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Along with Oklahoma City Public Schools Athletics, we recently recognized the 16 male and female Student-Athletes of the Year from OKCPS high schools for the all-star performance on the field, in the classroom, and in their communities.

After delivering awards, yard signs, and a gift box to each of these exceptional young men and women, we caught up with a few of them via Zoom to chat about the impact sports have had on their lives. They showed poise, maturity, and wisdom beyond their years.

These kids are the future of OKC. And they play right here in Oklahoma City Public Schools!

 

Alyx Belk Northwest Classen High School Female Student-Athlete of the Year

Alyx Belk
Northwest Classen High School Female Student-Athlete of the Year

  • 3.13 GPA
  • Sports: Soccer and Softball
  • Awards & Accomplishments: All-City Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year (softball), All-Conference (softball)
  • Community Service: Cleats for Kids Volunteer
  • Future Plans: Attend Southern Nazarene University on a softball scholarship, also plans to play soccer.

F&F: How have the last couple of months been without sports?
Alyx: It’s been hard. It’s been especially difficult to keep myself honest and physically fit.

F&F: Tell us about your favorite sports memory.
Alyx: During the last inning of a state tournament in Tulsa, I got a base hit to drive in the winning run clinching my travel softball team to a state title.

F&F: What impact has your sports career had on your life?
Alyx: It keeps me accountable in school. Honestly, if it weren’t for softball and soccer, I don’t think I would’ve passed.

F&F: What impact has your sports career had on the people around you?
Alyx: It’s impacted my siblings most. I’m the oldest, so they look up to me and since I started playing, now both of my younger siblings are playing sports so they can be like their big sister.

F&F: Finish this sentence. A team is….
Alyx: A team is family.

 

Jeremie Allen U.S. Grant High School Male Student-Athlete of the Year

Jeremie Allen
US Grant High School Male Student-Athlete of the Year 

  • 4.03 GPA
  • Sports: Football & Baseball
  • Awards & Accomplishments: All-City Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year
  • Community Service: Fields & Futures Volunteer
  • Future Plans: Attend Southern Nazarene University on a football scholarship.

F&F: How have the last couple of months been without sports?
Jeremie: It’s been rough. I feel empty and feel like there’s nothing I can really do.

F&F: What impact has your sports career had on your life?
Jeremie: Sports have kept me in line and matured me. I used to get in trouble a lot in school, but not during football season. Eventually, that mentality carried over to the offseason. It opened up this door in my brain that just made me want to compete in everything, including school.

F&F: What lessons have you learned from playing sports that you can apply elsewhere in life?
Jeremie: My leadership skills improved a lot when I became a captain. I learned now that I possess the ability to lead a group of people in the right direction.

F&F: When has a coach been a positive influence in your life?
Jeremie: My middle school coach taught me “If you’re on time, you’re late,” and since then I haven’t shown up late to anything. Also, my high school coach taught me that “life is just one big game of football.” He always knew how to take something I was experiencing in my personal life, and relate it back to the game to help me better understand my issues and approach them better.

F&F: Where would you be today if you didn’t play sports?
Jeremie: You’re going to get a brutally honest answer, but I think I’d either be locked up or dead. If it weren’t for football, I was putting myself in some horrible situations that I shouldn’t have been in at all.

F&F: Finish this sentence. A team is….
Jeremie: A team is my family.

 

Xzavion Gurley Classen SAS High School at Northeast Male Athlete of the Year

Xzavion Gurley
Classen SAS High School at Northeast Male Student-Athlete of the Year

  • 3.6 GPA
  • Sports: Baseball, Football & Track
  • Extracurricular: ROTC
  • Awards & Accomplishments: All-City Defensive Back of the Year, ROTC Lieutenant
  • Community Service: Church and local fire department volunteer
  • Future Plans: Study Fire Science at OSU and become a firefighter

F&F: How have the last couple of months been without sports?
Xzavion: I stay active, but it’s been weird. I’ve still managed to keep myself in shape.

F&F: What impact has your sports career had on your life?
Xzavion: It’s increased my determination. Each day I feel more determined to get better at whatever it is I’m doing.

F&F: When has a coach been a positive influence in your life?
Xzavion: My middle school track coach taught me that every rep is a race, and I pretty much apply that to every area of my life.

F&F: How have sports kept you focused in the classroom?
Xzavion: The eligibility requirements definitely helped me keep things in perspective, but I also wanted to maintain my grades to make my grandma proud.

F&F: Why do you play sports?
Xzavion: I played sports to make friends, but it’s also like a confidence course. Setting goals and accomplishing them really helps boost your confidence.

F&F: Finish this sentence. A team is….
Xzavion: Family.

 

Marlon Morgan Douglas HIgh School Male Student-Athlete of the Year

Marlon Morgan
Douglass High School Male Student-Athlete of the Year

  • 3.65 GPA
  • Sports: Basketball
  • Extracurricular: FCA, Student Council
  • Awards & Accomplishments: All-City Athletic Conference Basketball
  • Community Service: Toy Drive
  • Future Plans: Attend college and major in Sports Media

F&F: How has time away from school affected your day-to-day life?
Marlon: It’s been interesting. You learn a lot about yourself. There’s a lot of self-evaluation that has come from it.

F&F: How have the last couple of months been without sports?
Marlon: Rough. We take sports for granted. As soon as professional sports were canceled, I think it really showed everybody just how much we take them for granted.

F&F: What advice do you have for kids getting into school sports?
Marlon: If it’s something you really want to do, you’ll invest a lot of time into and people around you won’t understand it. Don’t get discouraged and just keep chasing it if you really want it.

F&F: What impact has your sports career had on your life?
Marlon: Basketball made me a lot more patient and helped me be more open to things I never thought I’d try or do.

F&F: Do you think your focus on sports has helped you avoid trouble or bad choices?
Marlon: Most definitely. When people were out doing what they weren’t supposed to, I was in the gym. I was somewhere with a basketball.

F&F: What lesson have you learned from playing sports that you can apply elsewhere in life?
Marlon: Being aware that everyone has their own personalities and that how you approach them through communication has to be different case by case if you want to truly reach them.

F&F: How have sports kept you focused in the classroom?
Marlon: If you’re slipping up in school, you can’t play. So it’s been easy. I know my team needs me on the court, so I handle my business in the class.

F&F: Finish this sentence. A team is….
Marlon: Like a family.

 

Karla Gonzalez Isaac US Grant High School Female Athlete of the Year

Karla Gonzalez Isaac
US Grant High School Female Student-Athlete of the Year

  • 3.75 GPA
  • Sports: Cross Country & Soccer
  • Future Plans: Attend Rose State College

F&F: How have the last couple of months been without sports?
Karla: I play sports to help myself relax and forget other things, so it’s been pretty stressful. But I have gotten closer with my family.

F&F: What impact has your sports career had on your life?
Karla: I was a really shy person and wasn’t able to talk to people, but sports gave me confidence. Soccer has also helped build up my leadership skills.

F&F: Do you think your focus on sports has helped you avoid trouble or bad choices?
Karla: Yes, especially in middle school. It kept me out of a lot of pointless drama.

F&F: What lesson did you learn from playing sports that you can apply elsewhere in life?
Karla: Staying committed. I’ve watched a lot of other students give up after just one bad day. But I never quit.

F&F: When has a coach been a positive influence in your life?
Karla: In middle school, my volleyball coach was always there for me when my family needed help. As undocumented immigrants, we would sometimes struggle to make ends meet and my coach would always step in to help whenever they could.

F&F: How have sports kept you focused in the classroom?
Karla: My senior year of high school, soccer was the only thing that kept me motivated to finish.

F&F: Finish this sentence. A team is….
Karla: A team is a family.

 

Diondre Alexander John Marshall HIgh School Male Student-Athlete of the Year

Diondre Alexander
John Marshall High School Male Student-Athlete of the Year

  • 3.8 GPA
  • Sports: Cross Country, Basketball & Track
  • Extracurricular: National Honor Society, Thunder Leadership Program, Student Council, Youth Leadership, Class Vice President
  • Awards & Accomplishments: All-City Athletic Conference Offensive Player (basketball) of the All-Tournament Team at Jones Tournament (basketball)
  • Community Service: Britton Christian Church Youth Group
  • Future Plans: Attend college, play basketball, and study Business Management. Aspires to own clothing line.

F&F: What is your earliest sports memory?
Diondre: When I was eight years old, I hit my first three-pointer in a game. I can still remember the exact play call and the spot on the floor where I took the shot from.

F&F: How have the last couple of months been without sports?
Diondre: It’s been challenging. It’s been a change. But it hasn’t stopped me from staying active.

F&F: What was your biggest sports goal or dream when you were a kid?
Diondre: It’s always been my dream to be a college basketball player. With the next season still ahead of me, my fire and passion have been built up a bit and I’m more motivated to go harder each day.

F&F: What lesson have you learned from playing sports that you can apply elsewhere in life?
Diondre: Leadership. Being a light in a dark room and making sure that I lead by example.

F&F: Finish this sentence. A team is….
Diondre: A team is family.

Fields & Futures