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Athlete of the Week: Southwick’s Tara Dowd

SOUTHWICK, Mass. (WGGB) — It is not very often for high school students in this day and age to have the academic world in the palm of their hand. Southwick senior guard Tara Dowd finds herself in that rare territory as the number two student in the class that has her in a position where a who’s who of schools are coming to her.

“It feels great knowing and thinking of all the possibilities I can have,” Dowd said, “Right now, I’m undecided about what college I’m gonna go to and it’s exciting thinking about all that can happen.”

Southwick’s GPA scale runs 1 to 100. Dowd’s is a 101.5. Never has she received anything less than an A on a report card. The balance of the two titles in the name student athlete is often a challenge but one she has welcomed.

“Something you have to get used to as a high school student is balance your time,” Dowd said, “I just devote as much time as I can. I work hard and it’s a lot of work but it pays off.”

“She’s exactly what a student athlete should be; she takes a lot of advanced classes, tutors, works in the community, a lot of volunteer stuff. She’s great to have on our team,” head coach Mike Gill said.

The most important aspect of coaching at the high school level is to build a solid foundation of character and developing youth into adults. Gill sees Dowd as the model figure to establish that.

“That’s one of the reasons why you coach. It’s great to win, it’s not the best to lose but to see some of the kids just blossom right in front of you is really incredible,” Gill said, “Tara’s come a long way from freshman year to now, she’s a great kid.”

With the possibilities endless for the captain, the potential to succeed in the real world is exponential.

“I have a lot of different interests so I think it’s going to be difficult to find something to incorporate all of my interests but hopefully that’ll be fun to figure out,” Dowd said.

It’s easy to forget that the name student athlete starts in the classroom. The term is one that does not get beyond this talented individual.

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