16 top seniors across Mississippi are making strides, going home with a prestigious award.
WDAM was able to speak with one of this years Lindy Callahan Scholar-Athlete award winners from Laurel High School.
"I think it's awesome," Todd Breland said. "The way Kimberton, not only his contributions to the athletic portion at Laurel High School, but the way he conducts himself at school everyday. He's always in a good mood. He's tremendous in the classroom. He's just an outstanding young man."
Tennis, football, soccer and golf teams at Laurel High School complete with standout senior Kimberton Mai. Dedication on and off the field, Mai maintains high academic honors pushing him to the front among 15 other seniors from across Mississippi selected as Lindy Callahan Scholar-Athletes.
Laurel High School Head Football Coach and Athletic Director Todd Breland said Mai is a leader.
"It shows how well rounded and grounded he is at the same time," Breland said. "He just takes care of his business. He's a positive influence on everyone he is in contact with."
"I didn't know what to think," Kimberton Mai said. "I was pretty speechless. I was just honored."
With a love for mathematics and research Mai has earned numerous awards in science, biochemistry and biology. He plans to continue his education at Mississippi State University
"I plan on finishing undergraduate for aerospace engineering," Mai said.
Then on to pursue his doctorate degree centering around research.
Mai said, "Well, I definitely believe in anything can be done if you put your mind to it."
Mai is raked 8th in his class and will graduate with the highest honors.
"Laurel's academics have been really important to me," Mai said. "Not only has it continued my career after high school, it's motivated me to learn, research to actually open my mind. All that was possible because of the faculty, staff and teachers. The teachers are the best. I believe in all of our teachers. They have been one of my highest motivations since 9th grade."
"It prepares them for life," Mai said. "The ups and downs of athletics is the things we deal with everyday in life. Are hope in the coaching world here is that when these young men and women go out into the world that something happens in their life that they are able to reflect on what they did in sports and learn from that and get through it."
One female and male student from high schools in each of the Mississippi High School Activities Association's 8 districts were chosen and were also awarded a 1,500 dollar scholarship.
In the Pine Belt, other winners include Noah Harris from Oak Grove high School and Haven Howell from West Jones High School.
To see their pictures and a list of the total 16 winners across our state, visit www.misshsaa.com.