Marco Reps Patrick Michel, Jonathon Irigoyen
Stephanie Paul wins Winged Foot Award
By Roger LaLonde
While judges chose from a wide range of outstanding athletes, the decision came down to Community School’s Stephanie Paul, winner of the 27th annual Winged Foot Scholar-Athlete Award on May 26.
As allowed in Florida, private schools can have middle school players in their high school sports program. Paul played high school sports from eighth grade. She completed back-to-back state titles in discus and shot put this year.
A huge basketball star,being named Area Player of the Year the past two seasons, Paul will play basketball at the University of Georgia next season.
She received her Winged Foot Award from guest speaker and former Heisman Trophy winner Desmond Howard, who now serves as an ESPN college football analyst.
Two candidates with Marco Island backgrounds were Patrick Michel, Marco Island Academy and Johnathon Irigoyen, Lely High School. Each received $5,000 scholarships. Paul earned a $10,000 scholarship, spread over four years.
Michel is going to Florida State and Irigoyen, University of CentralFlorida. Neither plans to play in college.
Shannon McGregor, formerly of Marco Island, won the award in 2001, representing St. John Neumann. The last Lely winner was Eric Beights in 2002.
This year’s Winged Foot finalists, in alphabetical order, were:
Tommie Chavez, Golden Gate, Paul Costain, St. John Neumann, Tyler Dean, First Baptist Academy, Alex Farrow, Seacrest, Evan Goldenbaum, Barron Collier, Jonathon Irigoyen, Lely, Kelly Kramer, Naples, Lukas Masterson, Gulf Coast, Patrick Michel, Marco Island Academy, Joey Nadotti, Palmetto Ridge, Stephanie Paul, Community School, Alejandro Ruiz, Immokalee and Tawny Wood, Everglades City.