Valley Central High School athletes Francesca Scaudroni and Josh Zock are the 2017 recipients of the Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association’s (OCIAA) Scholar Athlete Award. The annual award is presented by the OCIAA to one female and male student from each OCIAA school who ranks in the top 20 percent of his or her class, participates in at least one varsity sport and is an above-average athlete who demonstrates outstanding citizenship.
Josh, who is the VCHS swim team’s captain, has been a varsity swimmer since seventh grade. He has broken multiple school records and recently finished in fourth place in the New York State 50 freestyle. Aside from being a leader on the varsity swim team, he also is a leader in the National Honor Society, serving as the Valley Center chapter’s president. He is a member of all of Valley Central High School’s academic honor societies.
“My inspiration definitely comes from my teachers and parents who have pushed me to strive for the best,” Josh said. “They’ve always had an expectation for excellence. I also have to give a big thank you to my varsity swim coaches – Coach Warner, Coach Ciara and Coach Casey who have been there for me both inside and outside of the pool.”
Francesca is a four-year varsity starter on the Valley Central girl’s soccer team as well as the team’s captain. She serves as the president of the student government and is a member of the English, science, math, Spanish and social studies national honor societies.
“My inspiration comes from my parents who are very hard working,” Francesca said. “My dad was on the soccer team in high school and college, so it’s nice to have that connection – it’s brought us together and helped us to bond.”
Josh plans on attending West Point for college, where he will be swimming in Division 1, and Francesca plans on attending college next year, but is still deciding which school to attend.
“I’m very excited for the future and to be a part of the long gray line and I am also excited to represent Valley Central as the OCIAA Scholar Athlete recipient,” he said. “It’s not easy to balance athletics and academics but both Francesca and I pulled through it excellently.”
The two will be presented the award at the annual OCIAA Scholar Athlete Breakfast which will be held in April.
“I was very pleasantly surprised [to receive the distinction],” Francesca said. “I’m honored to represent Valley Central. We are very lucky to have the coaches that we have here. They always push you to the next limit that you didn’t know you had in you.”