3.8 grade point average during the first seven semesters of his high school career, and while taking a rigorous college preparatory curriculum. He took honors-level physics, algebra-trigonometry, and English last year. He is currently taking honors pre-calculus and honors English this year. He said that he plans on continuing that high standard.
"I don’t slack off or anything, so I’m on top of it homework-wise or test-wise," he said. "You don’t want to be left out. I want to be on top. I don’t want to lose out on education."
Anthony Crespo, the assistant principal for student life at Proviso East, said that Cristian has the highest grade point average of any student-athlete at the school. He said that Cristian also helped out as an athletic trainer during basketball season.
"He’s a good young man," Mr. Crespo said. "He’s always looking to help out."
Dr. Nettie Collins-Hart, superintendent for District 209, said Cristian is "an upstanding young man" who has taken full advantage of the opportunities given to him.
"This is a very intelligent young man who has worked hard at all aspects of his life, whether it is in the classroom or the playing field," she said. "We should be proud of him."
Cristian plans to attend the University of Illinois at Champaign in the fall, where he plans to study psychology and hopes to walk on to the football team as a kicker.